Photo: Simon Hastegard / Bildbyran
It has been a pleasant surprise to see Christian Djoos, drafted by the Capitals in the seventh round in 2012, fare well in Sweden.
Boxcar stats don’t do justice to this subtle blueliner. He looks mature regardless of his ice time. During the few occasions I saw Djoos get off to a rough start in games — sometimes just because of rotten luck — he proved mental toughness in bouncing back and not letting his game fall apart.
Djoos might not wow you on any given night, but he’s always consistent with his play.
Djoos’ biggest asset is his hockey IQ. He’s a quarterback on the ice, seeing the ice well and controlling the pace. He seems to calculate risks well and knows when to rush the play and when to play it simple.
Djoos’ passing is tremendous. He consistently finds his teammates with long-range passes straight to the tape. While he’s not a flamethrower from the point, he can be pretty accurate with his shot. He’s not a very fast skater, but he is incredibly skilled: his changes of pace and direction make him really hard to catch.
Djoos’ play in the defensive zone is not flawless but is overall solid. He clearly puts a lot of effort into making good defensive reads.
The biggest concern about Djoos is his size. His height is nothing special (he’s 6’0″), but he needs to bulk up to make the difference in the NHL as he weighs just 161 pounds as a 20-year-old. I am not sure how his body would handle playing on a smaller rink, but he went against the odds once before in his career to become an important player in the SHL
Take a look at number 3 in black, yellow, and white in the videos below.
Djoos’ defense is strong for a puck-moving defenseman. Even when he makes mistakes or has some bad luck, he doesn’t appear to let those errors get to him, so you never see him stringing bad defensive plays together. The only concern with him defensively is that he doesn’t always does the best job of boxing out in front of the net.
The Swedish defenseman knows when to jump on the rush. A few times I saw him getting all the way up on the play to provide net-front presence. He almost never gets burned for an odd-man rush the other way.
Djoos is a fantastic playmaker. He seems to always spot his teammates and he shows great fake moves, especially on the power play, taking away the defenders and then setting up his mates.
I’d like Djoos to shoot more; his shot is pretty decent. However, he just doesn’t have the size to launch bombs from the point.
There were very few turnovers for Djoos in my watchings. Power-play quarterbacks often get scrutinized for errant passes, sometimes unfairly because their mistakes are more costly than those of other players, but Djoos doesn’t force passes, so they almost never get picked off. By my count, Djoos made on average one turnover per eight passes at even strength, which is tremendous efficiency.
His physical play is pretty far from NHL level, but it’s still more than what you’d expect from a 160-pound player in one of Europe’s top pro leagues. Sometimes he catches opponents off-guard with his hits. He’s certainly willing to play physical.
View our other Scouting Reports: Jakub Vrana
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