Axel Sandin Pellikka
Moving from one defenseman to another, let’s talk about Axel Sandin Pellikka. As the Swedish defenseman moves towards his draft eligibility, he is ranked by NHL Central Scouting as the 7th best skater coming out of Europe. This is a player with a lot of pedigree and there is no denying the pure talent that this player has. If this Swedish defenseman falls from his projected placement, this is someone the Blueshirts should jump at.
At just 18 years old, Axel Sandin Pellikka was playing the SHL in Sweden this year, the top flight of hockey in his domestic country. Playing against men as an 18-year-old is no small feat. When he wasn’t with the big club, he was putting up more than a point per game from the Blueline in the Under 20 league. This is a defenseman with a lot of talent and he would fit all the needs of the Blueshirts farm system.
Right-handed defensemen are often the most difficult to find. It is part of the reason that players like Adam Fox are so valuable. Lefty defensemen aren’t easy to find but they are far more common. To have that right-hand shot to change the angle when needed is important and when you combine that with a skillset like the one Axel Sandin Pellikka has, there’s no reason the Rangers should not be all over the Swede.
TSN’s Craig Button has the 5’11, 180 lbs blueliner going 10th overall. Other mock drafts, such as Bob McKenzie at TSN have him going as low as 17th overall and his undersized physique makes him a prime slide candidate. If the Rangers are able to nab him at 23rd, it would be a very successful pick in terms of adding talent to the farm system.