Since being drafted, Filip Sveningsson has won championships in two different leagues (scoring the clinching goal in one) and a U20 scoring title in a professional league. He turned 20 last month.
Seemingly doomed to obscurity as a seventh round pick, Sveningsson has shot up the FlamesNation top 20, landing 11 spots higher than he did last year. The 6’0, 181 pound winger (shoots left, plays both sides) has been noted for his offensive flash and his impressive year-over-year growth. Can he replicate his success again?
How did we get here?
A consistently strong though not quite spectacular producer during his teenage years, Sveningsson worked his way up for his hometown Gislaveds team before moving to the bigger HV71 club of nearby Jönköping. He tore up the various U16 and U18 leagues with his new club, leading their U16 team in scoring as a 15 year old (16-22-9-31) in 2014-15, and their U18 team as a 16 year old (19-19-17-36) in 2015-16. He broke into the more serious U20 Superelit league as a 17 year old, putting up a respectable 29 points in 37 games. That convinced the Flames to draft him in the seventh round of the 2017 draft.
A year after being drafted, Sveningsson’s stock began to rise, slowly then very rapidly. Although he had already had a great Superelit season, he returned in his draft + 1 year to lead HV71’s team to the championship, scoring the championship winning goal in overtime. After bringing a Superelit title to HV71, he made the switch to IK Oskarshamn of the Allsvenskan league in pursuit of more ice time in the pros (HV71’s SHL roster was mostly full). Betting on himself turned out to pay off, as he finished with a stellar rookie pro debut season.
Stats, numbers, and everything therein
Sveningsson was pretty okay, only finishing with the most points among all U20 Allsvenskaners.
He began the season slowly, but a hat trick kicked off a sensational few games for Sveningsson, which quickly saw him rise to the top of the Allsvenskan scoring charts. However, after a disappointing WJC (he left early with the flu, but not after scoring on his own net once), he quickly fell back to a quieter scoring output, only picking up 10 points in the final 25 games of the season compared to the 17 he picked up in the first 18.
Sveningsson’s main strength is, undoubtedly, his offence. He was a mainstay on the powerplay, where he picked up the majority of his points. As a middle-six player for Oskarshamn, he was mostly trusted with offensive roles, owing to his strength in that zone versus his weakness in his own. The major downside of Sveningsson is that he struggles on defence, as evidenced by his light ice time (13:07 in all situations, sixth among Oskarshamn forwards) and his 45.71 5v5 GF%.
Those in the know
Flames director of player development Ray Edwards offers just a few of the things he likes about Sveningsson:
The one thing about Filip, and you try to do this with your later picks, you like to see one specific trait that really pops with them and to me he has a couple of those traits. The one thing is he’s got ability and skill, and he’s got a real swagger, a competitiveness about him. He’s not afraid of big moments. This kid, two years ago, scored the game-winning goal for his junior team to win the championship. Last year as a 19-year-old, he played in their top six and top nine, give or take, for the whole season and this team made history in being able to take down the Allsvenskan championship and vault themselves into the SHL. That’s historic. And for him to be a part of that, these are the types of attributes that we like about Filip.
But where does he need to improve?
There’s still growth in his game. I think he’s still got to learn how to play 200-feet a little bit better and just bring consistent offense every night in terms of attacking and driving and finishing and those types of things, but he definitely has some attributes that scream NHL player. We just have to refine them and nurture them and keep working with him on them.
On the horizon
Sveningsson’s uphill battle is not over yet. He’ll be playing in the SHL next season, his toughest test to date. Not making things easy is that Oskarshamn, despite their promotion, still lag behind the rest of the SHL competition. Since the 2013-14 season, only two teams have managed to survive the jump from Allsvenskan to SHL, putting Oskarshamn and Sveningsson in a pretty tough spot, historically speaking.
The team achievements might be limited to simply not having to fight for their lives at the end of the year, but if Sveningsson can continue his upward trajectory, it’s nothing but great news for the Flames. For a prospect that didn’t have any expectations at the draft, he’s quickly turned himself into a potential pro option in just two years’ time.