While the NHL playoffs have just crossed the three-quarter mark, the 2016-17 Swedish Hockey League season wrapped up three weeks ago. In the league final, HV71 prevailed over Brynas IF in a hard-fought seven-game series, the championship game being decided in overtime.
Simon Onerud wins it for HV71 with his league-leading 10th of the playoffs.
Kevin Clark of finalist Brynas led the playoffs in scoring with 17 points. Casey Wellman (16), Filip Sandberg (14), Oskar Lindblom (14), and the aforementioned Onerud (13) round out the top five.
The top three goaltenders of the post-season were Joni Ortio of Skelleftea (1.77 GAA, .933 SVS), David Rautio for Brynas (2.01, .928) and New York Islanders’ prospect and league champion Linus Soderstrom (2.11, .922).
No season would be complete without some hardware being handed out. Here’s how the awards shook down.
Guldhjälmen (MVP): Joakim Lindström, Skelleftea
Swedish forward of the year: Oskar Lindblom, Brynas
Honken Trophy (goaltender of the year): Oscar Alsenfelt, Malmö Redhawks
Håkan Loob Trophy (most goals): Kevin Clark, Brynäs IF
Rookie of the Year: Andreas Borgman, HV71
Salming Trophy (best defenseman): Henrik Tömmernes, Frölunda HC
Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy (playoff MVP): Simon Onerud, HV71.
With the campaign over, players are already making commitments for next year with a few noteworthy signings when it comes to NHL prospects.
First to make the jump was Detroit Red Wings’ prospect Christoffer Ehn.
The 6-3 pivot was far more productive in his second SHL season, posting four goals and nine assists in 52 games for Frolunda, adding another goal and assist in 14 playoff games. He’s strong defensively with a developing offensive game, but isn’t a threat see any NHL time in the foreseeable future.
Following Ehn a week later was Nashville’s sixth-round pick from 2013, Emil Pettersson. He chose to stay in Sweden after being drafted and it’s looking like a savvy move at this point following a breakout 2016-17. He began the year with Skelleftea, posting 12 points in 24 contests, but his game really took off following a mid-season trade to Vaxjo, where he registered 26 in 27 games followed by seven in six playoff games. At 23 he’s a bit more advanced in his development than most prospects. He’ll be in tough to crack the Preds’ lineup.
Pettersson’s highlight reel:
The most recent signing was Linus Soderstrom, who put pen to paper and inked his entry-level deal just a week ago with the Islanders. As mentioned previously, Soderstrom won the league championship and was one of the top goalies in the playoffs. If he’s not the Islanders’ top goalie prospect, then he’s 1B. By coming over this fall, he’ll have a head start to establish himself within the organization ahead of Ilya Sorokin, who is probably coming over in 2018-19.
Soderstrom highlight reel
Finally, while nothing has been made official at this stage, it’s widely speculated that Philadelphia prospect Oskar Lindblom will sign an entry-level deal and join the Flyers for the coming season, something all but confirmed by his coach who doesn’t expect him back with Brynas for 2017-18.
Thanks for stopping by reading all season long. Should you be so inclined, give me a follow on Twitter at @BradHPhillips.
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