Welcome to the first SHL Report of the 2018-2019 season. The SHL season has been ongoing for a few weeks now, and all the teams in the league have played either eight or nine games. Let’s go through the teams in their current order, and see which interesting prospects are playing for each team and how those prospects are doing so far.
There are no Rasmus Dahlin or Elias Pettersson level superstars in the league this season but that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting youngsters who deserve our attention.
Johan Södergran (Kings) has been one of the breakout players in the SHL early in the season. He’s scored four goals and six points in nine games. Södergran is a big (6-3, 205) winger who was drafted in the sixth round this past summer. He’s only played an average of 12:13 with just 21 seconds per game on the power play, so it’s very unlikely he can sustain those counting stats with that kind of usage. But he’s definitely someone to watch this season.
Olle Lycksell (Flyers) has had a good start to his season with four points in nine games. He’s played an average of 13:19 per game, with over two minutes of that coming on the power play. Lycksell is a 19-year-old who was drafted in the sixth round in 2017, and that selection is looking great right now. I’m expecting him to play a big role for Team Sweden at the World Juniors.
Fredrik Karlström (Stars) has started the season with three points in nine games while playing an average of 13:25. Over two minutes of his ice time has come on the penalty kill. Karlström is a 20-year-old two-way center with good size (6-2, 196) and a future in the bottom-six in the NHL.
Adam Ginning (Flyers) has zero points in nine games while averaging 12:19 per game, with 1:16 of that coming on the penalty kill. I wasn’t a fan of the Flyers taking him 50th overall this past summer. He has a future in the NHL but I’m not expecting much of an impact. Probably ends up being a physical bottom-pair defenseman.
Nikola Pasic (2019) is an interesting draft-eligible prospect for the league-leaders. Even though he’s officially played four games in the SHL this season, his average ice time has been just four seconds which is ridiculous. If you’re not going to let him play, then don’t waste his time. He’s just 17 years old, he needs to play to get better.
Marus Sylvegård (undrafted) is a 19-year-old who has had a nice start to his season with four goals in seven games. He’s played an average of 13:52, with over two minutes of that coming on the power play. He’s one of the more interesting re-entry players for the draft out of Sweden.
Jonathan Davidsson (Blue Jackets) had a late start to his SHL season because he was busy with Columbus’ training camp. But that hasn’t really shown as he’s scored two goals and four points in just three games so far. He’s playing an average of 16:55 per game, with 1:49 of that coming on the power play and 1:19 on the penalty kill. I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined the Blue Jackets after his SHL season is over.
Emil Bemström (Blue Jackets) is another Columbus’ draft pick who has had a great start to his season. He’s scored five goals and six points in eight games. Bemström is playing just 12:09 per game but 2:42 of that is coming on the power play and 0:41 on the penalty kill.
Marcus Davidsson (Sabres) looked much improved earlier in the season when he was playing without his older brother but now that Jonathan is back, it almost seems like Marcus is going back to his supporting role instead of making a true impact himself. Marcus has four points in eight games. He’s playing an average of 16:20 per game, with 1:26 of that coming on the power play and 1:17 on the penalty kill.
Albin Grewe (2019) officially made his SHL debut last week but only got to play three minutes in that game, so there’s not much to say about it. Grewe has had a great start to his season in the SuperElit, though. He’s looking like a potential first-rounder for next summer.
Gustav Lindström (Red Wings) has two points in eight games but he’s playing an average of 19:53 per game with 2:34 of that coming on the power play and 0:26 on the penalty kill. Lindström is a good two-way defenseman with good size (6-2, 187) and a good right-handed shot. Maybe the Red Wings reached for him when they took him 38th overall in 2017 but there’s middle-pair upside, so it’s not a bad choice.
Tim Söderlund (Blackhawks) probably hoped to get better usage when he jumped from Skellefteå to Frölunda this past summer but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s scored two goals in eight games while averaging 12:33 per game, although 1:57 of that time has been on the power play.
Jacob Moverare (Kings) played out his junior eligibility in the OHL, and instead of jumping to the AHL, he was loaned to the SHL. I like this move for him a lot. He probably wasn’t ready to play a significant role in the American league but should be able to do it in Sweden. He’s played just four games so far with no points but he’s averaging 15:27 per game, with 0:18 on the power play and 1:25 on the penalty kill.
Samuel Fagemo (undrafted) may be the most interesting re-entry prospect for next summer’s draft. Many believed he should have been drafted already but somehow managed to slip through the entire draft this past summer. This season, he’s scored 10 goals and 14 points in eight games in the SuperElit, then added three goals and four points in three games at the Champions Hockey League, and now has three points in four games in the SHL. He’s played an average of 10:52 in the SHL games.
Lucas Raymond (2020) has been held pointless in the three games he’s played in the SHL, and he’s played less than five minutes per game. But he’s just 16 years old, and early rankings have him in the top five for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. I’m ready to put him in the top three discussion.
Jonatan Berggren (Red Wings) has two assists in eight games. He’s played an average of 10:42, with 2:05 of that coming on the power play. He’s played both center and wing for Skellefteå. He played a big role for them earlier in the season but his ice time has been reduced lately. Let’s hope he can bounce back and start producing more offensively.
