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Breaking: Red Wings Sign Sandin Pellikka

Defenseman recently won SHL title



Axel Sandin Pellikka
Defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka has signed a contract with the Red Wings.

A week after he was helping Skelleftea to the Swedish Hockey League title, defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka is signing with the Detroit Red Wings. The team made the announcement Monday morning that Sandin Pellikka is in agreement to terms on a three-year entry-level contract. The pact is worth $2.85 million, with an AAV of $950,000.

The Red Wings made Sandin Pellikka a first-round selection, 17th overall, in the 2023 NHL entry draft. His hockey career has been on an upward trajectory ever since.

Playing for Skelleftea in the SHL this season, Sandin Pellikka, 19, scored 10 goals. He was skating top-four pairing minutes during the SHL final against Rogle. He would finish the SHL postseason with seven points in 14 games. Sandin Pellikka’s triple overtime goal in the quarterfinals against Linkoping ended the third-longest playoff game in SHL history.

Earlier in the season, Sandin Pellikka was helping Sweden with silver at the IIHF World Junior Championship. He netted an OT winner in the quarterfinals to beat Switzerland.

Honors have come Sandin Pellikka’s way this season. He was earning selection as the top defenseman at the world juniors. In the SHL, he won the Borje Salming Trophy as the top Swedish-born defenseman.

Red Wings Rich In Young Defensive Talent

The Red Wings won’t be rushing Sandin Pellikka to North America. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman is already on the record stating that the young Swedish prospect will be given another year of seasoning in the SHL.

“He just needs time like all younger D,” Yzerman said. “He moves the puck well, he skates well, he’s got good skills. He’s a fun player to watch and he just needs time like all young players, get a little stronger, get more mature and I think he’s going to be a good player for us.”

With 2021-22 Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider, 23. already entrenched on the Detroit blueline and Simon Edvinsson, 21, set to become a regular next season, the Red Wings are going deep in dynamic young defensemen. The right shot Sandin Pellikka’s skating, creativity and offensive upside will prove to be a good contrast to add to the mix.

“He’s a little different than what we have in a lot of our D prospects, different type of player,” Yzerman said. “He’ll fit in nicely with our group of defensemen in a couple of years.”