Mobile, offensive-minded blueliner who likes to activate into the offensive zone. Plays with energy on both sides of the puck and has the potential to become a top-four defenseman in the NHL.
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August 2023 – The smooth skating blue liner had some ups and downs at the World Junior Summer Showcase but finished on a high note. He did at times display the poise and puck movement that made the Red Wings draft him at 17th overall in the 2023 draft. In his opener against Team USA ASP was beat pretty bad on a Lane Hutson goal that some called the top goal of the tournament. He rebounded against Finland scoring the game winning goal with a highlight reel move of his own. Sandin-Pellikka will still need time to develop in the SHL with Skelleftea AIK this upcoming season, but make no mistake – he has the skills to develop into a top pairing defenseman in the near future. The 18-year-old has all the tools that NHL executives crave. His lateral movement and edge work are off the charts and he is good at using his upper body to avoid defenders. The 5-11 Swede is a must own in all dynasty leagues as he projects to be an important cog in the Detroit organization for years to come. Evan Sabourin
July 2023 – Another Swedish defenseman drafted by the Wings. Color me shocked. Yzerman is no stranger when it comes to drafting defensemen from the SHL, and that’s exactly what he did with pick number 17. Sandin Pellikka is a right-handed defenseman who is an extremely smooth skater with a high hockey IQ that just might be the most gifted offensive rearguard in the entire draft. The 5-11 puck-moving defender played 22 games with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League this past season, recording two goals and five points. This followed a sensational season with the Skelleftea AIK Jr. club, where he registered 16 goals and 36 points over 31 games.
Sandin Pellikka is smart with the puck and has drawn comparisons to Kris Letang and Quinn Hughes; a reliable puck-moving defender that can create offense from the backend with a high compete level. His lateral movement with the puck is off the charts. He can quarterback your power play and also help kill off penalties. Sandin Pellikka breaks the norm of Yzerman drafting big, heavy defensemen. But he won’t rely on his physical play as much as he will his skating and vision. Sandin Pellikka projects as a top-four NHL defender and should fit in nicely with Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson for the next decade. He instantly becomes Detroit’s top right-handed defensive prospect. Evan Sabourin
June 2023 – Sandin-Pellikka has been selected 17th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2023 NHL Draft. Curtis Rines
April 2023 – Back from his stint in the SHL, Sandin-Pellikka has looked a bit lost at times, but the core aspects of his game are still noticeable and often successful. Through the neutral zone, Sandin-Pellikka remains highly intelligent, knowing when to utilize passing options and when to carry the puck himself. The issues have mainly been once he enters the offensive zone, as he occasionally runs out of space or carries the puck directly into traffic. The frequency of this is higher, but his ability to weave effortlessly through the opposition hasn’t gone away entirely. Once entered into the offensive zone, Sandin-Pellikka continues to make smart passes and can cover ground for a forward out of place. Overall, It’s easy to envision Sandin-Pellikka’s combination of mobility and stickhandling at any professional level, and he has a translatable ability as a power-play quarterback. His defensive game is not his strongest quality, but he knows how to position himself to create giveaway opportunities, often capitalizing on them. Alexa Potack
September 2022 – Sandin-Pellikka had a solid season for Skellefteå’s J18 and J20 teams in Sweden last year, but I didn’t have him very high on my list when the season started. However, he has started the season very strong, and I would argue that he was Team Sweden’s best player at August’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He has also started the J20 Nationell campaign with five points in four games and has performed well in the Champions League against men.
Sandin-Pellikka is an offensive-minded two-way defender. He moves the puck very well on the breakout and likes to jump into the rush if an opportunity presents itself. He possesses strong four-way mobility and quick feet and controls the puck with confidence, even under pressure. Sandin-Pellikka has an aggressive style of play as he likes to pinch into the offensive zone, and he is eager to close the gap when defending the rush. It will be interesting to see how his season goes, but if he can keep up his strong start, he will make his way into the first round conversation. Eetu Siltanen