An offensive defenseman with great size. Skates well for his size. Excellent puck skills and a good shot. He needs to improve his decision-making and defensive play. He projects to become a middle-pair defenseman at the NHL level with a multi-category upside.
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September 2023 – Grans played well during this weekend’s rookie game series against the Rangers, reminding everyone was he was a former second-round selection back in 2020. The 6-4 Swede had the opportunity to quarterback the team’s second powerplay unit. He showed off his smooth skating and moved the puck with ease, seemingly always knowing where to go with the puck before it was on his stick. The 21-year-old put himself in position to shoot when without the puck and quickly adjusted to accept a pass to maintain zone possession if the shot was taken away. At 5v5 Grans seemed to dictate play. His vision and IQ were on full display and often stood out from the rest of the rookies. He also demonstrated his physical stature as he boxed out defenders around his own goal and blocked shots when needed. While one game is certainly a small sample size, Grans has an opportunity to reenergize his young career with a new franchise. He will compete for a roster spot on the Flyers during camp but will likely begin and play most of the season in Lehigh Valley. Expect Grans to seriously contend for a Flyers roster spot in 2024-25. James Iacovone
June 2023 – The Philadelphia Flyers acquired Grans in a three-team trade involving the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings on June 6, 2023. With the Flyers seemingly a franchise transitioning in a new direction, should Grans not make the opening night NHL roster, he will start the 2023-24 season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL. Mark Henry
May 2022 – Grans continued his steady rise through the Kings organization in 2021-2022, completing his first year in North America with the Ontario Reign of the AHL. Posting a modest 12 points in 43 games for the Malmo Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League, Grans took a big step forward after quickly adapting to North America, with 24 points in 53 AHL games. This bodes extremely well for the fleet-footed defenseman who’s game centres around offence and transition. Much like fellow top prospect Brandt Clarke, Grans possesses a rare combination of size and skill, standing at 6-3 and 205 pounds. It would not be a surprise if Grans needed more seasoning in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL. But with his trajectory steadily rising, fantasy owners can start to get excited for the prospect of him getting some looks with the Kings sooner rather than later. Given his mature frame for his age, Grans could contest for a spot on the Kings roster in the fall if he has a good training camp, but he could ultimately use another year of development in the AHL. Sean Crocker
June 2021 – The Swedish blueliner has just signed his three-year entry-level contract with the Kings after registering 12 points in 43 games with Malmo in the SHL in the 2020-21 season. He did have a minus-21 rating which means he will have to improve on being more aware of his defensive zone play. Nonetheless, he is still only 19 years of age and playing against men as he matures he has all the tools to develop into a true two-way stud defenseman which will make him a highly intriguing fantasy commodity. He is poised to begin transitioning to the North American style with the Ontario Reign this season. Julian Mongillo
October 2020 – Helge Grans is a defenseman known for his offensive ability and strong skating. His long reach and footwork allow him to defend well off the rush. He is a great puck carrier and is very skilled in the offensive zone, although he only had three points in 21 games for the Malmo Redhawks of the SHL last season. Now 18 years old, he is showing more of his offensive promise with five points in his first six games with Malmo to begin this season. Expect him to take on more responsibility throughout this season and prove his worth at both ends of the rink. Julian Mongillo
October 2020 – Grans was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round at 35th overall. Pat Quinn
January 2020 – Grans started the season at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where his performance was a bit disappointing considering he was one of the best-known prospects on the team after already playing five SHL games at age 16. He only had one point in five games in the tournament, and the things that mostly stood out were not positive for him. But since then, his season has gone much better. His 22 points in 22 games put him second among under-18 defensemen in J20 SuperElit, and his points-per-game average is the best among any defenseman who has played at least 15 games in the league. Grans has also played 15 games at the men’s level in the SHL where he has scored two points. Grans averaged just 6:37 of ice time in his first eight SHL games but since then, he’s been averaging 13:47 over the next seven games – a clear sign of him starting to figure out how to be a regular in that league.
Grans is an offensive defenseman with great size and a right-handed shot which is always valuable. He is a great skater who glides very smoothly and is very good at using his edges. Grans makes very good breakout passes and he loves to join the rush. His passing skills are very good but he also owns a good shot, although he should use it more and work on his accuracy as well. Grans has a lot of room for improvement in his defensive game. He is far more likely to be used on the power play than on the penalty kill which speaks volumes about his strengths and weaknesses. But his biggest weakness right now is his decision-making which can be baffling at times. He can make good decisions with the puck most of the time but the mistakes he makes are massive and unexplainable.
Despite the flaws in his game, Grans owns some of the best physical tools in the draft, so a team that trusts him to figure things out could select him in the first round. But a more likely scenario is that he gets drafted in the second round. Grans will likely spend the majority of this season in the SHL and he is also expected to play a big role for Team Sweden at the U18 Worlds, so he definitely has a good opportunity to improve his draft stock before June. Jokke Nevalainen