Marcus Sylvegård – Malmö Redhawks #88 – RW
A multifaceted offensive threat thanks to a quality wrister and hard, crisp passing. On an extended powerplay shift, Sylvegård created three high-danger scoring chances—two with tape-to-tape royal-road crossing passes and one with a deceptive wrister. A confident stickhandler who aggressively challenges defenders in stride, but lacks the extra gear to get around them. In this manner, he played above his own skill level, resulting in unnecessary changes of possession.
Plays the game with some sandpaper, doesn’t mind throwing his weight around. An interesting defensive player who proactively picks up backchecking assignments, but made defensive zone turnovers by forcing plays once regaining possession. Again, his skating is problematic in his own zone. He has decent first step quickness, but his short, choppy crossovers generate little power, which often left him chasing the play. His skating is a hindrance at the J20 level, and is perhaps the biggest flaw in his game.
Joni Ikonen – Frölunda HC #27 – C
A slippery offensive threat with deft stickhandling and a quick release. Ikonen is a flashy stickhandling who constantly challenges defenders in one-on-one situations to great success. He had a secondary assist (unawarded) after dangling two defenders, skating around the net, and finding Albin Sethsson just outside the slot. The fact that he stickhandles in-stride and utilizes his full reach bodes well for transferring his moves to the next level; however, he will have to incorporate head/body fakes and changes of angle to pull these moves off consistently. Demonstrated some quality vision occasionally, pulling off high-difficulty passes, but also passed up easier, likely more effective passes, to attempt a deke instead.
Ikonen never initiated contact, instead preferring fly-bys with his stick, and kept to the outside for most of the game. When challenged along the boards, he demonstrated the ability to protect the puck using his slippery hands/edge work combination. Rarely played in his own zone, as his line dominated the puck for extended stretches.
Kalle Miketinac – Frölunda HC #20 – RW
A quiet game for the smooth skating centre-turned-winger. His smooth crossovers give him an effortless and deceptively fast stride. This skating ability is complemented with strong edge work, which he consistently uses to carve up the ice and beat the opposition. Showcased some nice awareness on the forecheck, as he didn’t hesitate to step up on slower-footed opponents and threw some board-rattling hits. He did an excellent job supporting his defenders in the DZ, and made numerous controlled zone exits under pressure.
Jesper Emanuelsson – Frölunda HC #23 – RW
Spent the first three shifts of the game dominating: Scored on his third shift with a quality demonstration of his puck handling as grabbed a loose puck, dragged it across his body and beat the goaltender to the far side. After those first three shifts, he was mostly ineffective at creating offence as his cut to the outside with speed move became too predictable. His unforced, uncontrolled exit off the glass was picked off and resulted in a goal against.
He’s an intriguing package of skills. Skates quite well, takes a power-winger approach to the game, and has a decent hands. He battles for every loose puck, and once in possession shows nice strength and skill to maintain possession. Likely undrafted, but an interesting player to watch going forward.
Filip Westerlund – Frölunda HC #5 – D
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the veteran of 24 SHL games was the best defender for either team. Paired with Rasmus Dahlin, Westerlund played a more passive offensive game than normal. Not only was Westerlund denying zone entry attempts against with aggressive gap control and an active stick, but he was extending periods of offensive pressure with smart pinches and laser beam passing. The odd time that Westerlund was hemmed in his own zone, he proactively closed off lanes, guarded the slot, and blocked shots.
Westerlund’s first few steps will have to improve, but otherwise a good skater. His ability to make controlled zone exits with hard, pinpoint passes was likely his best tool in this game. Simply put, he moves the puck with a precision far beyond the opposition at the J20-level.
Rasmus Dahlin – Frölunda HC #18 – D (2018 draft eligible)
A rough game for offensive dynamo, who made numerous poor puck decisions and was ejected for fighting late in the third period in a one-goal game (Malmö would tie it late, then go on to win). Dahlin’s ability to walk the offensive zone to find and create shooting lanes is elite, as is his shot. He exhibited tremendous strength and determination to fight through checks and sticks. Also displayed the physical edge, throwing a massive open-ice hip check late in the second period.