Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Jacob Cederholm

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks owned seven picks early in each round. That changed after trading the second and fourth-round selections to the Florida Panthers, but who knows what will happen on draft day to get those back. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Today we will look at Swedish defenseman Jacob Cederholm of HV71!

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Name: Jacob Cederholm

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’3”, 190 lbs

Team/League: HV71 J20, SuperElit

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 16th (European Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 3/5

NHL-potential: Top-Six Defenseman

Draft Range: Third Round

Scouting report

"The jury is still out on this lanky Swedish defender who may be further away from the finished product than most. This is a very mobile big man is in his infancy in terms of reading the play, decision-making, and establishing position of the opposition. And after all that is sorted out, a bit more edge would be nice. Plays well when he simplifies his game. A long term developmental project who could develop with work. (Bill Placzek,"


Jacob Cederholm is a big defenseman who plays a simple yet effective game. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Cederholm possesses NHL size which he likes to use against his opponents. Plus, there is some offensive potential there, though scouts are unsure if he can actually develop in that regard. At this point, he projects as a defensive defenseman.

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Cederholm has a mature frame and likes to use it against his opponents. He likes to play with some grit, using his body as much as he can. On defense, Cederholm does not leave his opponents much room, as he has good defensive awareness and gap control. Thanks to his frame, he has a long reach and does a great job intercepting passes.

A good skater, Cederholm is great at shutting down opposing forwards. He can keep up with quick skaters, making it extremely hard to sneak by him. With his combination of skating, size, reach and positioning, forwards often struggle to find a way past him.

With the puck on his stick, Cederholm is very responsible as well, but he seldom goes for the flashy play. The Swede tends to play a safe pass and make sure to get the puck out of the defensive zone, even if that does not lead to a quick counter attack. However, he displays good passing abilities, playing hard and usually accurate breakout passes.

Cederholm is not the kind of defenseman who jumps into the attack regularly. He likes to play a laid-back style, only doing what’s necessary offensively. He does, however, possess a hard shot that could be more accurate but frequently causes danger. If he can improve his shot accuracy and develop some more skill and creativity, he could improve his offensive numbers as well.


The main reason why Cederholm is ranked relatively low is his offensive abilities, or rather a lack thereof. Cederholm does not show a lot of offensive creativity, always going for the easy and safe play. His breakout passes seldom lead to quick attacks, and his shot is not accurate enough to find its way into the net regularly.

Having played most of the season in the Swedish junior league SuperElit, is is also hard to predict how much of his physical advantage Cederholm can transfer to the professional level. His skating and positioning are good, and he has shown what he can do in nine SHL games this season, but he still relies a lot on his frame. If he struggles to transfer that aspect to the pro game, at least in North America, there isn’t much left that could take him to the NHL.

Final Thoughts

Jacob Cederholm is not the usual European prospect, in the sense that he does not stand out with offensive skill and creativity. He plays a North American shutdown style and could be that kind of player in the NHL as well. However, his game needs a lot of work to get there.

Saying he will struggle if his physical game doesn’t translate is kind of a pointless thing to say, because every prospect will struggle if you take away his prime asset. In Cederholm’s case, however, there simply isn’t that much more to like. If he can’t be the physical presence in the North American game that he is in Swedish junior hockey, he simply has no chance to be the shutdown defender he is.

That said, Cederholm could be a terrific stay-at-home defenseman if he keeps improving the way he has been over the past years. He has all the tools to be a successful player in the NHL, even if it is in a bottom-pairing shutdown role. Unlike some shutdown D-men in the NHL, Cederholm can gain possession and then get the puck out of the zone and to a teammate who knows what to do with it next.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

Judging by the combination of size, skating and hockey sense he brings to the table, Cederholm is definitely worth a pick. For the Vancouver Canucks, who currently own only the 64th-overall selection in the third round, he would only be interesting if Jim Benning brings in another third or early fourth-round pick — which could certainly happen.