Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boston Bruins Prospect Series: #16 Alexander Fallstrom

Alexander Fallstrom, RW
6-2, 192
September 15, 1990
Shoots: Right
Acquired from Minnesota with a 2011 second-round selection for Chuck Kobasew in October, 2009
Signing status: Unsigned

Talent Analysis

Physical: Tall and lanky build; needs to add significant mass and strength in the next few years of his development. Improving his upper body power and drive will be his biggest challenge between now and when he turns pro. Adequate skater; first few steps are mediocre, but decent speed and quickness gets him where he needs to go. Will never be a burner, but his skating flaws are easily correctable and don't stand out in competition. Very good hands and a quick stick; able to work effectively with limited time and space. Good, heavy shot that he can release quickly. Will drive hard to the net and bang in the rebounds. Able to get his stick on pucks for deflections and redirections. Shields the puck well from defenders and is serviceable down low and on the cycle. Very good defensive player who understands positioning and his responsibilities. Finishes his checks; plays more of a North American-style game given his time spent playing prep and in the NCAA. Ripped it up for 87 points in 40 games his final prep season at Shattuck, so the kid can score. It's just a matter of figuring out how much of his scoring touch at the lower levels will translate at Harvard and in the pro ranks.

Intangibles: Heady winger works hard and is diligent in his approach to on- and off-ice work. Born in Gothenburg, Sweden but raised in Stockholm and eschewed the traditional route most Swedes take by going through the pro development system via junior teams in favor of going to Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota at age 16, earning the captaincy as a senior in 08-09. Has a nose for the net; seems to recognize scoring opportunities and then place himself in areas where he can impact the play. Intelligent and well spoken; understands his role and plays it well. Another character kid who took a lesser-traveled road than most of his peers but appears on track to succeed.

Boston Bruins 2010 Development Camp assessment
Fallstrom had one of the more underrated performances in Wilmington this month. Nothing he does jumps out at you, but when the puck ended up in the back of the net on some nice plays in scrimmages or drills, Fallstrom was often times the culprit (and beneficiary of some great passes from Joe Colborne). He's a smart kid who paid attention to what was going on and displayed a strong showing in all zones, but flew under the radar for much of the week. Many of his higher-profile teammates garnered the lion's share of the attention and headlines, but in retrospect, Fallstrom was one of the more complete and productive players on the ice during the scrimmages. He and Colborne made life very tough on the defenders who went up against them, using their size and skill to move the puck through traffic and generate myriad scoring chances.

Solid third-line player with the intelligence and hands to make a modest contribution on offense at the NHL level. He had more of an adjustment period in the ECAC with the Crimson last season, but watch for him to bump his points up significantly this season, as he has the tools to be a productive player for Ted Donato's squad. Like some of the other prospects in Boston's system, Fallstrom is in a good situation where he can take his time to round out his game and the pressure will not be on him to contribute right away. He's an atypical Swede in that he isn't the greatest skater, but unlike former B's prospect Anton Hedman, Fallstrom's mobility is not a major drawback, and by the time he's ready to progress to the next level, the skating should be fine. Could be a high-end scorer in the minors before he makes a run at regular NHL employment, but at worst, should be an effective 50-point defensive forward who can play in all situations and will earn the trust of his coaches to play in big moments.

"I'm having a lot of fun for sure. This is a very good experience and my first time working with the Boston coaches, so I'm just trying to learn what I can and bring it back with me to Harvard for the upcoming season."- Alexander Fallstrom to B2010DW, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

"Fallstrom's not the most exciting player to come out of Shattuck (St. Mary's), but he did very well there. I remember watching him and not noticing him much, and then I'd look at the score sheet afterwards and he had three or four points. He's the kind of player who keeps it simple, but goes hard to the net and is an opportunistic scorer. Maybe not a high-end offensive player at the next level, but he plays an honest two-way game and has the skills to put up some points with the right linemates."- NHL scout to; May, 2010.

The Final Word
It is intriguing that the Wild gave up Fallstrom so soon after drafting him (ironically with the '09 fourth-round selection the Bruins sent to them as part of the Manny Fernandez trade), but he appears to be a legitimate NHL prospect, albeit one who is on the long-term plan after completing his freshman season at Harvard. He's a poor man's Jordan Caron; doesn't have great feet, but is instinctive, hard working and brings a solid two-way game to the table to go with nice finishing skills. He's not going to be a star, but he's smart, physical and brings his 'A' game to the trenches. If he can get the offense going at Harvard, he'll move up the prospect depth chart quickly because he does so many other things well and has the desire to be more than the sum of his parts.


  1. I guess seeing a guy at #16 who may have 50 point potential in the NHL says that the Bruins system is deep right now...

  2. Not quite-- He's a safe 50-point guy in the AHL in my view--not the NHL. Sorry if that got lost in translation with the writeup.

    Fallstrom be lucky to hit 50 in the NHL, but not completely outside the realm of possibility given how good he was at Shattuck. He needs to show the offense at the NCAA level first before we can have a better gauge on what his potential NHL points ceiling is. But, the raw ability/upside is there.