SHL Update: February

by Brad Phillips on February 15, 2017

We’re headed down the home stretch in the 2016-17 SHL season. Which for 2017 draft eligible prospects means that time is ticking to make a memorable impression on NHL scouts in hopes of improving their draft stock. At this point in the season for poolies, there should be some kind of indication whether your team is a contender or “maybe next year.” If you fall into the latter category it’s never too early to get the lowdown on what the 2017 draft class has in store. Fresh on the heels of the DobberProspect Fantasy Rankings for the 2017 Draft this month’s SHL update with have a look at three players that cracked our list.

 

Lias Andersson

Upon returning from the WJHC, Andersson was eased back into the lineup seeing a combined 15 minutes in his first two games. However in the six games since, he’s back to his regular workload at over 15 minutes per game. In these eight games he’s tallied a goal and assist, both coming in the same game against Rogle (see clip below). This brings his season total in 32 games to six goals, second among draft eligible players in the SHL, five assists and a plus-13, highest among all draft eligible players in the SHL There’s a good chance he’ll be the first SHL forward off the board in June in Chicago. Andersson is ranked 12th in the DobberProspects 2017 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings.

Andersson with the beautiful backhand sauce and a goal

 

Erik Brannstrom

Likely to be the second Swedish defenseman off the board, Brannstrom is a slightly undersized offensive defenseman with an absolute cannon that he loves to use. He started the season on the Swedish junior circuit where he absolutely dominated for HV71 J20 serving as captain. In the 18 games be played in the SuperEilt, he scored eight goals and racked up 21 points. Even now, despite not having played in the SuperElit for three months, he is the still highest scoring defensemen on the team. Summoned to play with the big boys in the SHL, Brannstrom started out slowly and played sparingly, regularly seeing under 10 minutes of ice time per game. But he’s managed to gain the coach’s trust and really seen an uptick in his play over the past month culminating in a season high 22:21 of ice in his most recent game, firing a whopping six shots on goal. Over the past four weeks, in a span of eight games, he found the scoresheet four times (1G, 3A). Prior to this stretch he managed just one assist in his previous 20 games. Brannstrom is ranked 30th in the DobberProspects 2017 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings.

Brannstrom’s first SHL goal

 

Timothy Liljegren

Drawing comparisons to superstars like Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty, Liljegren is the consensus top defenseman available for the upcoming draft and likely to be a top five selection. He boasts elite-level skating ability and his offensive game is the best of the 2017 Draft class among defensemen. On the whole, it’s been a very up and down season to date for the Swede. His season got off to a late start while he recovered from a bout of mono and has bounced around from the SuperElit, SHL and Allsvensken. His SHL stats are identical to where they were at this point last year. Through 19 games, Liljegren has a goal and four helpers. His ice time with Rogle has been wildly inconsistent ranging from the low single digits to as high as 18 minutes, which is one of the reasons he was loaned to Timra. Liljegren is ranked 7th in the DobberProspects 2017 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings.

Liljegren with the clapper from the point for his lone SHL goal on the season