2014 NHL Draft: Sharks select Julius Bergman 46th overall

EliteProspects.com

Sharks traded up to get a two-way defenseman out of Sweden.

After trading the 51st overall pick and a 2015 fourth rounder to Nashville for pick 46, the San Jose Sharks selected defenseman Julius Bergman from Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League. The 6'1", 196-pound native of Sweden largely played for Frolunda's under-20 affiliate this past season, scoring 13 goals and 34 points in 45 games. ESPN's Corey Pronman had Bergman ranked 91st in his pre-draft rankings. Here's his scouting report:

Bergman is average in size (6-1, 196 pounds), but has fine physical value because he plays hard and wins battles. Bergman plays a smart, steady defensive game with his positioning and overall reads, and his potential value will be as a penalty-killing defenseman who plays against talented players. He's not the most skilled puck handler in the world, and won't project onto an NHL power play, but has enough vision and offensive IQ to outlet and escape pressure.

Time will tell whether Bergman proves to be a better selection in this slot than Roland McKeown, the Kingston Frontenacs defenseman who was projected by many scouting services to be a first-rounder prior to falling all the way to Los Angeles at No. 50. But there's no arguing with Sweden's track record of manufacturing high-end two-way defensemen and Bergman seems to fit that mold, having been described as a blueliner who "sees the ice well, makes a good outlet, pushes the puck up the ice and skates well." Impressively, Bergman played 23 games in Sweden's second-tier professional men's league as a 17-year-old during the 2012-13 season.

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