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2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Filip Hållander uses his size to his advantage in the offensive zone

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Decent skill and a competitive fire make the Swedish prospect one to keep an eye on.

Image credit: SportsLogos.net

Filip Hållander played part of the 2017-18 season injured, but did so with distinction during what was a long season with Timrå. It finished with a Game 7 win in the promotion series to give the club a place in the SHL for the first time in five years.

A fierce competitor, Hallander was then very upset that Timrå wouldn’t let him go to the U18 World Championship because of said injury, once more showing his competitiveness, and this is something that North American coaches and GMs will like.

The fact that Timrå was cautious with their talent showed that they were already thinking about the next season, but a knee injury is always something that a team will want to play it safe with.

Birthplace: Sundsvall, Sweden
Date of birth: June 29, 2000
Shoots: Left
Position: C/LW
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Youth team: Timrå IK
Team: Timrå IK

Image credit: EliteProspects

The big winger/centre has a lot of skills, and most of them will be on display when Hållander is in the offensive zone. He usually uses his big body to get results. He is a good forechecker, he drives hard to the net, and he can be used on the penalty kill where he blocks shots and fights hard to get on the puck and disrupt the attackers.

Even if his skating technique can sometimes look mechanical, he has a good top speed and a good acceleration. He could benefit from working with a skating coach to get a more fluid skating style, and add even more speed and acceleration to enhance his game.

His wrist shot is good and accurate, and can be used from quite a few angles on the ice. Hållander battles hard every shift, and his hockey IQ is quite high, allowing him to react well when the game situation changes during play. His passing game is solid but not exceptional, which is about what you’d expect from a player known for his on-ice awareness.

His defensive reads leave a few things to be desired, and he does have a tendency to cheat in order to get on the counter-attack faster. He is not as consistent in his play, and you can lose track of him in a game because he can easily go missing for long stretches. These two things might be because he has been playing injured, but it can also stem from the fact that he needs to improve his physique and stamina to be consistent at a higher level of play.

Hållander is a great leader, however, and he uses his hockey IQ to great effect. He will direct his teammates during play and he is very active during stops of play or at the bench, be it with a kind word or a certain play that needs to be analyzed or fixed.

Rankings

ISS Hockey: #53
Future Considerations: #45
The Hockey News: #43
NHL Central Scouting: #13 (EU Skaters)

Thoughts

The big question mark is over his defensive game, and playing more on the penalty kill should benefit his reads in the five-on-five game as well. It is hard to evaluate his consistency since it is hard to know if those problems is due to fatigue from playing 15:36 a night in a pro league at a tender age, or if it is down to the injury he suffered during the season.

Still, Hållander was trusted to play better than a quarter of each game in HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden’s second division, and was able to score 20 points (9G, 11A) in 40 games. He was born late in the draft year, and he has a style of play that should benefit him on the smaller North American rinks.

He can play on every line of a team, and with the way the game is developing, Hållander could become a player much in the same mould as Lars Eller. He would be useful to anchor a third line, but can be moved both up and down the lineup to tend to his team’s need. This, combined with his offensive upside and backed up with a heavy forecheck, makes him an interesting pick somewhere in the second round.