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The Curious Case of Filip Hallander

It’s hard to be an expert on this player. Nobody has really seen enough of him this season to proclaim that. He wasn’t that popular at the combine as far as the media was concerned, but teams certainly know about him. To me, I will dub him “the most interesting player in the draft”. He can play center or wing.

“I only did two tests for the upper body, I have a lower-body injury, so it was no problem,” he said, knowing most people knew he was nursing a minor knee issue. “I spoke to 28 teams.”

Video highlights don’t tell the story with this player as with most. At just under 6-2, 188 he has the measurables and the kind of frame you can add some muscle to. Considering that’s a weakness the fact that he can score goals in and around the net is impressive because that will continue to get better over time.

“I had to tell them about my weaknesses. My strength is something I need to work on,” Hallander said. “To be able to know what your weaknesses is good, so you can work on them.”

I had a chance to see him play top-line minutes in two games at the Five Nations tournament in February. He really shined on it playing alongside Oskar Back (center) and Lukas Wernblom (left wing). He was the kind of player who I felt got better as the game moved along. He’s a smart player who can distribute the puck well and can score. He seems like a 50-50 guy.

“They try and search for a particular type of player and if I’m that player I want to be there.”

He plays a very responsible two-way game. The fact that he has been playing against men is good. Does that mean I think he can get to the NHL faster? No. I think it will take him 3-5 years and that’s ok. He has a pro-release on his shot. It’s fast, fluid and accurate.

Everything this prospect does screams that he’s a pro already. He’s mature, he plays a mature game and he carries himself the same way off the ice.

The best is yet to come. His numbers will continue to rise in Sweden and when he comes to play in North America, I think the transition will be minor. He won’t get the kind of space he gets overseas but he has the tools to overcome this.

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