July 14, 2024

Swedish hockey has crossed the 40-game mark at just about every level, and the competition is getting more and more fierce by the day as teams battle it out for standings position.

Many players who’ve already been drafted are playing bigger roles, looking to help play a part in their team’s push to the promised land. And even in a relative down year for Sweden at the draft, there are a handful of draft-eligible skaters establishing themselves as everyday pros in the SHL and HockeyAllsvenskan.

I’ve highlighted the play of some of the prospects rising to the occasion in this latest instalment in the Sweden Stock Watch. Let’s get to it.

Oscar Fisker Mølgaard, C, HV71 (Seattle Kraken)

Oscar Fisker Mølgaard’s development has been strong and steady in his sophomore SHL season. It’s starting to show on the scoreboard, with the Seattle Kraken second-rounder picking up a point in nine of his last 13 games. All while playing centre as an 18-year-old and being his line’s primary play-driver.

For Mølgaard, it’s all about constant movement, good defensive positioning, and supporting the puck at every corner of the ice. His small-area game has developed nicely since last season, too. He can protect the puck and make plays with his hands, something that wasn’t all that common in his first year of SHL action. You pair that with his constant scanning and his ability to make plays and it’s a pretty compelling offensive package.

Mølgaard increasingly looks like a perfect middle-six centre prospect for the Kraken. He’s a player that you can deploy in almost every situation and reliably get strong play out of even when the points aren’t coming.

Filip Eriksson, F, Växjö Lakers/Nybro Vikings (Montréal Canadiens)

Filip Eriksson has been the talk of the town lately. After spending the first half of the season playing bottom-six minutes for Växjö, he joined Nybro on loan in HockeyAllsvenskan, Since then, he’s put up a point in each of his first nine games, which is an incredible feat for a sixth-round pick in last year’s draft who didn’t even crack Sweden’s World Junior roster.

What’s allowed Eriksson to excel of late is his quick decision-making and pace with the puck. He’s an explosive skater in close quarters, effective off of the give-and-go, capable of finding space in the offensive zone, and can cover a lot of ground. He does most of his goal-scoring in tight.

On top of that, you have his work in the defensive zone. Eriksson is an engaged player, positions himself well, and makes stops. He could do a better job of transitioning from defence to offence, but that may come with time. The NHL is always going to be a long shot for a sixth-round pick, but if Eriksson can keep honing in on his defensive game, that might give him a chance.

Linus Eriksson, C, Djurgårdens IF (2024 NHL Draft)

We couldn’t find a spot for Linus Eriksson on our last 2024 NHL Draft ranking, but it’s starting to look like there will be a spot for him on our next board if he keeps this up. More than anything, Eriksson is a smart player. That’s allowed him to centre Djurgården’s top line and fit in seamlessly.

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