“He is a T-Rex”, Djurgårdens head coach Robert Ohlsson says when describing Albin Grewe, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. “Everything below him in the food chain he will just eat up. His whole being just radiates ‘I am the biggest, strongest guy around, deal with it.’ He will devour everything; there are only scraps left when he is done.”
Grewe had just been moved between the U20 team in SuperElit and the professional team in the SHL. From being an offensive dynamo in the U20s and a tough, checking-line player among the professionals in the SHL, both roles worked out well for the big Swede.
He destroyed the SuperElit, scoring 34 points (13G, 21A) in 25 games, however his tough play drew the ire of the referees. In a loop of frustration, Grewe added to his penalty minutes, called for 102 minutes in the 25 games.
That physical play was on display during the World U18 Championship, where he won gold with Sweden.
Don't mess with T-Rex! (Grewe with a reverse hit) pic.twitter.com/Wzgit6JvgA— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) April 28, 2019
The Count (as his name translates in Swedish) played limited minutes in the SHL, averaging 5:45 with Djurgården when facing the pros. He was also called upon in what came to be the last game of the SHL Final, getting to play 6:16 in the 6-2 loss to Frölunda.
Birthplace: Märsta, Sweden
Date of birth: March 22, 2001
Weight: 187 lbs.
Team: Djurgården IF (SHL)
Grewe’s vision is great, and that translates to an excellent hockey IQ. Even when he played in the SHL, he knew when to step up and when to cover an attacker. He displayed creativity in the U20s, but that is yet to be displayed at a higher level as he gets accustomed to the pace.
Defenders can never really be sure what is about to happen; he will either drive to the net with force, holding off the defender with his considerable strength, or he could dangle the defender to the nearest hot dog stand (if he succeeds — his puck control isn’t the best).
“He is an excellent scorer, and he has the drive to excel at any level,” Ohlsson points out. His shot is both heavy and accurate. His quick release can come from any angle in the offensive zone, be it a wrist shot fired with precision or a one-timer with a lot of heat on it. His release is quick and doesn’t give the goalkeeper a lot of time to work with.
His competitiveness, combined with his other skills, could lead him to a top-six role with an NHL team if he can bring everything together. If not, the skills and determination that Grewe possesses will land him a role among the bottom six. His versatility, playing both centre and wing, means that he could be utilized in many different ways that would benefit an NHL club.
He has the drive to make it. “His potential is there,” Ohlsson says. “It’s obvious for everyone to see. He has the drive and the work ethic; all he needs is to stay healthy.”
Rankings (not all rankings are final)
Dobber Prospects: #28
Elite Prospects: #28
Future Considerations: #34
NHL Central Scouting: #13 (EU Skaters)
Of course, there are areas for Grewe to improve upon, otherwise he would be an early first-rounder. He will need to work on his skating. He is competent on his skates and can drive forward with ease, however he needs to increase his lateral movement and his agility to be able to use his creativity to the fullest. He needs to be able to change direction and use his hips more to sell those dekes at a higher level.
Added to the concern about his skating is his puck control. His mind moves faster than his hands sometimes, and he needs to find that touch to control the pass rather than to rely only on his strength. The good thing is that both these areas can be worked on, and Grewe has the drive to succeed.
Another thing that has stood out is his temper. When things don’t go his way, he tends to get frustrated and may take a few bad penalties or disappear from the play for a few shifts. This is of course something he will need to work upon, but the silver lining is that when he has played in the SHL, his physical play hasn’t stood out in a negative way and the calls against him haven’t been as prominent without the size advantage, even if the hits have been largely similar.
Albin Grewe is a dynamic offensive player. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding him with regard to where he will be selected. His strength, drive, and determination, bode well for future success, and the team that chooses him might come away with one of the steals of the draft. It will probably take some time for him to develop properly, but under Coach Ohlsson’s tutelage, “T-Rex” should go from an impetuous, youthful player to someone who can take on an NHL defence without hesitation.