Albin Eriksson (Stars) has three assists in eight games. He’s played an average of 8:54 with very little time on special teams. Eriksson has all the tools to become a good power forward in the NHL but he hasn’t been able to put it all together yet.
Filip Berglund (Oilers) has scored two goals and four points in eight games. He’s played an average of 19:51, with 2:04 of that coming on the power play and 1:02 on the penalty kill. Berglund is a two-way defenseman with great size (6-3, 205) and a great right-handed shot. He was drafted late in the third round in 2016, and he could be making the jump to North America next summer.
Linus Lindström (Flames) has just one goal in eight games but he’s played an average of 15:06 per game, although he’s not really used on the power play which takes away his chances of padding his counting stats. But he is playing 2:25 per game on the penalty kill.
Nils Lundkvist (Rangers) has scored two assists in nine games. He’s seeing just 12:45 of ice time but 3:09 of that is coming on the power play which is nice to see. I was expecting Lundkvist to make a bigger impact this season but there’s still time for him to get going. Let’s just hope Luleå doesn’t hurt his confidence too badly.
Filip Hållander (Penguins) has had a hot start to his season with six points in eight games. Over the past four games, he’s scored four points. He’s seen an average of 13:57 per game with 1:27 on the power play but his ice time has been rising lately. Hållander is coming back from an injury that caused him to miss the U18 Worlds last spring, and he played through that injury for a long time late last season. Maybe that was why he fell all the way to 58th overall because many people (me included) thought he was a top 40 prospect for sure.
Jacob Olofsson (Canadiens) has four assists in six games. Olofsson is seeing an average of 15:13 with 1:32 coming on the power play. He’s an important part of Timrå’s team and gets to play big minutes because he’s a reliable and well-rounded center. But for fantasy hockey purposes, I like Hållander more than Olofsson. To me, Olofsson looks like a future third-line center in the NHL whereas Hållander has upside to become a top-six winger.
Domink Bokk (Blues) has three points in eight games. He’s played an average of 13:20 with 1:45 coming on the power play.
Pontus Holmberg (Maple Leafs) has two points in eight games. He’s played an average of 13:51 with 1:48 coming on the power play.
Jonas Røndbjerg (Golden Knights) has just one point in eight games. He’s played an average of 12:08 with no significant time on either special team.
In some games, Växjö has been using an interesting third line where they have Holmberg at center with Røndbjerg on his left side and Bokk on the right side. Kid lines like that are always interesting but they make scouting difficult because you can’t have eyes on all three at the same time. For that reason, I’m sort of hoping that line isn’t a permanent thing.
Joel Persson (Oilers) has three points in eight games. He’s playing an average of 20:16, with 2:48 coming on the power play. He’s still not being used on the penalty kill which is not a good sign considering he’s already 24 years old.
Linus Högberg (Flyers) doesn’t have any points in eight games so far but he’s playing an average of 18:48 with about half a minute on both special teams. Offense is not really his calling card anyways.
David Gustafsson (Jets) has played just one game in the SHL and one game in the SuperElit so far this season. I’m not sure what’s up with him but I’m really hoping he takes another step offensively this season after a solid rookie season in the SHL as a 17-year-old. He played 13:27 in the one SHL game he played.
Felix Sandström (Flyers) has played six out of eight games for HV71, and his results have been pretty good. He’s allowed an average of 2.32 goals per game and saved 91.1% of the shots he’s faced. It’s good to see he’s getting most of the games but his competition has better numbers right now.
Martin Fehérváry (Capitals) has zero points in seven games but he’s played an average of 16:22 per game with 2:05 on the penalty kill. He’s a defense-minded defenseman with no real offensive upside.
Fabian Zetterlund (Devils) has two points in eight games. He’s played an average of 10:18 per game with exactly one minute of that coming on the power play. Zetterlund has the talent to break out offensively this season. His usage isn’t optimal but it’s not bad either. He just needs to step up.
Oskar Steen (Bruins) has three points in eight games. He’s played an average of 13:17 per game with 1:25 on the penalty kill but he’s not used on the power play.
Jesper Boqvist (Devils) has two goals and four points in eight games. He’s played an average of 16:58 with 3:07 of that coming on the power play, so he’s getting some of the best usage out of all the prospects in the league. Boqvist has looked better than he did last season, and even though half a point per game isn’t bad by any means, I’m expecting bigger numbers from him later this season.
Marcus Westfält (Flyers) has zero points in three games so far while averaging about ten minutes per game. Westfält is a defensive center with good size but there’s no real offensive upside.
Lucas Elvenes (Golden Knights) had a late start to his SHL season because of Vegas’ training camp. He’s having some start-up issues as he’s been held pointless for three games already. He’s played an average of 17 minutes per game with 3:44 coming on the power play, so Rögle is clearly expecting him to be one of the few players who can carry them out of the league basement this season.
Nils Höglander (2019) has been held pointless in seven games so far. He’s played an average of 10:37 per game with 1:40 on the power play. He’s one of my personal favourites for next summer’s draft. He’s a great skater and puck-handler with non-stop motor. He’s just a fun player to watch.
And that’s all for now, thanks for reading. Feel free to add comments below. Remember to follow me on Twitter @JokkeNevalainen.
Images used on the main collage courtesy of SHL.se