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Red Wings Pick Finalist for Top European Award

Detroit prospects have won this honor three years in a row

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Axel Sandin Pellikka, Red Wings prospect
Red Wings prospect Axel Sandin Pellikka is a finalist for EHC Alliance Young Player of the Year.

Of late, future Detroit Red Wings are dominating the honors when it comes to selecting the European Hockey Clubs Alliance Young Player of the Year.

Red Wings draftees have won this award each of the past three years. It will be Axel Sandin Pellikka’s task to try and extend that streak to four consecutive seasons.

The defenseman who was Detroit’s 17th overall selection is one of five finalists who are up for the award. Also among the nominees are Orebo’s Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Ville Koivinen of Karpat Oulu, Jani Nyman of Ilves Tampere and Jiri Tichacek of Kladno.

In helping Skelleftea win the SHL title this season, Sandin Pellikka, 19, was scoring 10 regular-season goals. He would add 2-5-7 totals during the club’s playoff run, netting a game winner in triple overtime in the quarterfinals against Linkopings. In the SHL, he won the Borje Salming Trophy as the top Swedish-born defenseman.

Sandin Pellikka was also earning recognition as top defenseman at the IIHF World Junior Championship, helping Sweden to a silver medal.

Red Wings Dominate Award

Beginning in 2021, this honor has proven to be exclusive property of the future of the Red Wings. Detroit defenseman Moritz Seider won EHC Young Player of the Year in 2021.

Grand Rapids Griffins forward Elmer Soderblom would follow up by winning in 2022. Last year, the recogntion went to another current Griffins player, defenseman William Wallinder.

It could prove challenging for Sandin Pellikka to keep the streak going. In the SHL, it was future Vancouver Canucks player Lekkerimaki who was given recognition as the rookie of the year.

Filppula Up For Honor

Anothe player familiar to Red Wings fans is also a finalist for an EHC award. Valtteri Filppula of Servette Geneva is up for the Career Excellence Award.

The last active player to have won a Stanley Cup in Detroit, Filppula would join the exclusive Triple Gold club last year when Finland won the world title. He’d previously won an Olympic gold medal with the Finns.

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