2023 NHL Entry Draft

Film Room: Breaking down how Tom Willander became a first-round prospect

Tom Willander went from a relatively unknown to a first-round talent this season. 

Willander's ascension to a bonafide top defensive prospect has been rapid. His first half of the season with Rögle's J20 team was good, but fellow countrymen Axel Sandin Pellikka and Theo Lindstein were still the consensus top-two defencemen from Sweden at that point.

During the second half, Willander continued to impress and had strong international appearances, including outplaying Sandin Pellikka at the Four Nations tournament in February. 

The hype train left the station after the U18 Worlds where Willander added eight points in seven games and looked the part of a potential top-20 pick, even starting to rival Sandin Pellikka in many rankings.

Now it seems inevitable Willander will hear his name called durin

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2023 NHL Entry Draft Boston Univ. Rögle BK Rögle BK J20 Sweden U18 Sweden U18 (all) SHL J20 Nationell NCAA WJC-18 Tom Willander
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