With a solid first season in North America, Hogberg is looking to keep picking up steam.
No. 21: Linus Hogberg
2020-21 League/Team(s): Vita Hästen (HockeyAllsvenskan), Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)
2020-21 Statistics: 2 G, 10 A, 12 P in 27 GP (Hockey Allsvenskan), 2 G, 6 A, 8 P in 26 GP (AHL)
Acquired In: 2016 (drafted)
Ranking in Spring 2020 25 Under 25: n/a
How did Hogberg’s 2020-21 hockey season go? Is his stock trending up or down from where it was entering the year?
All in all, it was a fine season for Hogberg. The real highlight was that he was finally able to make the jump over to North America and get rolling with the Phantoms when their season started in January. It took him a little while to get settled, but once he did, he was pretty solid for them. He wasn’t perfect, he was a bit turnover prone and struggled at times on breakouts, leaving him and his teammates hemmed into the defensive zone. That said, he spent most of the season playing alongside Egor Zamula, and an all-rookie pair Is likely to face some bumps along the road. Hogberg settled in as the season went on, and we were able to see more of his offensive game starting to flash.
He took a step forward, as he was able to get himself settled in at the professional level, but we wouldn’t consider it a huge season for him. His stock may not have made a huge jump up, but it did still increase some.
What are we expecting from Hogberg this season? What should we be looking for from him?
With a little more experience under his belt, the hope is that Hogberg can just continue to polish and develop his game, generally. He’s adjusting well to the professional level in North America, but there’s still definitely some smoothing out that needs to be done. If he can settle his game down a bit, the mistakes will become fewer and his defensive presence will steady out. And once that’s taken care of, that opens up a bit more space for him to work on his offensive game, and we can see just how much of that he can tap into at this level. Understandably, it’s a bit of a whole process, but the first hurdle is just making sure he gets past the growing pains at this level, and then he can sink deeper into the developmental side for his game.
How does Hogberg fit into the Flyers’ long-term plans? Where does he stand in the Flyers’ organizational depth?
There’s certainly still a chance that Hogberg makes a run for an NHL job, but the reality is that when you look at the organizational depth chart, with Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim looking like longer term fixtures on the left side, and Cam York and Egor Zamula both ahead of him in the prospect ranks, there isn’t a very easy path to that NHL job for Hogberg. Does that rule out the possibility of him getting there? Definitely not (and the fact that he proved he can be effective when playing on his off-side this season opens more space for him), but it isn’t going to be an easy road forward.
What do we think Hogberg’s ultimate NHL upside is, and how likely is it that he gets to something approaching that?
If he hits his ceiling, with Hogberg we’re likely looking at a third pair defenseman at the NHL level who can move the puck well and contribute a bit of offense when given the space. It isn’t hard to envision, in a vacuum, him being able to carve out a nice depth role for himself at the NHL level, but as we mentioned in our last section, the question remains whether he’ll be able to do that here. Depending on how his future contract situations pan out, there’s a chance he get that chance elsewhere, but if the Flyers are super committed to keeping him around, the likelihood is that he serves as organization depth here, unless things really break his way.