After trading their sixth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks, the Arizona Coyotes had one final pick of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Coyotes would use that pick to draft Swedish right wing Erik Walli-Walterholm.
Team: Djurgardens IF J20/Djurgardens IF(SuperElit/SHL)
Regular Season Games Played: 29/31
Playoff Games Played: 5/18
Playoff Goals: 3/0
Playoff Assists: 2/0
Like the prior season, Walli-Walterholm split last season between two leagues. The previous year he was limited to just 20 games in the SHL and this past season he played 31 games. The SHL is the highest league in Sweden, while SuperElit is a junior level team.
In SuperElit Walli-Walterholm was solid, finishing third on his team in goals scored and fifth in points despite only playing a part of the season. This success earned him another call up to the SHL, although he was far less effective there.
It’s hard to call Walli-Walterholm’s time in the SHL a success. He was limited to just two points and he was kept off the score sheet during the playoffs. The transition to a higher league is always difficult no matter where you play so this shouldn’t be a breaking point for Walli-Walterholm, but it does show he still has some developing to do.
Hopefully, Walli-Walterholm will be able to take the next step next year in the SHL. That means attempting to find the same consistent offensive success he showed in the SuperElit.
The Coyotes need more offense on the wings. Unfortunately, Walli-Walterholm hasn’t shown that he can produce at the highest levels. That’s not to say that there is no place for Walli-Walterholm with the organization, he has shown an ability to score in a junior league. But he is going to need to take a big step forward this upcoming season.