July 24, 2024

Detr0it red wings Best Player  has ended a $83million contract  because of a disagreement he had with management about….

The Red Wings signed 2023 first-round pick Axel Sandin Pellikka to his three-year, entry-level contract on Monday, per a team announcement.

Sandin Pellikka, 19, is still under contract with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League for 2024-25. However, since he was a first-round pick, the NHL-SHL transfer agreement permits Detroit to assign him to AHL Grand Rapids next season if he doesn’t make the NHL roster. Returning him to Skelleftea is still an option but not a requirement.

The 5’11” right-shot defenseman is coming off a banner season in his home country. His season ended ceremoniously last week, winning the SHL championship. He was absent with injury for the first two games of the final series against Rogle BK but returned as Skelleftea won Games 3 through 5. He finished the postseason with two goals and seven points in 14 games.

That performance came after a strong regular season. He set career highs across the board with 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points in 39 games and was awarded the Salming Trophy as the best Swedish-born defender in the SHL or SDHL. The Gallivare native was also exceptional in international action at the 2024 World Juniors, finishing with two goals and six points in seven games as Sweden won the silver medal. He was named the tournament’s best defenseman by the IIHF directorate.

After falling a bit to Detroit at 17th overall in last year’s draft, Sandin Pellikka has only increased his stock as a prospect. The expert playmaker and puck handler seems well on his way to challenge for top-four minutes and power play time in Detroit, arguably overtaking 2021 sixth-overall pick Simon Edvinsson as the organization’s best young blue liner.

Detroit’s NHL roster for next season is already full on defense, thanks to veterans Ben Chiarot, Justin Holl, Olli Maatta and Jeff Petry still serving out or finishing up multi-year agreements. It’s hard to imagine general manager Steve Yzerman retaining all of them, though, and trading one of them – especially the two righties in Holl and Petry – could open up an opening-night roster spot for Sandin Pellikka.

The Swede won’t turn 20 until after Jan. 1, meaning his entry-level contract will slide to 2025-26 if he plays fewer than 10 NHL games next season. If so, the deal will expire in 2028 instead of 2027. He’ll be a restricted free agent upon expiry either way.

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