Photo Credit: Linnea Rheborg

All About Joel Persson

Since signing Joel Persson to a one-year deal back in May, there hasn’t been a whole lot of information about the player apart from finding out that he will spend next year playing for the Vaxjo Lakers in Sweden. That being said, Persson is a low-risk, offensive-minded defenceman which is in short supply in the Oilers prospect system. While we don’t know how his game will translate to the North American game, Persson will have another year of development in Sweden’s top league which affords the Oilers plenty of time to continue to assess their player. Given his skill set, Persson is definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on over the next 12 months.


Position: Defence — Shoots: Right
Born: March 4th, 1994 — City: Kristianstad, Sweden
Height: 5 feet 11 inches — Weight: 170 lbs [180 cm/77 kg]
Drafted: Undrafted
Youth Team: Osby IK — League: Division 2
Current Team: Vaxjo Lakers, SHL


Jason Gregor wrote about Joel Persson shortly after he was signed back in May:

Persson is a smaller, offensive-minded right shot D-man. A few years ago, he was playing in the ECHL version of Swedish hockey and this past year he played in Sweden’s top league, SHL, and performed quite well, producing 6-28-34 in 51 games. When Vaxjo signed him, he was expected to be a seventh defender, but early in the year he was already quarterbacking their top powerplay and playing a fair amount at even strength.

Will it translate to him becoming an effective NHLer? The odds are low, but it is a low-risk bet by Peter Chiarelli and the Oilers.

Dustin Nielson also touched on Persson in his pre-draft prospect rankings:

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Persson put up 35 points playing for the Vaxjo Lakers last season and was immediately told he would remain there for one more year. He’s a right-shot puck-moving defenseman with a terrific shot so it’s probably worth a look even if he is a long shot to succeed on this side of the pond. He was fifth among Lakers d-men last year in time on ice, so even in Sweden he’s being used a specialist. No downside to this signing. 

Erik K. Piri from Elite Prospects:

Persson is an offensive defenseman with a great shot from the point. With high-end puck skills and vision, he excels on the power play. Not a speedster, but owns decent mobility and can walk the blueline very well. On the downside, he is smallish and not much of a force in his own end.

Uffe Bodin from Hockey Svergie:

He’s a very gifted offensive d-men that was a big revelation during his rookie season in the SHL. Cinderella story. Played in the Swedish equivalent to ECHL until a year ago and worked part-time at a school.

Over at Lowetide’s site, he spoke to former Oilers goalie Mike Zanier about Persson:

He came to camp a number 7 D. Was the QB of the PP by October. Started out more as an offensive player but has developed into a solid D & still QB to the best PP in the SHL. Though Elias Pettersson might have something to do with that, he’s definitely worth looking at (for an NHL team).

At Dobber Prospects, Jameson Ewasiuk looked at Persson’s season and what’s to come for the puck-moving defenceman:

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The 24-year-old has had a very quick development curve considering that before last season he played tier three hockey in Sweden. His accomplishments last year were definitely impressive as he was nominated for the SHL rookie of the year and was nominated for the best SHL defenseman award. There are concerns that his play was elevated due to the very good Växjö team, but many accounts from Sweden say that he was every bit as good as the stats make him sound. This campaign Persson will return to Sweden for the year but the Oiler‘s have the option to recall him at any time. The Oilers‘ have the ability to retain his rights after his one-year contract if he proves he wasn‘t a one-hit wonder. It‘s hard to say how his play will translate to the North American style and whether he will be a John Klingberg or more realistically a Philip Larsen/David Rundblad at the NHL level. The Oilers have very few offensive-minded defenders on their team and in their system, so Persson will likely be given every chance to succeed in an offensive role. He‘s a low risk, high reward prospect with boom/bust potential that could be a very savvy draft choice if everything turns out perfectly for him.


  • Unranked


As we’ve come to see all summer long, Edmonton Future Watch put together a wonderful compilation of Persson’s highlights from the 2017-18 season:

Persson with an absolute bullet of a goal:

A wonderful, long outlet pass from Persson to move the puck up ice:

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2009-10 Kristianstads IK J18 J18 Div.2
2010-11 Kristianstads IK J18 J18 Div.1 17 4 6 10 8
Kristianstads IK J20 J20 Div.1 20 4 8 12 6
2011-12 Kristianstads IK J18 J18 Div.1 8 5 6 11 6
Kristianstads IK J20 J20 Div.1 19 6 16 22
Kristianstads IK Division 1 17 0 1 1 0 1
2012-13 Kristianstad/Osby J18 J18 Div.1 1 0 2 2 0
Kristianstad/Osby J20 J20 Div.1 8 9 9 18 16 4 1 5 6 6
Kristianstads IK Division 1 25 0 2 2 2 0
Osby IK  Division 2 15 2 7 9 12
2013-14 Kristianstads IK Division 1 10 0 1 1 6 3
Osby IK Division 2 26 3 13 16 18 6 5 11 16 12
2014-15 Tyringe SoSS Division 2 36 11 35 46 4 12 1 8 9 4
2015-16 Tyringe SoSS Division 1 31 6 10 16 10 1
2016-17 Kristianstads IK Division 1 38 10 30 40 6 23 14 2 11 13 4 2
2017-18 Växjö Lakers HC SHL 51 6 28 34 8 17 13 1 4 5 0 6


2017-18 Växjö Lakers HC Champions HL 13 1 10 11 2 4

Stats provided by Elite Prospects


  • OriginalPouzar

    This guy just came out of nowhere and plowed through the “minor leagues”. It will be very interesting to see if he’s able to repeat his offensive performance for Vaxjo (or even come close). He’s a complete wild-card.

    Lets not forget, Vaxjo was a complete powerhouse last year – they just rolled over the league. Persson was a part of that but also benefited from it I’m sure. They will be losing some players this season, in particular Elias Pettersson so it will be interesting to see how he does on a team that’s, presumably, not quite as dominant.

    He’ll be an RFA after this year so we’ll need to re-sign him if he has another good year (the current contract was really just a way to acquire his rights) – who knows what that next contract might look like.