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12-13-2012, 01:20 PM
STL fan in IA
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Marek Schwarz, Carl Soberberg, Jonas Junland and Petr Sejna.

Schwarz – when he fell to the Blues in that draft when he was projected to go much higher, I was overjoyed. Now I wish someone else would’ve taken him so the Blues wouldn’t have had the option! Marek had great reflexes and a lot of promise but never seemed to improve his angles (relied way too much on his reflexes) and seemed to only have so-so work ethic and mental toughness as well. He’s now toiling in the Czech league – currently ranked 21st in that league in SV% and 23rd in GAA.

Soberberg – probably the most disappointing of the 4. He easily had the potential to be a very solid top 2 line NHL center. His serious eye injury changed everything IMO. He seemed set to take his game to N.A. while scoring at a pt/game pace as a 21 yr old in the SEL (very good stats) when all of a sudden, at the end of the season, he took a stick to the eye which resulted in quite a bit of lost vision and almost ended his career. As a result of him being out of the lineup, his hometown Malmo Redhawks performed so poorly down the stretch that they ended up getting demoted from the SEL to Allsvenskan. Soderberg then pledged to recuperate and recover in Sweden and then help Malmo get back into the SEL before going to N.A. Well…that never happened as Soderberg toiled in Malmo in Sweden’s 2nd tier league for years as Malmo was never good enough to gain promotion back to the SEL. He eventually gave up on that as he signed with SEL Linkoping last season. This season, still with Linkoping, he’s the 3rd leading scorer in the league with 39 pts in 31 games, a pts/game pace of 1.26. I’ll note that Alex Steen currently has 23 pts in 20 games in the SEL, a 1.15 pts/game pace. Maybe Soderberg eventually tries his game in the NHL but I seriously doubt it. He seems quite comfortable being a star back home.

Junland was just disappointing. He had the talent but just seemed to feel entitled and not want to put in the work necessary. After turning down the Blues guaranteed one-way deal for $500k to play in the SEL for approx. $400k (A LOT for the SEL), he performed poorly and the fans turned on him. He then took his game to the KHL but performed poorly there too and was released earlier this season by Barys Astana. He’s now playing for the Pelicans in SM-Liiga.

Sejna was very hyped but in hindsight, the warning signs were there. Basically, he put up a lot of pts in Jrs and in college but he was always a good 2 years older than most of his competition. He’s still revered here in Des Moines as a great former Buccaneer as he put up 94 pts in 58 games in 1999-00 but he was 20 while most players in the USHL are 16-19. He then put up very good numbers in college too but it soon became clear that Sejna was really only effective on the PP. With time and space, he was deadly. At 5 on 5, he was virtually useless in the pro game. Even in the AHL, he was mostly just a PP specialist. Sejna is an excellent example as to why you can’t scout and project based purely on stats. He lacked in a few key areas which killed his pro potential. In a lot of ways, TJ Hensick reminds me of Sejna in terms of their style of play and strengths/weaknesses. Today, Sejna is playing in the NLA (top Swiss league) where he has 18 pts in 28 games so far this season.

Honorable mention goes to Simon Hjalmarsson. He has a lot of talent and actually plays a decent two-way game as well but he lacks the size, strength and physicality to make it in N.A. and also seems to lack the desire to bother trying his game in N.A. . He’s offensively gifted though as he’s currently 11th in SEL scoring.

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