Photo by Jesper Zerman

Fantasy Summary

An average-sized defenseman who can create offence with an above-average shot and pro-ready one-timer. Has NHL skill and mobility but lacks hockey sense. Needs to develop on both sides of the puck; the offence is ahead of the defence. Has the potential to make an impact in all three zones and the upside to become a number three puck-moving defenseman.


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June 2024 – The 18-year-old defenseman scored 14 goals and added 19 assists for 33 points in 40 games played during the 2023-24 season with the Växjö Lakers Jr. in the Swedish Junior League. He is expected to spend the 2024-25 season in the second-tier pro-HockeyAllsvenskan with IK Björklöven on loan from Växjö. Mark Henry

June 2024 – Freij was selected in the second round, 37th overall, by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2024 NHL Draft. Hadi Kalakeche

April 2024 – Freij has been a riser on our board all season long, due to his combination of three elite elements: his reading of the game (especially with play in front of him), his mobility, and his playmaking ability. He is a dynamic creator from the blueline in all three zones. In the breakout, he takes charge – wanting the puck on his stick – and is as much a threat to carry the puck up the ice, integrating liberal lateral and gear shifts into his rushes, as he is to spring the attack with a seeing-eye stretch pass. In the offensive zone, he frequently activates up the boards, creating lanes through defensive structures with both his feet and hands, and placing accurate passes onto the tapes of teammates in high-danger areas: he’s one of the draft’s premier playmaking defensemen. His defensive game is characterized by a tight gap, calculated stickwork, and a lack of physicality, which will be one of the main elements needing progression before his jump to the NHL. While he’s exclusively played J20 competition this season and the lack of experience against adult competition will hurt his eventual draft stock, the creativity, intelligence, high-end tools, and promising development curve make him the first European blueliner I’d select on draft day. He could be an incredibly high-value add on Day 2 of the draft in Vegas. (April Rankings: #16) Sebastian High


February 2024 – The cream of the Swedish crop, Freij has been purely dominant at the J20 level. There are a lot of great passing defensemen in this year’s draft and Freij is amongst the best of them. Factor in his mobility and he becomes a possession demon, few things can ever keep Freij from putting the puck where he wants it. What separates him from his peers, is the compliments to that game. He knows when to simply shoot the puck and rarely if ever overpasses, he’s active defensively and demonstrates a great understanding on how to build on the advantages he creates. He’s everything you want out of your offensive defenseman and is a defensive quarterback at its purest. His aggressive style of play leads to him being overeager at times, but as he reigns himself in, he can become one of the best defencemen in this class. – David Saad

February Rankings: 18th


Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 7.5
Country SWE
Position D
Roster Type Europe
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth February 12, 2006
Height 6‘1”
Weight 197 lbs
Drafted 2024 Round 2; Overall: 37


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2017-2018 Sweden Selects U12WSI U127 0 11 -|        
 2018-2019 Sweden Selects U13WSI U136 3 47 -|        
 2019-2020 Olofströms IK U16U16 Div.12 1 01 2|        
 2020-2021 Karlskrona HK U16U16 Region7 4 610 4|        
  BlekingeTV-Pucken0 0 00 0|        
 2021-2022 Växjö Lakers HC U16U16 Region2 0 22 0|Playoffs QC2 0 11
  BlekingeTV-Pucken5 0 33 0|        
  Växjö Lakers HC U16U16 SM3 0 11 4|        
  Växjö Lakers HC J18J18 Region11 0 44 0|        
  Växjö Lakers HC J18J18 Nationell14 2 79 4|Playoffs4 0 00
  Växjö Lakers HC J20J20 Nationell8 0 11 2|        
  Sweden U16 (all)International-Jr6 0 33 2|        
 2022-2023 Växjö Lakers HC J18J18 Region5 0 11 6|        
  Sweden U18 WJAC-196 1 01 4|        
  Växjö Lakers HC J18J18 Nationell4 3 25 4|Playoffs3 0 44
  Växjö Lakers HC J20J20 Nationell32 0 88 10|Playoffs3 0 11
  Sweden U17WHC-176 1 23 4|        
  Sweden U17 (all)International-Jr17 3 58 4|        
  Sweden U18 (all)International-Jr6 1 01 4|        
 2023-2024 Sweden U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup4 1 34 8|        
  Växjö Lakers HC J18J18 Region3 0 22 4|        
  Sweden U18 WJAC-196 2 57 0|        
  Växjö Lakers HC J18J18 Nationell0 0 00 0|Playoffs5 2 46
  Växjö Lakers HC J20J20 Nationell40 14 1933 14|Playoffs5 2 13
  Växjö Lakers HCChampions HL1 0 00 0|        
  Sweden U18WJC-187 2 46 8|        
  Sweden U18 (all)International-Jr28 7 2532 26|        
 2024-2025 IF BjörklövenHockeyAllsvenskan- - -- -|