Seattle Kraken Prospect
It’s a mouthful. Oscar Fisker-Mølgaard.
If first impressions are worth anything, this is a smart kid. It seemed obvious while speaking with the 52nd-overall selection in Nashville after the Dane was the second of three Seattle Kraken draft picks in Round-2.
“I’m a smart hockey player, that’s what I’ve had success with, with the men this year,” Fisker-Mølgaard said regarding his time in the top Swedish Hockey League. “I’ve been doing quite well, especially in the defensive zone, that’s kind of been my role this year, so hopefully I can build on my offense and hopefully grow as a player and as a person. Hopefully I can one day be playing for the Seattle Kraken.”
Sebastian High of Dobber Prospects had this to say about Fisker-Mølgaard in March:
“Oscar Fisker Mølgaard is a forward who has carved out a third-line SHL role as a first-time draft eligible by playing a remarkably refined professional game. Fisker Mølgaard plays with tremendous intensity and purpose, he reads the ice better than most U-21 SHLers, let alone U-18s.”
The 6-foot, 165-pound, left-shot forward had 7 points in 41 SHL games this past season.
Seattle Kraken General Manager Ron Francis kidded during our NHL Draft interview (below) that the club had cornered the market on Danish players, starting with current NHL winger Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Coachella Valley Firebirds forward Alexander True, who played three seasons of major juniors for the Seattle Thunderbirds, is from Copenhagen and has notched 27 NHL games, including eight with the Kraken.
Seattle Kraken player development coach Frans Nielsen is the all-time leading scorer among Danish-born NHL players. He had 473 points in 925 career games.
Many Danes like Fisker-Mølgaard and Nielsen train in Sweden prior to heading to North America as the depth of Danish hockey opportunities are limited.
That said, Bjorkstrand actually stayed in his native country until coming over to play for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL as a 17-year-old in 2012.
Meanwhile, Oscar’s father Lars Mølgaard never left home, playing professionally in Denmark for 15 seasons while hailing from Herning, the same hometown as Bjorkstrand and Nielsen. Two decades apart, both the elder Mølgaard and Bjorkstrand played for their local club.
“It’s kind of in the family, everyone on his (my dad’s) side were playing hockey, so we’re kind of a hockey family,” Oscar said at the Draft. “I’ve been playing hockey since I was 2-years-old so it’s been my whole life, I just love hockey.”
Lars was definitely more of a scorer at a young age than his son, but the plan is to continue developing Oscar’s offensive skills. Elite Prospects had plenty to say about his potential in their draft guide.
“Mølgaard is all about the details. In the defensive zone, the Danish forward scans regularly, registers primary and secondary threats, positions himself well to take away passes, skates through opponents’ releases to disrupt shots, and is intelligent enough to keep up with defensive rotations. Offensively, he drives the inside off-puck to create space, supports his linemates, finds outlets under pressure, and puts in yeoman’s work on retrievals.”
Pros And Cons
We’ve said it, they’ve said it, he’s said it himself: Oscar wants and needs to work on his offensive prowess, his finish.
Just as people joke that “height isn’t something you can teach”, the same can be said for natural skills. Skills can be introduced and improved; the challenge involves finding out just how much of it exists in a person’s natural reservoir.
Fisker-Mølgaard has the benefit of building off a strong foundation.
“Definitely, coming from juniors and playing in a league like the SHL, it’s more about systems, you have to be smart and you have to be reliable,” Fisker-Mølgaard said at the Draft. “The coaches, you have to gain the trust of your coaches, and I think I did that pretty well this year and that’s what’s given me success and that’s why I’ve played 40 SHL games.”
Music to a player development coach’s ears … whether he’s Danish or not.
Fisker-Mølgaard plans to continue his development with the HV71 Jonkoping team in Sweden next season.
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((The interview with Ron Francis occurred immediately after the end of the NHL Draft on July 29th, which left the host, ahem, forgetting all of Fisker-Mølgaard’s name … all a part of “live to tape”.))