23 Options for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2024 Draft - Stian Solberg

The Norwegian defenseman rose his stock heavily after a strong performance at the Men's Worlds
Norway's Stian Solberg (#72) at the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia
Norway's Stian Solberg (#72) at the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia / RvS.Media/Robert Hradil/GettyImages
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Stian Solberg is a two-way defenseman who has a lot of maturity and composure each shift.

During the first half of the season, I was uncertain on Solberg. He didn't seem to alwasy handle the toughness of pro hockey. As the season went on, I felt more comfortable in Solberg's pace and handling of teams.

Defensively, Solberg really grew into his surroundings.

You don't play full-time hockey as a teenager without at least some strong maturity, and Solberg really pushed on that. He's a physical defenseman who isn't afraid to lean into his size to command pressure against opponents.

He's strong and sturdy, able to deliver strong hits and force turnovers. He has a lot of power to his game, but also has some good defensive IQ. Turnovers have happened, but Solberg has gotten better at controlling himself.

On offense, Solberg is a strong puck-mover who has good skating for his size, making him a strong transition option. He does well advancing by playing the puck forwards and being able to find passing options in tight spaces. Solberg is quick and mobile, and hard-working.

The Norwegian league isn't the easiest league to determine youth player quality, but there's little doubt Solberg had looked highly impactful.

He'll be spending next season in Sweden with Farjestad, which will be the true determination of his talent level. I think the pieces are there for a second-line, two-way defenseman who consistently impacts and fights for the puck. A lot of his game is highly translatable, and his best aspects are tools teams look for in defensemen.