With the offseason now kicking into high gear, we continue breaking-down the last 12 months for each of the Washington Capitals prospects and provide a forecast for each of the players for the coming season. We continue the series with a review and forecast for center, Sebastian Walfridsson. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Walfridsson is a 20-year-old defenseman currently playing hockey for MODO Hockey Ornskoldsvik. The Loreskog, Norway native was drafted by the Capitals in the fifth round (#151 overall) of the 2017 NHL entry-level draft. He is currently unsigned by the Capitals.
Walfridsson has played at various levels for MODO Hockey, including the Junior Under 18 Allsvenskan, the Under 20 Super Elit, and the Allsvenskan; i.e. the second tier Swedish League.
Sebastian has not scored any goals at the Allsvenskan level, but during 2018-19, he scored four goals and had seven assists in their Under 20 Super Elit level and two goals and two assists in their Under 20 Super Elit League during 2017-18.
2018-2019 SEASON SUMMARY
Walfridsson played in 22 games this season for the MODO Hockey Under 20 team in the Super Elit League and scored four goals and had secen assists for them. He also played for the MODO team in the Allsvenskan; i.e. the second tier Swedish League and scored no goals but had two assists. He also represented Sweden in international competition for their Under 20 team and scored one goal and had two assists in seven games.
2018-2019 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2018-2019 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
Offensively, Walfridsson has just one assist for MODO Super Elite team in the Allsvenskan league.
Walfridsson has returned to the first team in MODO and plays regularly since then. In total the Swedish defenseman has produced one assist in eight games in the second-tier of Swedish hockey. He averages 13:22 minutes per game in a team with the ambition to reach promotion to the SHL. The start hasn’t been that compelling though and MODO currently resides in the middle of the standings. Hometown boy and NHL veteran Toby Enström returned to the team from the Winnipeg Jets before this season and could give Walfridsson some good advice on how to reach the NHL. Walfridsson was selected for the Swedish U20 national team in August, playing four games against Canada, the USA and Finland, scoring a goal and an assist. Since then he has been left out of two selections and its unlikely that he will play during the World Junior Championships this fall.
Walfridsson has been featured in three games with the senior team in December. His ice time has gone down and he has been left out of the starting lineup at times. Instead, Walfridsson has been playing in J20 SuperElit, where he has one goal and three assists in nine games. At this moment, it seems vital for him to play senior hockey somewhere, and hopefully an opportunity opens up in the MoDo lineup coming up.
Walfridsson has continued to play in both J20 SuperElit and in the senior team, with no real improvement since last month. In total the d-man has represented MoDo in 17 games, averaging under 9 minutes per game, mostly sitting on the bench. The former junior national team player continues to worry, and desperately needs playing time against men in order to take the next step.
Walfridsson has dressed for the senior team of MODO for five games since last time we checked on him, he has mostly been sitting on the bench though. Most of his ice time has come with the U20 team in SuperElit, where he is an influential player. As previously mentioned, Walfridsson needs senior ice time though. And a tough season continues for him, where he surely hoped for more than this.
Walfridsson has finished the 2018-19 season, playing in a total of 22 games for Modo’s senior team, putting up two assists. For the J20 team, the production was better for him, as he scored four goals and seven assists, in 24 games. All and all, this wasn’t what both Walfridsson and the team hoped for. He is still young though, and could bounce back next season. But one thing is certain, more playing team is crucial for his development.
Walfridsson will need to perform better at Sweden’s highest professional league next year or have a great showing at the Capitals development camp to have any hope of a professional career in North America. It is more challenging for him because the Caps have numerous defense prospects ahead of him on the depth chart.
By Diane Doyle