Just over a third of the way into the season things are, for the most part, still pretty tight standings wise for the most part. The Vaxjo Lakers and Farjestad have created a little bit of separation sitting in first and second, respectively with 44 and 39 points. After that it’s a log jam with third and 10th being separated by eight points. The only team that might be considered out of it is league punching bag Rogle who sit in last place with just 11 points. Individually a number notable prospects have made significant contributions to their teams, especially the somewhat surprising, given his age, league leader scorer.
It’s hard to believe that a player taken fifth overall could be “underdrafted” but Elias Pettersson is sure making a heck of a case. Pettersson is showing no signs of slowing down is his debut SHL season. Through 18 games the lanky Swede has nine goals and 14 assists and is tied for the league lead with 23 points. Not to mention his 1.28 PPG is a league best mark. If he were to keep up this scoring rate he would finish with the second best ppg rate for a U20 player behind Kent Nilsson but ahead of Peter Forsberg and a top three season point total. He’s been especially hot as of late with 15 points over his last eight games including a five point effort on October 26th. Don’t count on him to help you in the hit category though. He’s been credited with only five this season.
Pettersson’s five point game
Three point effort from Saturday
Two goal game versus Djurgarden
Nashville won the offseason bidding way for this slick 6-05 pivot. Having gone undrafted Ejdsell has become a legit NHL prospect in the time since. He’s a bit of a curious prospect in that there isn’t a lengthy track record of players his age having the season he did in the Allsvenskan and parlaying that into success at the higher levels. The 22 year old had the fifth best Allsvenkan season ever by a U24 player in 2016-17 with 57 points, which led the league and was rightfully named forward of the year. He’s made the jump to the big leagues in Sweden and has managed to show he can hang with the big boys. In his first 18 SHL games Ejdsell has firmly established himself as a middle-six option and produced 13 points which ties him for the team lead on HV71. He’s a player I still want to hedge on a little bit, but he’s certainly trending in the right direction.
At 1:18 Ejdsell puts one home
Poolies are by now familiar with the Kase family name as Ondrej is looking like a good one for the Anaheim Ducks. But his brother David is a player that bears watching as well. He’s two years younger than Ondrej and at one point was the more highly thought of brother. A fifth round pick of Philadelphia, Kase came up gradually through the Czech system, putting himself on the map with an outstanding performance as a 17 year old in the U20 league with number comparable to another 2015 draft pick Filip Chalpik. Last year Kase was the third highest scoring U20 player in the top Czech league last year with nine points in 32 games. He decided to make the move to Mora IK of SHL to face a higher level of competition and it’s looking like a good decision. Playing top-six minutes for the Kase sits with three goals and a team high eight helpers through 18 games. With 11 points he sits third in points behind Pettersson and Victor Olofsson among drafted prospects in league scoring.
Kase (#97 in red) with his first SHL goal at 0:27 and an assist at 0:56
Playing in his second full SHL campaign, the fourth round pick of Chicago in his second year of eligibility, he has already surpassed his 2016-17 point total in half the number of games. Through 19 games for Skellettea AIK, Soderlund has doubled his previous year’s goal total with six thus far and added two helpers along the way. The swift skating Swede is tied for third on his team in goals and third out of all drafted prospects. Soderlund is a bit under sized at 5-09, 163 lbs but he has some sleeper appeal for me. As a comparable look no further than another undersized Skelleftea alum, Viktor Arvidsson.
Soderlund with a two goal effort
And just because, here are some Rasmus Dahlin highlights:
– Brad Phillips
Check back next month for another SHL update!