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Nick Oslund

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This one goes out to all the fighting/enforcer/'real' toughness groupies.


Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Vitals: 6'3'' / 210 lbs.

Birthdate: November 15, 1987

Hometown: Burnsville, Minnesota

Acquired: Detroit's sixth choice (191st overall) in the 2006 draft

CSS Ranking: 200th North American skater (2006)

Contract: None (must sign by Aug. 15, 2011)

RWC Says: Checking Forward


"He's got good size, he competes, he loves to hit, and he's a good skater for his size. He needs to work on his puck skills. He's one of those guys we're banking away for five years and we'll see how he develops." — Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill (June 2006).


Swift-skating physical player ... Punishes opponents with hard hits ... Forechecks tenaciously and plays intense, aggressive game ... Strong along boards ... Wins battles ... Hard slap shot.


Limited puck skills and hands ... Doesn't project as a scorer and lacks offensive upside ... Needs his offensive game to evolve over the next several years.


The Red Wings draft Oslund in the hopes he would evolve into a hard-hitting role player, but that hope is down to the wire now. He has yet to show any offensive upside whatsoever at the NCAA level and will look to improve his numbers as a junior at St. Cloud State in 2010-11.

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From HF Boards

Hey guys, I thought I'd drop in and give you a little info on Nick Oslund. He's one of my best friends and we played on the same high school hockey team. First off, central scouting has him listed at 6'3 195. That's not accurate. He's 6'3 1/2 220. His dad is 6'5 - 6'6 and Ozzie is supposed to be the same height as his dad. He doesn't stop eating . Many of you probably think he is fat but he's not. I workout with him and he's an extremely built kid.

Ok, so a little bit about him this season in high school hockey. He led the Lake Conference in scoring, which is the toughest conference in the state for high school hockey. He basically carried our team. He obviously played on the first line, but he didn't get much help. That's why leading the Lake in scoring was that much more impressive. He has a great work ethic and plays every shift like its his last. He was a captain of our team and is very very intense. That's one of the main reasons he decided to go to St. Cloud for hockey. He told me Motzko is a very intense coach. Ozzie hits like a truck. One of the hardest hitters in the state. He also had one of the top shots in the state. It could be a little quicker, but boy he can fire it. With such a big frame you'd think he's probably slow. That's just the opposite, he was the fastest player on our team and most of the time against other teams. He has a very very long and powerful stride. That's why he's so fast. It's funny because he can't run worth a damn, but he can skate like the wind. He's a physical player that doesn't take any **** from other players. He trash talks a lot and people that don't know him very well, could think he's an arrogant kid.

One thing that's really annoying, is all the attention high school players like Forney, Fulton, Sneep, Marvin, etc. get because they dominate CLASS A. When a player like Ozzie dominates CLASS AA, but doesn't get the recognition because he didn't have as many points in a much much harder class. A whole different skill and physical level from Class A to Class AA. We played way way way harder teams than any of those guys. Sure, they had a few tough games, but look how many points they racked up against small town no name teams. People don't look into that enough. For those of you that don't know... there are 2 divisions in Minnesota High School Hockey. Class A is for smaller schools or less skilled teams, and Class AA is for the most competetive teams and bigger schools.

Nick "Ozzie" Oslund is a great guy. His head is on straight and he's a very outgoing guy. He's fun to be around and chill with. He's not cocky as some say, he's very modest. He can't wait to start next season in the USHL.

Trust me when I say this, he's the real deal. One of the Red Wings scouts visited his house 2 days before the draft and told Nick personally that he should have been rated much higher, but they were happy because they could take him as a sleeper. I promise you won't be disappointed. You guys got a real gem, and now I know why the Red Wing organization can find gems in the later rounds like Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Your scouting is awesome, because you found a stud.

If you have any other questions about him, feel free to ask in this post or PM me because I'm always on the HF Boards looking at stuff.

Edited by titanium2

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Oslund a force to be reckoned with

by Todd Abeln

Thisweek Newspapers

Go to a Burnsville boys' hockey game and you will notice Nick Oslund. He is tough to miss.

He is the big center who likes to throw his weight around, score goals and agitate the other team's players.

Oslund, a senior captain, for the Blaze is the main force behind Burnsville's recent winning ways and Burnsville's main offensive weapon.

So far this season, Oslund has 32 points (15 goals and 17 assists) in 18 games.

In the last three games for the Blaze, all wins, Oslund has four goals and two assists.

He scored a goal in their 2-1 victory over Apple Valley on Tuesday. The win prompted Apple Valley's head coach Jerry Hayes to say, "that's what good hockey players do, they score big-time goals,î when asked about Oslund's goal.

Oslund, who has played varsity since his sophomore year, is the prototypical power forward.

He is fast enough skate he can skate with the quickest, big enough to be an effective intimidator and has good hands to score. Just ask his coach.

"He has a few ways to hurt you," Blaze interim co-head coach Josh Hoekstra said. "He can hurt you physically with the body and wear down the defensemen, he can put the puck in the net and he can make plays. He has good vision as well."

