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2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Adam Ginning — What to make of the big defender

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There isn’t much that jumps out about Ginning’s game, but he excels in defensive-zone tasks.

Image credit: SportsLogos.net

Adam Ginning got to play with the professionals in the SHL as a 16-year-old, and even logged two games in the SHL Playoffs for Linköping that same season. This meant that there were a lot of eyes on him at the start of the 2017-18 season, and Ginning played double the games in the SHL when compared to the season before.

Birthplace: Linköping, Sweden
Shoots: Left
Position: D
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 196 lbs.
Team: Linköping HC

Image credit: EliteProspects

Touted as a high pick by scouts and draft insiders, this year should have been his breakout season. Unfortunately, it instead left quite a few question marks for the Swedish defender. While Ginning was projected at #21 by TSN in October of 2017, his projected draft number has fallen to somewhere late in the second or early in the third round after his season

But there are still strong qualities to the defender. Not made from the same mould as most of the other Swedish defencemen, Ginning is a big, physical presence on the ice; an old-school type who regards defence as the top priority.

Ginning utilizes his size effectively — especially when playing on a North American-sized rink — and does well to keep things simple on the ice. His lower body strength helps him win battles along the boards and sets his balance for play in front of the net.

The big defender is also good at defending off the rush. He is tough to get around and utilizes his stick to disrupt and direct the opposing forward approaching on his side of the ice to the outside lane.

While not known for his dazzling zone entries or sharp shot, Ginning has an effective outlet pass and can help turn plays around. He handles forechecking pressure well and is precise when springing teammates in the neutral zone. He can also use this passing ability and some deception to create shooting opportunities for others when he is positioned at the point.

Adam Ginning wears #10 with the international team and #37 with Linköping HC J20.

He is not an offensive force, but his shots usually hit the net. He tends to mostly keep them low to create rebounds.

Ginning, overall, plays to his strengths, which points to a good understanding of the game.

The problem is what comes with the change of ice hockey in general, to the pace of the new role of the defenceman as a play driver, something that Ginning isn’t standing out as. Ginning played last season’s World U18 Championship and was paired with Timothy Liljegren, but it was apparent that he was out of his element in that role. He has to be very good as a defensive defender to earn a roster spot.

While his skating isn’t bad for someone his size, especially in terms of speed, he needs to improve it to become an NHL player, especially his acceleration and lateral mobility. He can offset those problems with his great reach, but he should also be able to utilize his strong legs better.

Rankings (not all rankings are final)

ISS Hockey: #17
Future Considerations: #73
NHL Central Scouting: #5 (EU Skaters)
The Hockey News: #54

Thoughts

Ginning will need a year or two in the SHL before going over to North America, and then a season in the AHL before having a chance of making an impact on the biggest stage. He also needs to build up his upper-body strength that is lacking compared to his lower body, but a full summer of training should really benefit him in that respect, and could also have a positive impact on his skating for next season.

While Ginning will never be a big offensive producer, he could become a stable partner for one such defender. With his good passing and good defensive skills, his upside could be the fact that an offensive-minded defender could utilize a partner like him that can read the game well and cover the space left behind.

This could make Ginning an interesting target for an NHL team in the second or third round.