4. Filip Hallander
Acquired: 2018 second-round pick
Position: Center/Left Wing
Stats: 45 games, 7 goals, 14 assists, 21 points; 7 relegation games, 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points (Timrå IK, SHL)
Filip Hallander was on a team that won only 10 games all season. Yet he was one of their most impressive players, finishing sixth on the team in points. Hallander also had the second-best plus-minus rating on the team among players who played at least 40 games.
He was in a bad situation, yet emerged as one of their best forwards. Hallander saw quite a bit of time on Timra’s top forward line and, by the end of the season, was trusted during all situations. Most young players would be discouraged by that situation, but Hallander found ways to improve.
What’s exciting is he’ll be playing on a better team in 2019-20. Timra got sent down a tier in Sweden, but Hallander got traded to Lulea HF, which is in the SHL. This means we’ll be able to get a much better read on how close to being NHL ready he is.
Hallander is a great skater and I like his two-way play. It’s a bit unfair to try to judge his offense, but I think with better linemates, his production would improve quite a bit. I’m not sold he’s a center, though I admittedly didn’t get to see him much there last season. Hallander stood out to me as a wing and I’m betting he’s good enough defensively to at least be worth a look down the middle.
He has a high floor, as he’s already proven he can be an effective player in a competitive professional league. Hallander has the potential to be a top-six forward, though he’d be more of a complimentary one.