With that combination of size and strength, you would think that college scouts would be excited about having him on their team.

Hoekstra said a few Division I hockey programs have shown some interest, but that Oslund likely will have to play in the junior leagues for a year or two before he goes to college.

"Right now, I'm going to juniors unless something comes up," Oslund said.

A year or two of juniors may be good for Oslund as it will allow him to get even bigger and to get a little quicker on the ice.

According to Hoekstra, Oslund's biggest asset is his work ethic.

"I can't think of one game that he has taken off," Hoekstra said. "He is here to win every night and he is going to do whatever he has to to make that happen."

Oslund loves to throw his weight around and get under the opposing players' skin.

He goes out there to hit people and score. When that happens, it frustrates opponents.

"I just play," Oslund said. "I know when kids get under my skin it bothers me, when they are physical, so I just try to be physical all my shifts, every game. I just try to bring it all the time, in every game."

It wasn't until a year ago that Oslund started to make a name for himself.

After playing sparingly as a sophomore, Oslund came onto the scene last year and gave the Lake Conference notice that he was going to be a force.

Oslund scored 29 goals and had 18 assists as a junior to lead the Blaze in scoring.

That led to playing in the high school hockey elite fall league and big expectations for his senior season. So far he has delivered.

"What makes great players great is that they show up every game not every other night. He brings it every single night," Hoekstra said.


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It's a make-or-break season for Oslund

By Michelle Crechiolo - DetroitRedWings.com Intern

DETROIT – In more than one respect, the upcoming season is make-or-break for Red Wings’ prospect Nick Oslund.

He not only has one last chance to lead St. Cloud State to the NCAA’s Frozen Four, but he also has just one year left to prove his worth to the Wings before they must decide whether or not to sign him.

“We’re looking to get back to that same position,” Oslund said of his team’s loss in March’s West Regional final to fellow prospect Brendan Smith’s Wisconsin Badgers. “We have a good group of guys coming back, a huge core of our team from last year, so we’re looking to get back to that same spot and hopefully into the Frozen Four.”

For now, that’s Oslund’s main focus. He plans on worrying about his future with the Wings after he finishes his upcoming senior year.

“We kind of had that sour taste in our mouth at school about the Frozen Four, we thought we could have been there for sure,” said Oslund, in Detroit for this week’s development camp. “We lost to Wisconsin, that is a team we were back-and-forth with all year. So we know we were right there, and that’s been our focus at school, and I think that’s pretty much what I’ve been focused on as well.”

Oslund’s decision to finish his college career is reminiscent of former St. Cloud State player Ryan Malone, who spent four successful seasons in Minnesota before heading to the pros. NHL teams cannot sign NCAA players until they opt to leave college or graduate, and the Wings’ staff is content to let Oslund utilize his full five years of development.

The 6-foot-3, 215 pound forward plays a physical game, and his size has impressed Wings’ assistant general manager Jim Nill.

“He’s a big, strong power forward,” Nill said. “He’s another one of those guys we don’t have a lot of in our system, so it’s nice when you get those big, strong guys that can help play the other part of the game for us.”

However, four summers at the Wings’ annual development camp has made Oslund realize that his skating ability still needs work before he truly develops into an NHL-caliber player.

“Getting better at foot-speed,” Oslund said when asked what he’s been told he needs to work on. “Just work on my quickness, continue to be physical. Just keep doing what I’m doing, and like I said, just improve my quickness.”

He plans to improve that aspect of his game during the upcoming season. And by next August, Oslund hopes to tell the Wings’ staff his all-around play helped his team win an NCAA title.


Nick Oslund has attended all of the three prospect camps I've covered, and the St. Cloud State University senior and right winger has yet to do much else than leave me scratching the five annoyingly persistent hairs on the top of my scalp. Oslund's a mountain of a man at 6'3" and 215 lbs. (at least, on both counts) of muscle, muscle, and more muscle, and the right-shooting forward skates well, bangs bodies, plays well defensively, and has obviously worked on both his skating and hands as his skating and stickhandling have improved by leaps and bounds over the past three years...

But he still sometimes struggles with skill drills and sometimes stars in them, he skates like a big moose of a man at some times and muddles along at other times, and when he plays in scrimmages, sometimes he displays the deft offensive touch of a power forward in the making, sometimes he plays like the consummate defensive grinder, and, sometimes, he plain old disappears, leaving you wondering where that big guy went--and it's not that his size or skill disappears. With Nick Oslund, it's all about confidence.

However, four summers at the Wings’ annual development camp has made Oslund realize that his skating ability still needs work before he truly develops into an NHL-caliber player.

“Getting better at foot-speed,” Oslund said when asked what he’s been told he needs to work on. “Just work on my quickness, continue to be physical. Just keep doing what I’m doing, and like I said, just improve my quickness.”

Oslund tells Crechiolo that he hopes to help guide his team to the NCAA's Frozen Four this upcoming season, but the St. Cloud State Huskies match Oslund's play in terms of their inconsistency. He's got a year to figure himself out and prove, on the ice, that he's worth signing. He's grown up, on and off the ice, by leaps and bounds over the past three summers' worth of prospect camps, and I hope he makes it.

