Name: Filip Hallander
Team: Timra IK (Allsvenskan)
Stats: 9 Goals, 11 Assists, 20 Pts, 4 PIM
NHL Central Scouting Ranking: 13th (North American Skaters)
NHL Comparable Player: Ryan Callahan
Not many draft-eligible players have made the impression Filip Hallander did this season. At a clip of .54 points per game, Hallander sits above players like Filip Forsberg, Jacob De La Rose, Victor Rask, and Andrew Burakovsky for a top draft year season in the Allsvkenskan.
So how did he do it?
The first thing that that jumps out at you when you watch Hallander is the frenetic pace he’s able to play at. He’s pure thrash — aggressive, on beat, and in your face. It’s the kind of thing you don’t see enough in talented players. No, I don’t want them trying to act like Tom Wilson (nor is Hallander by any means dirty; just look at those penalty minute totals), but it’s refreshing to see a player just take what’s theirs.
Hallander has all the skills you want in a forward; great forechecker, works hard in high danger areas, fights for the slot, quick mitts, a good release, solid vision, and does it all with pace. He doesn’t have great acceleration, but his top speed is very good.
Hallander uses these well-rounded skills to open up lanes for his teammates. He’s very good at distributing the puck with forecheckers in his face — further emphasizing the relentless pace he plays with. He has quite a bit of Patric Hornqvist on him; he’s not afraid to park himself right in front of the goalie and take a few facewashes just to secure that extra whack at the puck in case it’s loose (or, if you watch his highlight reel below — not afraid to literally crash into the goalie).
As a result, he’s not a player that will likely fall into the second round.
Somewhat of a sleeper in #NHLDraft rankings, Filip #Hållander has the potential to surprise and sneak into the first round. It only needs one scout who has fallen in love with him, I suppose. #Rankings #dataviz #Hallander pic.twitter.com/Wm60S8lTOO— le_affan (@le_affan) May 9, 2018
There are no veritable weaknesses to his game, in my opinion. At 5’11, 170 lbs he’s somewhat undersized, especially given his style of play. He could also stand to shoot more at times; owed in part to instincts that profile more like a playmaker (though not a great shooter, he chambers the puck smoothly). But he’s a three zone player who works hard, and works with pace.
He won’t be on Dallas’ radar unless they can grab another 1st rounder. He will be on Dallas’ radar once he breaks into the NHL. Nobody likes a forward who shows no mercy on the goalie. Unless he’s wearing your favorite jersey, of course.