Mattias Havelid Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #52

Mattias Havelid Scouting Report
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Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Mattias Havelid Scouting Report.

Defenceman Mattias Havelid was a dynamic scorer for the Swedish National Junior Teams this year. He started his draft year by helping the Swedish team win a bronze medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. In five games he scored two goals and seven assists for nine points. That led the tournament in assists. To cap the season, he was even better at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Havelid scored four goals and eight assists for 12 points in six games. He led all defencemen in the tournament in goals, assists and points. Havelid helped Sweden to the gold medal and was named a top-three player on his team. He was also named to the Swedish team for the World Juniors but didn’t play any games before the tournament was cancelled/postponed.

Havelid plays in the Linkoping HC system. He scored 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in 29 regular-season games. Havelid was even better in the J20 playoffs, leading his team to the Championship and winning playoff MVP. He led all defencemen in playoff goals with five, and all players in points with 10. He also played 23 SHL games this year but was held off the scoresheet.

Mattias Havelid Scouting Report

Right Defence — shoots Right
Born January 1st, 2004 — Taby, Sweden
Height 5’10” — Weight 172 lbs [177 cm/78 kg]

Skating

At just five-foot-ten, Havelid will need dynamic skating to succeed in the NHL. He has the type of dynamic skating that allows him to cover a ton of ice and play a very effective two-way game. His top-end speed is very good when going both forwards and backwards. His acceleration and first step are excellent as well. Havelid can join the rush or pinch in at the blue line and still get back defensively. His lateral movement and edgework are also very good. This allows Havelid to walk the line in the offensive zone, opening up passing and shooting lanes. It also allows him to stay in front of his man and maintain gap control.

His pivots are smooth and crisp. Havelid transitions from offence to defence, and vice-versa, very quickly. His lack of size can be an issue in winning battles on the boards as well as clearing the front of the net.

Offensive Game

Havelid marries his dynamic skating with excellent puck handling ability. This allows him to skate the puck out of the defensive zone and to lead the rush through the neutral zone. He generates clean and efficient zone entries at the opponent’s blue line. He also has the poise to control the puck in the zone and quarterback the play from the point. Havelid has excellent vision and is creative with the puck. He finds open teammates and can set up scoring chances. However, he can be a bit too aggressive at times, leading to turnovers. Havelid uses his quick hands and lateral movement to open up space in the zone before making a pass or taking a shot.

Havelid’s slap shot is decent but not great. However, Havelid is still an effective goal scorer. His wrist shot is excellent. He can generate a lot of power and is very accurate. Havelid also gets his shot off exceptionally quickly. His quick hands allow him to vary his release point which also helps him to beat goaltenders. Havelid loves to sneak in from the point and let his shot go from the top of the circles. With his quick release, he does not give defenders time to get into shooting lanes and block the shot. Havelid understands how to keep his shot low and on the net, allowing his teammates to screen the goalie, get deflections and pounce on rebounds.

Defensive Game

Havelid’s defensive game is a bit hit and miss. He was very good at the Under-18s and the Hlinka-Gretzky, but his play during the season left something to be desired. The lack of size is also an issue as he can be overpowered by bigger and stronger defenders. He also has problems clearing the front of the net and winning battles in the corners at times. At his best, he uses his skating to maintain good positioning and gap control. He uses his stick to cut down passing lanes and poke-check the puck away from defenders. However, there are times when he can get over aggressive trying to steal a puck from an opponent and let his man get by him on the outside. There are also times when he is tries too risky of a pass to start the transition game, leading to turnovers.

Projection and Comparison

Havelid is another in the new age of puck-moving offensive defenders. His ability could allow him to quarterback an NHL power play if he continues to develop. However, he will need to bulk up and improve his ability to win battles in the defensive zone. He will also need to be more consistent defensively. Havelid is signed through 2023-24 with Linkoping, so expect him to spend at least a couple more years in Sweden before coming to North America and playing in the AHL. The development of his defensive game will likely take at least three years before he is NHL-ready. With his right-hand shot and offensive skill, there is a real prospect here though. Havelid’s game is reminiscent of Thomas Chabot. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Mattias Havelid that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back later for our next article on the 2022 NHL Draft.

 

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