2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Stian Solberg

2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Stian Solberg
Photo: Mayors Manor

The Scouting Report:

Stian Solberg, born on December 29th, 2005, is a top-eligible prospect in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. From Oslo, Norway, the 6-foot-2 205-pound defenseman shoots left and is a strong puck mover, teams will be looking to add him due to his sheer size and work ethic heading into this year’s draft.

Solberg is a penalty kill specialist and a bruising defensive defenseman, he has really drawn interest to his name since increasing his stock starting at the 2024 World Junior Championship. The 18-year-old really thrives in a top role and makes sure he’s more than just a physical presence.

Adding to his PK specialty and bruising nature, Solberg is a quick, strong, and agile skater who can puncture a teams defense in the offensive zone. Like Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, it’s hard to say where Solberg will be drafted. Solberg could be drafted as late as the third round and as early as the top-20.

Solberg continues to push the boundaries and has been called a throwback defenseman due to how much energy and physicality he plays with. His NHL comparison is a similar play to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh due to the volume of shots he can block effortlessly.

Ranked #57 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #20 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Ranked #20 by TSN/Craig Button & TSN/Bob McKenzie
Ranked #65 by Draft Prospects Hockey
Ranked #19 by DobberProspects
Ranked #18 by Recruit Scouting
Ranked #55 by THN/Ryan Kennedy
Ranked #17 by FCHockey

Conrad Jack of Inside The Rink has Stian Solberg projected at 57th overall

I’ve highlighted some of Stian Solberg’s attributes, let’s take a deeper dive into his attributes and areas for improvement.

Diving Deeper:

Stian Solberg is one of the best underrated prospects in this draft, he may be surprised to hear his name called far earlier than he expects during the draft. He’s got the confidence and the swagger to be a first-round draft pick. Let’s dive deeper into Stian Solberg’s best attributes.

Defensive Game

I’ve previously touched on Stian Solberg’s defensive game, but it’s multiple layers that makes it so great. Solberg is patient and doesn’t rush a play, he takes time to assess his options and the situation even when things are tough and a defenseman might crack under the pressure.

Additionally, Solberg plays with an aggressive nature that doesn’t get him into trouble often. He’s got a smooth speed to his skating and finds a way to cut down lanes which also takes away time and space from attacking players. His pressure application is also a strong part of his game which he uses to box out players in front of the net. As I mentioned before, Solberg blocks shots like his NHL comparable, Ryan McDonagh. He breaks up plays and uses his size to effectively thwart plays.

Strong Shot

Stian Solberg has a cannon of a shot for the defenseman in this years NHL Draft. It has gone almost unnoticed because he’s so focused on defensively shutting the other team down. Being a defensive defenseman that focuses on the defensive part of the game is a great thing, but when Solberg gets the puCK on his stick in the offensive zone, he is not the player you want to give any time and space.

In the offensive zone, Solberg doesn’t jump up into a dangerous area of the ice. He almost never drives the net, but he rather chooses to patrol the blueline and unleash a bomb of a shot on net. This all shows his strength not only behind his release, but his overall strength on the ice.

Prospect Potential:

Stian Solberg has all the tools to be a strong and physically imposing top-four shutdown defenseman for many years in the NHL. There’s a chance that Solberg hears his name called tonight, June 28th, in the first round of the draft. However, it is more likely that Solberg goes in the second round on day two, June 29th, of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

Realistically, Solberg won’t be a big point-getter; I can see him posting at most 20-25 points a season. He projects as a Swiss army knife defenseman who can do it all. Any NHL team who drafts Solberg is getting a strong defenseman who is incredibly defensively sound.

Best Potential Fit:

Colorado Avalanche: with the 24th overall draft selection, Stian Solberg could be a wonderful fit for an already deep Avalanche team. Solberg’s style of play could really complement the Avalanche’s defensive depth, and he could be a great NHL player for a long time should he develop well with the Avalanche.

Chicago Blackhawks: with the 34th overall draft selection, Stian Solberg could be a great defensive selection by the Chicago Blackhawks, who are patiently working through this rebuild. Solberg could be a core piece of the Blackhawks’ rebuild going forward and his style of play could be a fan favorite from Blackhawks faithful.

Utah HC: with the 38th overall draft selection, Utah HC could bring in Stian Solberg to bolster their defensive depth as they are looking for a top defensman. However, with Solberg likely being a couple years away from becoming a full-time NHLer, Utah would have to make a serious consideration going forward.

Washington Capitals: with the 52nd overall draft selection, Washington could subtract from their pending rebuild by drafting Stian Solberg and letting him fully develop into a mature NHLer. Solberg suits the style that the Capitals will be looking for and there could be a mutual interest should Solberg be available at 52nd.

Final Thoughts:

Like Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, I have watched and scouted Stian Solberg for close to six months now. I first saw him play for Team Norway at the 2024 U20 World Junior Championship, where they were unfortunately relegated. Solberg is a player who loves responsibility and will flourish on a team where he will get a big role. Given the right team, Solberg could make an immediate impact with the right talent surrounding him.

Highlights via MyNHLDraft.com

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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