The younger brother of the Boston Bruins forward PJ Axelsson was another surprise pickup by the Red Wings in this year’s draft. Maybe the most surprised was Anton himself who was following the draft from his home in Sweden.
Axelsson didn’t have an impressive season in the Swedish junior ranks where he only had 17 points in 28 games, playing for one of the better teams in the league. He also had some injury problems that cut his season short and played to his disadvantage when the Swedish World Championship U-18 team was selected.
Axelsson is a small winger has strong skating ability and is an intense forchecker. He works hard all over the ice and isn’t afraid of using his body. Axelsson is also a good stick handler who has soft hands in tight and can make plays on the offense. He has a well developed hockey sense and is a good playmaker. He can be used in all situations and has good attitude both on and of the ice. On the down side he needs to add some upper body strength and shoot more.
Axelsson is a smart hockey player who knows what he needs to work on in order to get better.
When asked by affiliate Eliteprospects.com what his strengths and weaknesses are, Axelsson said, “I think that my hockey sense and my skating are some of my strengths and also that I have the physique to work hard all the time. Looking at the weaknesses then I would say that my shot and my passing accuracy could be better, and I could be stronger as well.”
For now it looks like he could eventually develop into a third or fourth line checker in the NHL, but if he continues to develop his offensive skills and add some strength he could move up the depth chart.