Perhaps it should be the “Return of Filip Hallander” or “Hallander Part II.” The Pittsburgh Penguins 21-year-old Swedish prospect was a 2018 Penguins second-round pick, a trade piece for Kasperi Kapanen, and again a trade piece as the Penguins dealt winger Jared McCann to the Toronto Maple Leafs and reclaimed Hallander.
Hallander didn’t miss much. The AHL season was only 33 games, and he spent the COVID season in Sweden, as he spent the previous two seasons, too. Last year, Hallander played 51 games for Lulea of the Swedish Elite League. He set a career-high with 13 goals.
There will be an adjustment; he’ll move from the big European rinks to the smaller North American rinks, learn the speed and physicality of the North American game, and cope with the greater competition.
None of that bothered the matter-of-factly confident Hallander.