Filip Larsson is still harboring disappointment over the way his time in the Detroit Red Wings organization wound down. At the same time, he is utilizing the life lesson he was learning from the failed experience to bolster him as he seeks to further his hockey career in Europe.
“The first two years were very good,” Larsson told SHL.se of his time playing in North America. The 167th overall selection by Detroit in the 2016 NHL entry draft, the decision was made to bring Larsson across the Atlantic Ocean to play junior hockey in 2017.
Playing for the Tri-City Storm in 2017-18, Larsson would earn the honor as USHL Goaltender of the Year. He was also named to the USHL 1st All-Star Team. Moving to NCAA hockey with the Denver Pioneers, Larsson was an NCHC All-Rookie Team choice in 2018-19. That summer, he would be making the decision to turn pro with the Red Wings.
Larsson Endures Unsettling Year In North American Minor Pro Ranks
At that time, hockey people in the Red Wings organization were viewing Larsson as that time period’s Sebastian Cossa. he was thought to be their goaltender of the future. Seemingly, he was on a fast track to Detroit. Instead, his pro career quickly went off the rails.
In 10 games with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins, he was posting a 2-5 record with an .843 save percentage and a GAA of 4.01. Dropping down to the ECHL Toledo Walleye, things appeared to be going better for Larsson. He was 4-6, but with a .910 save percentage and 2.72 GAA. Still, following the season, the Red Wings were opting to loan Larsson to Almtuna IS of Hockey Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second division.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 10, 2021
“For me personally, it went very well,” Larsson said. “It was fun experiences and fun to live in the USA.
“The last year, on the other hand, was a bit tougher, but still a good experience to take home. That it doesn’t always turn out as planned, but it’s a bit of a shame that it turned out that way. Overall, I am very happy about my years over there.”
Ready For First SHL Season
At Almtuna, Larsson suffered an injury and was ultimately sent out on loan again, this time to Frederikshavn of the Danish League. He spent the past two seasons back in Hockey Allsvenskan with HV 71 (2021-22) and Kristianstads (2022-23). This summer, Larsson was signing a deal with Leksands of the SHL. At the age of 25, it’s going to be his first opportunity to play in the top league of a major hockey-playing nation.
He’ll be backing up Mantas Armalis and Larsson recognizes he’ll be needing to battle to earn playing time.
“If I perform when I get the chance, it will hopefully lead to more chances,” Larsson said. “I will focus on what I can influence. If I play well in my matches, it should lead to me getting more and more chances.”