A tradition will continue with two Detroit Red Wings prospects gaining inclusion in the Swedish junior national team roster for the upcoming five-nations tourney set to be held in the Czech Republic. This event is the final tune up for the IIHF World Junior Championship, so barring injuries, this will likely be Sweden’s team to compete in that event.
🇸🇪 Genrep inför JVM för Juniorkronorna
Här är truppen som förbundskapten Magnus Hävelid tagit ut till 5-nationsturneringen i Tjeckien.
Läs mer här https://t.co/VZousBbGHj #wjc2024 #juniorkronorna pic.twitter.com/PU0mrcIQrv
— Tre Kronor (@Trekronorse) October 24, 2023
Defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka of Skelleftea, chosen 17th overall by Detroit in the 2023 NHL entry draft, figures to be among Sweden’s top performers. As well, defenseman Anton Johansson of Leksands, selected 105th overall in 2022, is also gaining inclusion in the squad.
A third Red Wings prospect, forward Noah Dower Nilsson, likely would’ve also been considered. However, offseason shoulder suregery still has him on the shelf. Dower Nilsson was Detroit’s 73rd overall choice in the 2023 draft.
Sandin Pellikka Dominating SHL
In his first full season in the SHL, Sandin Pellikka, 18, is leading all defenseman in Sweden’s top league with five goals. It’s winning him praise from within his own club and from the Red Wings organization.
Pellikka's puck control 👀 pic.twitter.com/X45vBXAmdZ
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) October 19, 2023
Both vice-president of hockey operations Nicklas Lidstrom and European player development director Niklas Kronwall are regular visitors to Sandin Pellikka’s game.
“Very mobile and calm with the puck,” Lidstrom told Swedish website Expressen.se. “He finds many good solutions and has a good one-timer he gets to show off, too.”
The person delivering the majority of the hands-on mentoring is Kronwall.
“I mostly communicate with Kronwall,” Sandin Pellikka said. “He gives me tips and feedback. So far I haven’t gotten any scoldings from him. I guess I haven’t made any bigger mistakes yet.”
Red Wings Swedish World Junior History
Over the past four world junior tourneys, 10 Red Wings draft picks were suiting up for Sweden. This list is including current Detroit forward Jonatan Berggren (2020) and top prospects such as defensemen Simon Edvinsson (2022), William Wallinder (2022), Albert Johansson (2021) and forward Elmer Soderblom (2021), all currently honing their games with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.
Though at the time there were no Red Wings picks in last year’s squad, Sandin Pellikka did play for Sweden.