While the NHL and AHL seasons are still a little ways away, many European leagues have already dropped the puck for the 2020-21 season. With several Los Angeles Kings prospects playing overseas, I’ll be providing some updates on how their seasons are going. The first of those prospects is defenseman Helge Grans.
The Los Angeles Kings selected Grans at 35th overall in this year’s NHL Draft. It was somewhat surprising to see the defenseman was still available at that point and it was a huge win for the Kings to get him so late.
Grans has a very high offensive ceiling and he’s showcasing that right away this season. He’s off to a wicked start in the SHL, with two goals and six points in nine games with Malmo, which has him tied for the team lead in points, as an 18-year-old defenseman.
For reference, Erik Karlsson averaged 0.22 points per game in his SHL season after being drafted, while Rasmus Dahlin and Victor Hedman each averaged 0.49 points per game while playing in the SHL in their draft year. I’m not including those stats to suggest that these players are comparables for Grans, but instead as a representation of how well Grans has been producing so far this year.
Obviously, this is a very small sample size as well. But considering how well Grans was able to produce in the J20 SuperElit league last year, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can come close to maintaining this level of production going forward.
Grans projects as a potential top-four NHL defenseman and seeing him get off to such a good start this season, while playing in Sweden’s highest professional league, is great to see.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Where do you see Helge Grans fitting into the Kings' lineup long-term?