BSH 2023 Community Draft Board, No. T-11: Axel Sandin-Pellikka
The silky smooth Swede is an interesting proposition.
Dynamic defensemen have largely taken over the NHL’s bluelines.
Players who in the past may have been disregarded or chastised for not being defensively oriented, now have much longer leashes to push the tempo. Everyone wants the next Cale Makar, the next Erik Karlsson; and that is part of what makes Axel Sandin-Pellikka so intriguing to scouts. His ceiling is something close to that.
Sandin-Pellikka started the year very high on draft boards, even being touted as the third-best European skater in the 2023 class by NHL Central Scouting part way through the year. There was talk of him even potentially going in the top-10 and being the first defenseman selected.
His stock has come back to Earth a bit since then, but he still has a very good chance to be among the first 20 players selected come draft day.