There are some who think Canadiens 2013 second round draft pick Jacob de la Rose has the potential to be another Lars Eller. There are others who seem to think, at the age of 19, that he has a chance of making the Canadiens out of training camp.
To that first thought, the answer is “possibly”. To the latter, with confidence you can say, at the age of 19 “not likely”.
The Eller comparison holds some water. At 6’3″ and 190 lbs., he has Eller size. He also has Eller speed and a similar hard checking game that incorporates the entire ice surface. (See Scouting Report Below) So far he hasn’t demonstrated a natural goal scoring ability which also fits the Eller profile.
Unsurprisingly, yesterday de la Rose told the Swedish website Hockey Sverige that he will be leaving his hometown Leksands IF team to try his hand at North American pro hockey this fall.
The Canadiens drafted de la Rose 34th overall last June. He had another year left on a two year contract with Leksands. There are ways around that, but the Habs elected to leave him in Sweden to play in their National League. He’ll bring last season’s Leksands experience playing with and against mature national league players to Canadiens camps, first in July and then in September.
De la Rose told Hockey Sverige, “I feel mature both in the game and off the ice. We’ll see if I can win a job in Montreal or I will have to go to Hamilton. I feel mature both in the game and off the ice to make the move.”
De la Rose is one of two Swedes under contract to the Canadiens.
High scoring defenseman Magnus Nygren started last season with Hamilton and had some early success before suddenly leaving the team in November to return to Sweden complaining about life in the city of Hamilton. Most in the Canadiens organization chalked it up to homesickness.
In Sweden he is a noted power play specialist who was named top SNL defenceman two seasons ago. In his 16 games with Hamilton he had a goal and 7 assists. Nygren has another year remaining in his Canadiens contract and reports are he will make another effort this fall. With a fellow Swede in the Hamilton dressing room, the North American transition might go smoother this time.
Nygren was a fourth round Canadiens draft pick in 2011.
In another development, the attempts to make Joonas Nattinen an NHLer has come to an entry. Nattinen became a restricted free agent at the end of the season and the Canadiens lack of enthusiasm for signing the Finnish born centre to a new contract has caused him to sign with MODO of the Swesih league. Nattinen was projected to be a shutodown centre and showed promise early in his three year entry level contract but appeared to regress last season with 8 goals and 15 points in 69 games. He played in one game with the Canadiens, logging 1:45 in a game against Toronto.
Here is the Hockeys Future scouting report on de la Rose
De la Rose already possesses NHL caliber skating speed and a motor that does not stop. He plays a 200-foot game and breaks up scoring plays with his relentless back checking. The big forward possess an excellent skating stride, along with good speed and acceleration. It is one of the main attributes of his overall game and will help him get to the NHL level in the near future. The others considered might have better four-step acceleration than de la Rose but not the top-end speed.