(DALLAS) — The Pittsburgh Penguins acted quickly with gritty Swede forward Filip Hallander still on the board late in the second round. The Penguins traded their 2018 third-round selection and their 2018 fifth-round pick to Colorado for the No. 58 pick.
Hallander, 18, played through a knee injury last season which limited his effectiveness in the second-half of the season. He was forced to miss the World U-18 tournament. For Timra of the Swedish junior league, Hallander posted 24 points (9g ,15a) in 34 games. Scouts, including McKeen’s Hockey, describe his skating as mechanical yet powerful.
Hallander, however, models his game after someone which should excite Penguins fans.
“Patric Hornqvist of the Penguins. Maybe we can play on the same line,” he smiled. “I like to be in front of the net, around the net, score those goals and put in the rebounds. Definitely.”
Hallander, 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, already has the body type of a player who could transition to the professional ranks. Creativity won’t be necessary. Scouts say he plays a high-contact game with high intensity. He projects as a middle-six forward, but indicated his development will continue in Sweden.
“Two years (to the NHL), maybe? We’ll see how I develop back home in Sweden, back home in Timra.”
According to the Central Scouting ranks, Hallander was the 12th rated European skater, so the Penguins may have gotten a steal. Healthy and with additional growth, the Penguins could have a pair of Swedes to drive opposing goaltenders crazy.
The Penguins certainly wouldn’t mind that idea.