The Dallas Stars selected Samuel Sjolund at 111th overall during the fourth round of the 2019 NHL draft. The 6-foot-1 defenseman hails from Stockholm, Sweden and currently plays for AIK J20 in the Superelit league in Sweden.
Through 31 games played in the 2018-19 season, Sjolund scored nine goals and six assists for a total of 15 points. He picked up a healthy amount of penalty minutes (18) as well. He featured in four playoff games for AIK, but only logged one point (an assist). Sjolund has already committed to AIK J20 for the 2019-20 season.
The 18-year-old defender was ranked No. 163 overall by Future Considerations and No. 46 among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Sjolund plays left-handed defense like the Stars’ pick in Round 1 of the 2019 NHL draft, Thomas Harley. Both players fill a void at left on the blue line within the Dallas prospect pipeline.
While our own prospect guru, Derek Neumeier, didn’t have enough data on Sjolund for a full immediate reaction, he did emphasize that the defender has a “very hard shot from the point.”
There isn’t a wealth of footage pertaining to Sjolund’s on-ice play in Sweden from last season, but the video below is a great insight on his ability to quickly change the direction of play and traverse the ice through a strong screen.
Future Considerations also highlighted his strong puck-handling skills, and his mobility on the blue line. He also makes “smart, safe plays in the offensive zone” due to his “above-average” stick-handling ability, and his wrist shot from the point is accurate and fast. The only downside? Patience. Possibly due to the fast-paced nature of the Superelit league, Sjolund can be too eager to shoot the puck instead of dropping back and setting up a teammate that has a better angle. Thankfully, that is a trait that can be managed with time and development.
We’ll have more interviews and content in the coming days thanks to our staff at the draft in Vancouver.