Anaheim Ducks Lockout Prospect Report: Max Friberg

Friberg at the 2012 WJC playing for Sweden, home of the greatest jersey in international hockey.

[Ed. Note: Now that we have a lot of free time on our hands, we're going to (re)introduce the players that were specifically assigned by the Ducks prior to the lockout. The little Ducklings still in juniors will be profiled at a later time. Enjoy!]

Name: Max Friberg
Age: 19
Hometown: Skövde, Sweden
Position: LW
Drafted: 2011 Round 5 (143rd overall)
How did he become a Duck? Drafted, see above.
Where did the Ducks send him for the lockout? Timrå (Swedish Elite League)
2011-2012 League & Team: Timrå (Swedish Elite League)
Extra Hockey (Olympic Team, World Juniors etc.): U-20 WJC 2011, 2012 (Gold)
Key Stats Last Season: Friberg had a huge breakout performance at the World Juniors last year in Alberta, finishing the tournament second in scoring (behind Russia's Evgeny Kuznetzov) with nine goals, and two assists in six games. Before you get too excited that he is the next Henrik Zetterberg (210th overall, 1999) or Johan Franzen (97th overall, 2004), consider that he only recorded ten points (five goals, five assists) playing against men in 48 regular season games with Timrå.

What do the scouts say about him, pros and cons:
Ranked the 13th European Skater by central scouting going into the 2011 draft, by all accounts Friberg appears to have been a steal in the fifth round. He's described as a small-ish (5'10" 194 lbs) physical, two-way winger with top six skills, who can get under the opponent's skin. Hockey's Future called him the Duck prospect with the biggest breakout season last year and the highest risk/reward.

He seems to be a few years away from breaking in with Anaheim, but based on his stats he tends to take significant strides forward from year to year as he acclimates to a higher level of play. This glowing report from hockey buzz attributes his lower productivity in his first years in the Swedish Division 1 (Skövde IK) and the U-20 WJC to a lesser role within the team due to his age. I wasn't able to find any ice time stats to back that up.

On the lighter side, he seems to have some personality, as he shows in this Q&A from the 2011 WJC in Buffalo and in his much talked about goal celebration from last year:

Max Friberg Shootout Goal Celebration (December 28, 2011) (via HockeyVault)

To follow him in Sweden this year check out his page on the SEL website (speaking Swedish would be helpful but not necessary. Bork! Bork! Bork!)

Is he a work-in-progress, future trade-bait, or a keeper? Keeper/Work-in-Progress

Excitement Level for him to join the big club (1=don't care, 5=want him to make the Ducks out of camp): 4. Depth on the wing makes him a huge long shot to make the team out of camp, but his balance of skill and physicallity makes him seem like he'll be a lot of fun to watch in a couple years.

Note: Thanks to fellow AC staffer, Justin Mowbray for help with some of the links. Be sure to follow his new twitter account @DucksProspects for duckling updates throughout the lockout (and beyond?).

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