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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Prospects Starring in Swedish Playoffs

Young defenders contributing offensively



Anton Johansson, Red Wings prospect
Red Wings draftee Anton Johansson has four points in six playoff games for Leksands.

Big performances from a pair of Detroit Red Wings defensive prospects are highlighting the quarterfinals of the SHL playoffs.

Already, Axel Sandin Pellikka (17th overall, 2023) and Skelleftea are through to the semifinals. They swept aside Linkpoing, and Sandin Pellikka was a big reason why this was so.

Over the four games, Sandin Pellikka would account for a goal and two assists. And what a massive goal it was. He would score in the third overtime period of Game 3, bringing to an end the sixth-longest game in SHL playoff history.

With star defenseman and team captain Jonathan Pudas missing through injury, Sandin Pellikka, 19, is stepping up to help fill that void. He would log average ice time of 27:40 over Skelleftea’s four quarterfinal games.

He’s also making it a habit to net huge tallies. It was Sandin Pellikka’s OT marker against Switzerland in the quarterfinals at the world junior championship that was moving Sweden into the gold-medal match.

Red Wings Johansson Making Most Of Chances

While Sandin Pellikka’s elite offensive skills are what have the Red Wings excited about his potential, don’t sleep on fellow defensive prospect Anton Johansson (105th overall, 2022). Skating in the third pairing and garnering just 11:47 of ice time per game for Leksands IF, Johansson is certainly making the most of his opportunities when he’s taking his shifts.

Leksands was facing elimination in Game 6 of their quarterfinal series against Frolunda. Johansson would pot a goal and dish out an assist in a 5-2 victory. Over the six games, he’s been good for two goals and two assists. That ties Johansson for the team scoring lead.

Leksands is using 2016 Red Wings draftee Filip Larsson in goal. He’s gone 3-0-1 with a shutout, a 1.68 GAA and .936 save percentage.

Game 7 between Leksands and Frolunda is set for Wednesday, with a 1 p.m. ET start. The winner of the contest will be opening the best-of-seven semifinal series against Sandin Pellikka and Skelleftea on Friday.