Central Scouting Rank: 6th (Europe)
17-year-old Adrian Kempe is the type of player who often gets branded with the "toolsy" moniker at this time of the year. Born on September 13th, 1996 - the 6,2 Swedish forward is the youngest player in the 2014 NHL Draft class, and is as raw as you might expect.
Widely projected as a top-20 pick, Kempe's strength is his big body and his dynamic skating ability. Scouting reports describe him as a "power winger," who is willing to throw the body and doesn't hesitate when driving the net.
Kempe spent the majority of his season playing with men in the SHL. With MODO Kempe held down a depth role and played mostly fourth-line minutes with an occasional stint in the top-six. 11 points in 45 games doesn't seem like a lot, but considering Kempe's age, role and the quality of the competition in a tough professional league - Kempe fared rather well.
In addition to holding his own with MODO, Kempe dominated the J18 Allvenkan playoffs and was a point-per game player with MODO's J20 team in the SuperElit. He was also nearly a point-per game player in U18 international competition, and has consistently dominated his age group internationally throughout his late teens.
Scouts are saying
"Kempe is a great power winger who showed flashes in the SHL this season on top of quality under-18 showings. He's one of the better skaters available, with the first-few-step acceleration and overall top gear to simply fly through the neutral zone and pressure defenders. When you combine Kempe's speed with a strong frame and a willingness to attack the net, he becomes a dangerous physical threat. " - ESPN Insider's Corey Pronman
"Adrian is an excellent skater with speed and he uses it to get to openings and to back off defenders. He's a player who understands how to use that skating to maximum benefit and to create chances." - TSN's Craig Button
"He's a big, strong, bullish forward who can play center or wing. He likes to drive hard for the net, using his strength and skating to his advantage. He plays the body and is aggressive when forechecking. He has a good defensive game for a player with his offensive skills; mobile, solid and strong." - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb
Feature photo courtesy of Getty/Graig Abel