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59 Nick Oslund

Pluses: One sentence describes Nick Oslund’s tremendous potential, maddening inconsistency, and the fact that the 6’3,” 210-lb power winger is going into his last season at St. Cloud State University (where he hopes to win an NCAA championship) without having really established himself as anything other than a grinder: “He’s on the clock.”

Oslund is most certainly 6’3” and 210 pounds of muscle, and when he uses that muscle, the big man can push people around with ease, roar up the wing while protecting the puck on his stick via his fantastic wingspan, twist and turn and toss the puck off to more offensively talented players to generate offense and crash and bang on the forecheck.

He’s huge, just huge, strong, he’s improved his skating by leaps and bounds over the past three years, especially in terms of conserving energy when he changes direction so that all that power doesn’t spin out when he changes direction anymore, he’s capable of solid bursts of speed to get back and cover up defensively when necessary, and again, his ability to protect the puck once he digs it out of a scrum is superb, absolutely superb, especially as he can instinctively stick out a free hand, his shoulder or rear end to simply deny his opponent the space to even try to get around him.

His defensive awareness is excellent as well, and while he’s not a shot-blocker per se, that big stick blocks passes and shots quite nicely. When he does get going the other way, again, he knows well enough to put the puck on someone else’s s stick if he can’t power it through the middle, he’s a superb forechecker and he excels along the boards in every zone, and he’s become more detail-oriented as time’s passed…

Because he’s grown up. I’ve attended prospect camp for each of Oslund’s three years as Red Wings property, and for the first two years, he was up there with the far-more-talented Brendan Smith in the hot-dogging and not-paying-enough-attention departments, on and off the ice. Oslund was much more professional in his approach to this camp, and he really did do his best to take Nick Jensen under his wing and, in his own way, show quiet leadership. That was incredibly impressive.

Minuses: Oslund’s a big power forward who projects as a big power grinder because he doesn’t quite have the hands or hockey sense to play an elite offensive game, and when he’s focused, on his game, and accepts his role, he’s very, very effective. When he’s not focused or not ensuring that he plays to the utmost extent of his skating and technical abilities (i.e. paying attention to defensive details and keeping things simple), he’s either invisible, or, occasionally, a liability.

Mostly invisible, and that’s both hard to believe and incredibly frustrating to watch given his raw strength, power, and at least ability to excel in his role and really give the Wings something they don’t have in a huge defensively-minded forward to compliment their staple of speedy, smallish grinders.

I don’t know if it’s a lack of focus or what, but Oslund at least has the ability to become a very solid professional player who comes up to the NHL on short stints and makes a solid living at the game knocking the hell out his opponents at the AHL level, and that player only appears in fits and spurts.

Potential “upside”: As stated, a grinding 3rd or 4th-line player who can fill a defensive role, killing penalties and mostly playing a no-frills game in which his size, strength, and speed stifle scoring chances against and create havoc on the forecheck. If he can’t put it together completely, and doesn’t continue to improve his skating, he could very easily become an effective and useful AHL player, or he keeps appearing in fits and spurts, I really don’t know. It’d be disappointing to see him not make it because it’s been a pleasant surprise watching him grow into himself as a player and a person.

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RWC Report: Oslund must 'bully' way to contract

By Matthew Wuest – RedWingsCentral.com / October 27, 2010

Nick Oslund's future with the Detroit Red Wings will depend on his ability to find a niche as a checker.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound centre/winger at St. Cloud State boasts tremendous strength and is a swift skater, especially for his size. But he is never going to be a scorer and has yet to consistently assert himself as an impact checker.

"To take the next step, Nick will need to play with a little more bite and become more of a bully on the ice," said Red Wings scout David Kolb. "He could stand to become more involved after whistles. He doesn't play nice, but he doesn't exactly play mean, either."

Oslund, now in his senior year, had just 12 goals and nine assists for 21 points in 116 games through his first three NCAA seasons. Kolb said Oslund has better skills than those stats indicate, with a hard shot and the potential to be a strong net-front presence in the mold of Dustin Byfuglien.

"Nick is tough to move and will receive hits without retaliating," Kolb said.

Oslund's lack of offensive instincts will ultimately limit his production, Kolb said.

What has been discouraging to the Red Wings has been Oslund's inability to move up St. Cloud State's depth chart. For the most part, he has assumed third- and fourth-line duties, although he had a three-point night last season against Minnesota-Duluth when injuries forced him into a scoring-line role.

So far this season, he has a goal in four games.

The Red Wings, who drafted Oslund out of the Minnesota high school ranks in the sixth round, 191st overall, in 2006, have until August to decide whether to sign him. If Oslund can focus his energies on making a consistent physical impact, it will increase his chances.

"When he is on, he can be a force out there," Kolb said. "Nick has the tools to be an effective checker down the road. Whether or not he has the mentality to fill that role will determine how far he is able to go."

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