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The Calgary Flames select two Swedes in The Athletic’s latest mock draft

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Photo credit:courtesy Skelleftea AIK
Ryan Pike
11 months ago
We’re just shy of a month away from the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville. The Calgary Flames have a pair of picks in the first two rounds – one apiece – and a lot of organizational needs. Over at The Athletic, draft analysts Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler conducted a two round mock draft, alternating picks.
Pronman selected both Flames picks, with the locals mock-drafting defender Axel Sandin Pellikka in the first round and Felix Nilsson in the second round.

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Sandin Pellikka is a March 2005 birthday and is 18-years-old. He’s a right shot blueliner listed at 5’11” and 181 pounds and he hails from Gällivare, Sweden.
He’s had a pretty productive season: 22 games (5 points) with Skelleftea AIK’s SHL team and another 31 games (36 points) with their junior team. He also represented Sweden at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the World Juniors and the Under-18 World Championships. He captured silver at the Hlinka Gretzky and the Under-18s, was named the top blueliner at the Under-18s, and he also was named Swedish junior hockey’s top defenceman.
Dobber Prospects describes Sandin Pellikka like so: “Mobile, offensive-minded blueliner who likes to activate into the offensive zone. Plays with energy on both sides of the puck and has the potential to become a top-four defenseman in the NHL.”
Based on the Flames’ organizational needs, he sure sounds like somebody they would covet if he fell to them at 16th overall.
Nilsson is a June 2005 birthday and is 17-years-old. (He’ll turn 18 a few days before the draft.) He’s a left shot forward (he plays wing and centre) listed at 6’0″ and 179 pounds and he hails from Stockholm, Sweden.
Like Sandin Pellikka, Nilsson split his season primarily between Sweden’s pro SHL and its junior J20 Nationell, playing his season with Rögle BK. He played 18 games (0 points) in the SHL and 36 games (41 points) in junior. He played for Sweden at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and the World Junior-A Championships, capturing silver and bronze.
Dobber Prospects summarizes Nilsson like so: “Intelligent, quick and responsible center with upside as a middle-six forward if his puck skills continue to improve.”
Again, based on upside, pro experience, and how productive he’s been so far in Swedish junior, Nilsson also seems like a player that fits with the Flames.
What do you think of these mock draft selections? Who would you prefer to see the Flames select? Let us know in the comments!

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