Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #23 Jens Looke

Updated: June 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm by money puck

Jens Looke is part of an extremely strong group of Swedish draft eligible players this year. The talented forward is a strong skater, with excellent playmaking abilities, who has seen his draft stock rise after a strong showing at the World Junior tournament.

Bio:

  • Age: 17.47 years old at start of season. Born April 11, 1997
  • Birthplace: Gavle, Sweden
  • Frame: 6’0, 185 lbs
  • Position: LW/RW
  • Draft Year Team: Brynas (SHL)
  • Accomplishments: 2014 J20 SM Bronze Medal, 2015 J18 SM Gold Medal

Stats:

PCS% 2014 PCS Pts/82 2014 PCS% 2015 PCS Pts/82 2015
16.7% 22.9 32.5% 49.7
PCS Most NHL GP PCS Highest Pts/GP
Jari Kurri Jari Kurri
Patrik Elias Patrik Elias
Martin Havlat Martin Havlat

Scouts:

Draft rank:

NHL CSS ISS FutureConsiderations HockeyProspectus Pronman McKeen’s McKenzie Button
10 (EU) 63 81 N/A 51 22 Hon. Mention 80

From Craig Button, TSN:

Jens is a very diligent and competitive player. He gets involved in traffic, along the boards, at the net and engages in the small area battles. He gets his scoring opportunities from being determined and not allowing himself to be denied. More quick than fast and with a little more patience in the offensive zone, can capitalize on opportunities better.

From Curis Joe, EliteProspects:

A smooth skating winger with tremendous playmaking ability. Possesses good puckhandling skills and can weave his way into the offensive end and make plays on a consistent basis. In terms of passing, he can find a seam in a fog; don’t be fooled into thinking he is simply a passer, as he also exhibits a very sneaky, erratic shot that often finds its way to the back of the net. All-in-all, a smart, offensive winger that is poised with the puck and makes creative on-ice decisions that lead to dangerous scoring chances. 

From Anthony Mauro, DraftbuzzHockey.com:

Jens Looke is a dangerous threat as a forward with exceptional skating and evasive open ice techniques. With a year of SHL experience already, he has shown to be complete enough to play above his age bracket and fit in. While his skating is top notch all around, it’s his first step quickness that propels him to scoring chances from the tough areas. He made his mark all year accelerating off the wall or corners with a burst and soft handle that opponents couldn’t defend. Elsewhere, he is patient and hawks the play finding soft spots to to stealth his way to and wait for an opportunity to strike. Looke has the speed instincts, and swag to develop into a clutch NHL player.

Our Take:

I first profiled Jens Looke as part of a group of 2015 draft eligible prospects representing their countries at the World Junior tournament. At the time, he was not expected to be a 1st round pick, despite playing in the SHL as a 17 year-old, which is not only rare but also a strong predictor of future success at the NHL level

As is common for most 17 year-olds playing in the SHL, Looke had very limited ice time this year, playing only 6:42 minutes a game over the course of the season. To put in context, last year William Nylander, a player many of us considered to be elite, played just over 13 minutes a game for Modo. While obviously it would have been preferable to see Looke earn more ice time on what was a weak Brynas squad, its interesting to note that both players had very similar P/60 rates (Looke: 1.26, Nylander: 1.44). This isn’t to say that Looke has the same talent or upside that Nylander does, he clearly does not, but it is indicative of the offensive potential he does possess. 

As I discussed last month, his closest statistical comparables include Frans Nielson, Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi, Mika Zibanejad, Alex Steen, Mikko Koivu and a variety of other role players and top-6 forwards. It’s not clear the type of player Looke will grow into, but with smooth skating and strong playmaking instincts, an offensive middle-6 forward seem like a reasonable prediction should he make the NHL. 

We’re clearly bullish on Looke, and its probably unlikely that he goes as high as we’ve projected based on our projection of his talent relative to his draft class peers, which could make him an absolute steal if he slips into the 2nd round.