2011-12: Pontus Sjalin played for Ostersunds IK in rural central Sweden and represented the Jamtland/Harjedalen region in the TV-Pucken tournament for high school players. In 19 games for the Ostersunds U18 team he scored 2 goals with 5 assists and was minus-4 with 8 penalty minutes. Playing in his second TV-Pucken tournament, Sjalin scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +1 with 8 penalty minutes in eight games.
2012-13: Sjalin played in his first men’s team game as a 16-year-old — scoring a goal and finishing +1 in his only game with Ostersunds IK in Division 1. He scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was +5 with 2 penalty minutes in four games, including one qualifying game, with the Ostersunds U20 team. Sjalin played most of the season with the Ostersunds IK U18 team and in 24 games he scored 8 goals with 5 assists; finishing +3 with 22 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Sjalin elected to play in his hometown rather than joining a top junior team in the SuperElit league elsewhere, spending much of the season with the Ostersunds IK Division 1 men’s team. In 25 games, including four qualification playoff games, he scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was +10 with 8 penalty minutes. In eight games for the Ostersunds U20 team he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes. Sjalin played six games with the club’s U18 team; scoring 1 goal with 2 assists while finishing +8.Not among the 140 international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings he was selected by Minnesota in the sixth round (160th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Sjalin is a smooth-skating yet smallish defenseman from Sweden who has played at the lower levels of hockey in his native country. Offensively-inclined, he is stepping up a level of competition playing with Leksands IF in Sweden’s U20 league. While he has never been selected to play in Sweden's junior national team program, he has some potential and his mobility should prove an asset on a team that has some good pieces in place. He has quite a bit of work to do in terms of developing his frame, but Själin is a long-term project who could surprise.
Sjalin is in his first season in the Sweden top division with the Leksand U20 team in the SuperElit league in 2014-15 and has also appeared in men's games with the Leskand SHL squad and with Ostersunds in Sweden's Division 1 hockey. First returns have been encouraging as he was leading the Leksand U20 team's defensemen in scoring with 17 points in his first 24 games. As with any late round pick Sjalin is a bit of a long shot at this point. His offensive impulses and skating style fits well with the philosophy of the Wild organization. Whether he adds the necessary bulk and strength and can develop his defensive game to compete in the NHL will determine whether he one day reaches that level.