Axel Landen – 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Axel Landen

2022-23 Team: HV71 J20 – J20 Nationell
Date of Birth: Mar 29, 2005
Place of Birth: Jonkoping, SWE
Height: 6-foot-1, Weight: 183 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: Defense
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-year eligible


When you discuss what makes the 2023 NHL Draft potentially one of the best in recent memory, you can point toward players like Axel Landen to showcase what this means. As a responsible, stay-at-home defenseman, Landen has everything you could ask for in a top defensive-first prospect. He is a strong skater, understands how to play tough in front of the net, and was one of the top penalty killers for Team Sweden throughout the 2023 WJC-18.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

Sure, he may not be a sexy pick due to his limited scoring upside, as shown by his 16 points in 44 games played HV71 J20 of the J20 Nationell in the Swedish Junior hockey league, but he is the exact player type you want to have developing in your organization.

However, due to the depth of this draft class, Landen might fall down boards, leading to his eventual selection far later than expected. That doesn’t mean he is lacking talent, however, so any team that selects him will be making a solid long-term addition to their franchise.

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Axel Landen – NHL Draft Projection

In a normal draft year, I would expect a player with Landen’s defensive toolkit to be selected in the late third round to early fourth round. He has all of the projectables that general managers love and is a relatively low-risk pick given his development so far. However, due to his shortcomings on offense, Landen might get a bit overlooked. This could cause him to slide into the fifth round or later, which would make him an absolute steal.

2023 NHL Entry Draft Guide Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli
While he may not be the most exciting pick at the 2023 NHL Draft, Axel Landen is a player that makes your team better due to his defensive prowess. (The Hockey Writers)

Despite this, I believe that at least one general manager will fall in love with his toolkit and select Landen in the late third round, somewhere in the 80-90th overall range. Right-shot defensemen with skating and size draw attention, after all, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if a team takes a shot on him earlier than expected.


In front of the net, he’s a constant nuisance, lifting sticks, pushing, and shoving. I like his work ethic, and he makes the most of every shift, which is one of the reasons he skates around with an “A” on his chest for Sweden. His skating is great, with fluid movements, always trying to keep his momentum going. This allows him to maintain good positioning even at a higher pace, which is one of the reasons I believe his game could translate well to higher levels.

Erik Sjolund (From ‘April 27, 2023 Scouting Report of Axel Landen’, FCHokcey, April 27, 2023)

Not an impactful player on the score sheet, Landen was a standout in the defensive end for the Swedes. He was a top penalty killer and held down the team’s third pairing. He looks the part of a future stay at home type at the NHL level with good mobility, size, and physicality, all from the right side.

Brock Otten –


  • Great defensive structure
  • Strong skater
  • Plays an NHL-style game

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Little offensive upside

NHL Potential

Landen feels like one of the safer mid-round picks at the 2023 Draft because you understand exactly what you are getting with him. While his offensive ceiling may be low, his defensive floor is very high, which will make him a valuable commodity across the league should he fully develop.

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Right now, I believe Landen should easily slot into a bottom-pairing NHL role in three to five years, with his upside being a stay-at-home partner that allows a top offensive defenseman to roam free on the ice. No matter what, he will be a penalty-killing machine and is the kind of player that fans will fall in love with due to his tough, defensive play.


Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3/5

Axel Landen Stats