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Red Wings Pick Sandin Pellikka Heroic for Swedes at WJC

Detroit first-round pick nets OT winner



Axel Sandin Pellikka, Red Wings prospect

Two Detroit Red Wings prospects are going on in the medal round at the IIHF World Junior Championship and one is going home.

Defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka (17th overall, 2023) assured that the host nation would survive to play in the semifinals. His overtime goal gave Sweden a 3-2 victory over Switzerland.

“I had aimed at that place three times before, but then I missed the entire target cage,” Sandin Pellikka told Swedish website “So it was lucky that the last one went in.”

It was the first goal of the tournament for the defenseman who has netted nine goals in SHL action this season for Skelleftea. He’s collected 1-2-3 totals through six games of tourney play.

“It was absolutely magical,” Sandin Pellikka said. “I didn’t understand what happened. I just heard people screaming.

“It was damn nice to see it go in and I’m happy that we came out victorious from this fight.”

Sandin Pellikka’s success was enjoyed by the home crowd in Gothenburg, including 15 members of his family. Afterward, Sandin Pellikka was able to share a hug with his parents Janne and Josefin.

“Great fun that they always come along and check,” Sandin Pellikka said. “It is a boost to know that they are in the stands.”

Fellow Red Wings pick Anton Johansson (105th, 2022) is also patrolling the blueline for the Swedish defense at the WJC.

Red Wings Top Pick Heading home

Center Nate Danielson, selected ninth overall by Detroit in the 2023 NHL entry draft, eight picks prior to Sandin Pellikka, wasn’t so fortunate. He’ll be heading home empty handed after Canada was upset 3-2 by Czechia.

Danielson finished the tournament with a goal, two assists and a plus-two rating from five games.

Goaltender Trey Augustine (41st, 2023) was watching from the bench as the USA dismantled Latvia in their quarterfinal match. The Red Wings goaltending prospect is showing a 1.50 goals-against average and .952 save percentage for the tournament.

Semifinal action will be taking place on Friday. The Swedes will be playing Czechia, while the USA is battling with Finland.