Helge Grans is a 6-3, 192-pound mobile defenseman who is ready to hear his name called at the 2020 NHL Draft. There’s no doubt that he will be drafted, and there’s some debate as to whether he goes on the first day. He’s currently playing for the Malmo Redhawks of the SHL
“It’s a very different draft year. It’s going to be exciting to see where I get picked at, and there are a lot of good players. You can’t be very sure where you’re going to go. For most of the summer, I just focused on what I will be doing on the ice,” said Grans.
The 2020-21 season has just begun for him, and he already notched a point in his first two games. At 18, he’s one of the youngest players on his team. It’s certainly odd to see players playing days before they will be drafted into the NHL, but it’s 2020, and nothing is exactly normal this year.
“I think last season went pretty good. I got more minutes every game, and I got more and more comfortable,” Grans added. “I want to make more steps this year, and it started last season going into this season.”
Being a right-shot defenseman is something that works to his advantage when be considered by NHL teams.
“There aren’t many right-shot defensemen, so I suppose it’s a slight advantage. You always have to play good,” he snapped back.
His skating is good, but he’s working on his two-step quickness like a lot of other prospects.
“I think my skating when I get up to speed is pretty good. This summer I worked on those first 3-4 strides. It will make me quicker on starts.”
U17s were a great proving ground for this Swede and playing on a smaller rink is something he now enjoys.
“I played in the U17 tournament. Maybe I wasn’t very good at the start, but it made me think quicker and always knowing what to do with the puck,” he remembered. “The forwards were checking very hard, and you have to be ready. One of my strengths is with the puck and what to do with the puck. It could be an advantage for me to play quicker.”
All young players have goals, and this prospect is no different.
“Being more important for Malmo and of course I want to play in the World Junior Championship,” Grans elaborated. “Those are my biggest goals.”
Where will he be on draft night? “We have a game on October 6th,” Grans replied.
Like most he has two players he watched the most.
“I love to watch Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman,” he revealed. “If we have the puck they won’t score. It’s good to have the puck, Karlsson has shown us that.”
Grans worked hard on getting stronger and his defensive play. He’s more of a strip the puck defender, and that’s fine since he can get it up the ice quickly. That’s his gift, and some team may decide to take him in the first round.
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