2021-22 Team: Linköping HC J20
Date of Birth: Jan. 1, 2004
Place of Birth: Täby, Sweden
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 174 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 2nd (amongst European goalies)
- The Puck Authority: 60th
- Peter Baracchini’s May Rankings: 105th
Hugo Hävelid’s stock is rapidly rising.
The 18-year-old has skyrocketed up most boards lately, moving from ninth all the way to second in NHL Central Scouting’s European goalie rankings. It’s easy to see why. Though short in stature, the 5-foot-10 netminder helped Team Sweden stun the United States at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in May, earning a spot on the Media All-Star Team after posting a .929 save percentage (SV%) and 2.41 goals-against average (GAA) in four wins. The Swedes won gold in the tournament.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Hävelid has been highly decorated throughout this season, earning a bronze medal in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup before being named the best goaltender in Sweden’s J20 Nationell league. He led the way for all goalies by posting a 1.82 GAA and .920 SV% while posting five shutouts in 28 games with Linköping HC J20, and followed that up with two shutouts, a 1.97 GAA and .925 SV% in eight playoff games.
His stellar performance at the aforementioned U18 World Championships saw him finish with the tournament’s best GAA and SV%, and he was also (obviously) named the tournament’s best goaltender.
The fact is, Hävelid has performed well in every level he’s played at, so the recent string of success should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following his career since he joined the U16 leagues in 2017-18. His eye-popping stats include an overall record with Linköping of 21-7-0 in 2021-22, including a 6-2-0 mark in the playoffs.
As a butterfly goalie, Hävelid is known for his strong vision and quick reaction time, which compliments his patience exponentially. He’s got the ability to wait a shooter out until the last possible moment, making it difficult for the opposition to find the best possible angle against him. His development has undoubtedly been aided by his twin brother, defenseman Mattias Hävelid, who himself ranks in the top 50 of many pundits’ lists.
The biggest criticism in his game to date has been his positioning, which has steadily improved as the year has worn on. As mentioned earlier, his relatively smaller size may be cause for concern among NHL clubs given his butterfly style, but he seemingly makes up for that with his strong vision.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Hugo Hävelid – NHL Draft Projection
Hävelid will be a borderline pick, but his recent 47-save World Championship performance against a stacked Team USA will likely mean someone will take a chance on the young netminder in the later rounds.
“It won’t be for lack of heart and desire if he doesn’t get picked. He was positionally sound and never quit on a puck. He has a stocky look and takes up enough net. Sure I would like him to be three inches taller, especially when he drops into his butterfly. But I’m betting on him getting selected in the fifth or sixth round in Montreal and giving the team that picks him four years of development to see where he ends up.” — Jason Bukala, Sportsnet
“Havelid is a butterfly goaltender who challenges well, makes good reads, and competes hard. There has been a marked improvement since my early viewings of Havelid dating to last years Summer Showcase and over the course of this season. He has improved his positioning especially when navigating in and around his crease.” — David Di Paolo, FC Hockey
- Reaction time
- Compete level
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
It will take years of development, but Hävelid has the potential to make it to the NHL if all goes well. Time will tell on this prospect, though, who’s anything but a sure thing. Any team that drafts him will be thinking ahead towards the future, as opposed to filling an immediate need.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 3/5
- Hlinka Gretzky Cup Gold Medal — 2021-22
- ‘Brick wall’ Hävelid helps Sweden pull off shocking upset of USA to win gold (TSN)
- Golden Swedes stun USA (iihf.com)
A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes contributor for The Hockey Writers.