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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Felix Sandstrom looks to battle for bigger role in Sweden

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After two years of splitting time at the SHL level, Sandstrom will look to take on even more responsibility there this season.

Kate Frese / SB Nation

A few years ago we might be having a different discussion about Felix Sandstrom and his expectations going forward. When he debuted on this 25 Under 25 series back in 2015, his competition in the Flyers’ system basically came down to Anthony Stolarz and Merrick Madsen. The former was struggling in his first year in the NHL, and the latter was a freshman at Harvard with one game under his belt.

Along with Sandstrom’s goalie draft class mates Matej Tomek and Ivan Fedotov, the Flyers have gone and added Carter Hart, Alex Lyon, and this year’s 3rd round draft pick Kirill Ustimenko. While Sandstrom might have time on his side (and a heck of a lot of talent), his margin for error will begin to get thinner and thinner.

No. 15: Felix Sandstrom

Position: G
Age: 20 (1/12/1997)
Acquired Via: 2015 NHL Draft -- Round 3, Pick 70 (Pick acquired from San Jose in exchange for Tye McGinn on July 2, 2014)
2016-17 League/Team/Statistics: Brynäs (SHL) - 0.908 SV%, 2.25 GAA in 22 GP
Nationality: Swedish
Ranking in BSH Winter 2017 25 Under 25: 18

Felix Sandstrom played half of his 2016-17 regular season with Brynäs IF as a 19-year old, and for the most part held his own against an overwhelmingly older level of competition in the SHL. He wound up splitting his time with veteran goaltender David Rautio for much of the year.

Rautio will still be with Brynäs to begin next season and it hasn’t been explicitly stated what their split of games will be going forward, even after Sandstrom was re-signed to a 1-year deal. There was a faint hope this offseason that Sandstrom would sign an entry-level contract with the Flyers and come stateside in the offseason. However, this decision could have been due to the fact that the Flyers brass weren’t exactly comfortable yet with Anthony Stolarz handling the NHL back-up role given his inexperience and lingering health issues entering the new season.

What really set Sandstrom apart this year, in terms of national attention, was his performance at this year’s IIHF World Junior Championships, where he finished with a .914 SV% and 2.17 GAA in 6 games. He was awarded with Top Goaltender honors following the tournament which featured top goalie prospects such as Russia’s Ilya Samsonov (a Capitals prospect) and Canada’s Carter Hart (you might know this guy). Sandstrom even popped up on Corey Pronman’s Top 50 midseason prospect rankings at ESPN, where he was ranked 5th among all goaltending prospects.

Here is just one highlight from World Juniors:

Not much has changed since being drafted for Sandstrom. His technique between the pipes has always been reported as mature for his age. He’s listed at 6’2, 194 pounds right now, but there’s always a chance he can add more to his frame. As our very own Charlie O’Connor noted in development camp, he is already quite athletic.

Saying Felix Sandstrom is still a way’s away from competing for an NHL job might be a bit of an understatement. Not only is he currently in a bit of a goalie-prospect logjam, but he’s going to need to show more consistency in his game and that he can handle a much larger workload in the future. With that, he still has quite the skillset to make an impact as he matures into his body and refines his already polished technique. The best case scenario for Sandstrom in 2017-18 will be to establish himself as the starter at Brynäs early in the season so he can guarantee himself the playing time to take that next step.

BONUS ROUND:

Top 5 Felix Sandstrom Anagrams:

  1. Sandlot Sex Firm
  2. Almonds Sex Rift
  3. Land Sexism Fort
  4. Sadist Flex Norm
  5. Maids Flex Snort

How We Voted For Felix Sandstrom

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
21 17 14 16 13 16 8 9 n/a 14 13 14

How We Voted At No. 15

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Morgan Frost Taylor Leier Carter Hart Pascal Laberge Robert Hagg Mikhail Vorobyev German Rubtsov Anthony Stolarz Anthony Stolarz Taylor Leier German Rubtsov Anthony Stolarz

How The Community Voted For Felix Sandstrom

Ranking # of Votes
Ranking # of Votes
1 0
2 0
3 1
4 0
5 6
6 5
7 18
8 21
9 35
10 68
11 97
12 97
13 119
14 98
15 101
16 90
17 61
18 48
19 20
20 23
21 19
22 19
23 12
24 5
25 5
NR 66

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Previously on Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2017 25 Under 25: