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NHL Draft Prospect Preview - Axel Sandin Pellikka

Updated: Jun 9

by J.T. Toth

Photo courtesy of EP RINKSIDE.

The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft.

Name- Axel Sandin Pellikka

Pos- D

Team- Skelleftea AIK (SHL)

HT/WT- 5’11” 176 lbs.

Born- 3/11/2005

Home – Gallivare, Sweeden

Axel Sandin Pellikka started his athletic career as a cross-country skier before he ever played hockey. Sandin Pellikka started skating as a 6 year old, which is around a year or two later than most kids from Sweden start to skate. He continued cross-country skiing until he was 12 before making hockey his focused career choice.

Sandin Pellikka started playing for Skelleftea AIK (Jr.) in 2021-2022 as a 17-year-old and immediately turned heads with his skating ability. This season Sandin Pellikka has scored 16 goals and 20 assists in only 31 games. He started the season as a top 20 defenseman with a second to third round grade, but played himself into a first round pick and perhaps a top 2 defensemen in this class.

A powerful skater with explosive straight-line speed, he can accelerate away from opponents within a few steps. He’s able to transition from forward to backward skating flawlessly and although he’s on the smaller side, he has the four-way mobility and balance to bounce off hits.

Sandin Pellikka is very active in the offensive zone and exceptional at finding open space on the ice for teammates to have another offensive option. To go along with his elite skating, Sandin Pellikka also has high-end vision and hockey IQ. He hits teammates tape-to-tape and is quick with decision making.

Sandin Pellikka is able to use his skating ability to help release his shot from the point. Sandin Pellikka has a better wrist shot than slap shot and tends to average 3-4 shots on net a game. Overall his offensive game is very well-rounded , but also very fast paced.

In the defensive zone is where we start seeing some holes in Sandin Pellikka’s game. Though very good at defending the rush with his skating abilities, once a team enters the zone and sets up, Sandin Pellikka tends to lose his positioning. A smaller than average defenseman, Sandin Pellikka will have to work on his game strength at the next level, and his aggressiveness can draw him out of possession, which is fixable with experience.

Sandin Pellikka a right-handed defensemen who can skate and move the puck while also putting up offensive numbers. He reminds Draft 412 of Tyson Barrie or Damon Severson.

Final Analysis

Axel Sandin Pellikka is the best offensive defenseman in the draft class. It will take him a couple years to add some strength but he should be able to fit in nicely on some NHL teams top 4 defensive pairing.

Round 1- Top 20/#20 on Draft 412 big board.

Headshot courtesy of

Stats courtesy of

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