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The Dispatch: Skellefteå coach Robert Ohlsson talks about 2023 NHL Draft prospect Axel Sandin Pellikka

The consensus first-round pick’s coach in the SHL provides some insight into what has scouts so excited.

EHC Red Bull Muenchen v Djurgarden Stockholm - Champions Hockey League - Quarter Finals: 2nd Leg Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Axel Sandin Pellikka was one of the major revelations of the most recent World Junior Hockey Championship. In a draft where the Montreal Canadiens hold two first-round picks — at least for the time being — the steady rise of Sandin Pellika presents a potentially interesting target.

Coach Robert Ohlsson has featured in previous podcasts for us, and he provides some insight today into the strengths, of which there are quite a few, in Sandin Pellikka’s game. While I have personally compared him to Philip Broberg in the past, Ohlsson doesn’t shy away from even loftier comparisons, suggesting both Erik Karlsson and John Klingberg as potential full comps for the young defender.

These may be some big shoes to fill, but Ohlsson explains his thought process, why he makes these comparisons, and what Sandin Pellikka does so well to deserve them.

He has quickly climbed through the rankings, currently sitting inside most top-10 projections, and could stand to rise even more with a strong U-18 tournament in April. Given that the Habs still have the potential for two picks in the top-10 come this summer, it stands to reason that they’d be keeping a close eye on this tournament, and potentially Sandin-Pellikka in particular.

Click the play button below for the full interview, and don’t forget to follow and subscribe on your preferred platform to keep up with our draft coverage that will be ramping up into the offseason.

In case you’re also interested, here is my previous in-depth podcast with Coach Robert Ohlsson: