Courtesy of Point Park University

Report: Hallander to stay in Sweden next season

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Filip Hallander. – TIMRA

It looks like one of the Penguins' top forward prospects is going to be spending another year playing in Sweden.

Filip Hållander, the Penguins' second-round pick in 2018, will play for SHL club Luleå next season, according to a report from the Swedish outlet Sportbladet.

The SHL and second-tier Allsvenskan league follow a promotion and relegation system, with the top Allsvenskan team and lowest SHL team swapping places after a round-robin tournament at the end of each season. Hållander's club, Timrå, was relegated to the Allsvenskan after this spring's tournament.

Hållander, playing in his SHL rookie season, finished sixth on his team in scoring in the regular season, with seven goals and 14 assists in 45 games. The 18-year-old spent most of the season playing on the left side of Timrå's top line.

He's wearing No. 91 in red and white in these clips:

With Hållander already under contract with the Penguins since last July, he was considered to be on loan to Timrå this past season, and not required to stay with Timrå after its relegation to the second-tier league.

Hållander was reportedly courted by multiple SHL teams over the past several weeks, and narrowed his decision down to Luleå and Linköping before ultimately choosing Luleå. One of Luleå's assistant coaches, Henrik Stridh, previously coached Hållander on both the Swedish national junior team and in the Timrå system.

TAYLOR'S VIEW

Staying in Sweden another year is probably best for Hållander's development. He'll continue to pick up big minutes in a top men's league.

The Penguins are allowed to bring him over to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton if they wish, but that may not be the most beneficial for Hållander with the large number of forwards already set to join Wilkes-Barre next season. He's so young -- he only turns 19 this summer -- so there's no reason to rush him there.

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