Swedish prospect Filip Hållander to miss the World JuniorsWILL MISS THE WJC. A knee injury prevents Filip Hållander from participating at the U18 WJC. Photo; Bildbyrån/Nils Jakobsson
Team Sweden will already be without first overall pick to be, Rasmus Dahlin, when the U18 World Championships starts in Russia next week. Unfortunately for the Swedes, Dahlin won’t be the only key contributor to be missing at the tournament in Magnitogorsk and Chelyabinsk.
On Friday, Swedish head coach Torgny Bendelin announced that draft eligible forward Filip Hållander, ranked 12th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, won’t be playing due to a knee injury.
“He’s been troubled by his knee since after Christmas. He played less and less towards the end of the season”, Bendelin said. “I talked to him last week and he was unsure if he could play, but I convinced him that a Filip Hållander playing at 80 to 85 percent of his capacity would still benefit this team. That got him more upbeat, so he joined us this Monday and did rehab this week.”
The Swedish medical team thought he made progress, but after getting the results back after an MRI earlier in the week, his club team Timrå decided to pull the plug on his plans to go to Russia.
“Their medical team said no, so there wasn’t much we could do”, Bendelin explained. “It’s a pity because we thought he could play and Filip himself was really disappointed.”
Hållander notched 20 poäng (9+11) in 40 games in Swedish Tier II league Hockeyallsvenskan during the regular season. He had another goal and an assist in nine games in the qualification rounds as Timrå managed to get promoted to the top league SHL after a thrilling seven game series against Karlskrona, where they were down three games to one before turning it around.
Carl Jakobsson of Färjestad will take his spot on the Swedish roster.
The Swedes also seem to have to do without defenseman Rasmus Sandin, He’s in the middle of a second round OHL playoff series against Owen Sound Attack with his club team Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The series is tied, 2–2. Torgny Bendelin will keep a spot open for the draft eligible prospect for another few days, but if the Greyhounds advance, all hope of getting him to Russia will be lost.
The Swedes play their first game of the tournament on Thursday against Switzerland.