Which NHL team might take a chance on drafting a 5-foot-8 highly skilled player like Mac Swanson?

**Small but Mighty: NHL Teams Eye Mac Swanson, a 5’8″ Forward with Exceptional Skills**

The Dilemma for NHL Teams

The 2023 NHL Draft is just around the corner, and one player has caught the attention of scouts despite his unconventional height: Mac Swanson. The 5’8″, 175-pound forward is a standout in the United States Hockey League (USHL), but his diminutive stature raises questions about his chances of making it in the big leagues.

A Proven Winner

Swanson led the Fargo Force to both the regular-season and playoff championships in the USHL. He received numerous accolades, including USHL Forward of the Year, Player of the Year, Clark Cup Playoff MVP, and USA Hockey’s Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year.

Skill and Vision

Beyond his size, Swanson’s greatest assets lie in his intelligence and vision on the ice. He thinks the game at a high level and makes plays quickly. He’s a primary setup man on the power play and has a knack for finding open teammates with pinpoint passes.

Shooting Prowess

One area where Swanson has improved significantly is his shot. He has worked on his release and velocity, making him a constant threat to score. His 26 goals in the USHL last season are a testament to his offensive prowess.

Historical Challenges for Small Players

Despite his exceptional skills, Swanson faces a statistical hurdle. Only 15 players his height or shorter played in the NHL this season, with only nine being regulars. This raises concerns among some teams about his ability to compete at the professional level.

Potential Landing Spots

Despite the skepticism, there are teams that have shown a willingness to draft smaller forwards in the past. The Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning have a track record of selecting skilled players who overcome the size disadvantage. Both teams have several picks on Day 2 of the draft, where Swanson is expected to be available.

Overcoming the Odds

If drafted, Swanson will have to overcome historical biases and prove that he can compete at the NHL level. His determination and skillset give him a chance to defy expectations and become a valuable asset to any team willing to take a chance on him.

By Mehek

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