Pontus Sjalin
Image: Leksand

Pontus Sjalin



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6th round (160th overall), 2014


168 lbs.

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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.

2014-15: Sjalin dressed in two games for Leksands in the SHL and played one game for his hometown team of Ostersunds in Division 1 — with no points nor penalties in men’s play — and spent most of the season with the Leksands U20 team in the SuperElit League. He scored 3 goals with 16 assist and had an even plus/minus with 18 penalty minutes in 37 regular season games. Leksands finished ninth in Top 10 play, falling to Farjestads in a preliminary series. Sjalin had 3 assists and was -3 with 6 penalty minutes in three playoff games.

2015-16: Sjalin played in 25 regular season games and one playoff contest for Lulea in his first SHL season and skated in Allsvenskan on loan to Asploven HC. Averaging 6:43 minutes of ice time during the regular season with Lulea, he was -2 with no points and 2 penalty minutes. He had no points nor penalties in his only SHL playoff game. Sjalin was -6 with 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes in 21 regular season games for Asploven and scored 1 goal with 1 assist, finishing -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 10 games in the Kval series. Asploven finished fifth in the six-team tournament, failing to secure a spot in the SHL.

Talent Analysis

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 saw limited ice time in 26 SHL games with Lulea and played for Asploven in Allsvenskan in 2015-16 in his first season of pro hockey. Still fairly raw as a prospect, Sjalin plays a skating style that fits the organizational philosophy of the Wild. He has yet to sign an entry-level contract with Minnesota. The Wild selected Sjalin in the 2014 NHL Draft knowing he was a long-term project and retain his rights until 2018. He will likely continue his development in Sweden for the immediate future.

2014 NHL Draft: Minnesota Wild draft review

by Peter Prohaska
Alex Tuch - Minnesota Wild

Photo: The Wild selected USNTDP winger and Boston College commit Alex Tuch with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


Though there was talk of somehow reacquiring a second round pick, the Minnesota Wild had limited assets to offer as enticement. Chuck Fletcher did pick up an additional seventh round pick in 2015 in exchange for moving down one pick, but in the end the braintrust seemed content to stick with its hand in Philadelphia.

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