Ilves has loaned defenseman Filip Westerlund from Swedish club HV71 for the remainder of the season. Defenseman Kevin Czuczman is sidelined for the season and defenseman Dominik Mašín will still be out of the action for several weeks.
23-year-old Swedish defenseman Filip Westerlund has represented Frölunda HC, Timrå IK and HV71 in Sweden’s top league SHL. In total he has scored 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 143 regular season games. The defenseman also recorded 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 19 CHL games in 2016–2019 during his seasons in Frölunda. In the HockeyAllsvenskan, the second highest league in Swedish hockey, he played for IF Björklöven and Timrå IK and scored 46 points (10 goals, 36 assists) in 117 regular season games and 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 19 playoff games.
Westerlund won the Champions Hockey League trophy with Frölunda in 2016–2017 season and the HockeyAllsvenskan championship with Timrå in 2020–2021 season and helped the club win promotion to the top league SHL.
The defenseman has progressed through the Swedish junior national teams and was selected among the three best players of Sweden’s team at the IIHF U18 Junior World Championship in 2017. He was also part of the Swedish team at the IIHF U20 Junior World Championship in 2019.
Westerlund was drafted in the second round and with the No. 44 overall pick of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes.
Ilves sports director Timo Koskela sees Westerlund as a versatile and experienced defenseman, for his age, who has a chance to take the next step in his career at Ilves.
– Filip Westerlund has experienced a lot for a 23-year-old defenseman. He has several season’s experience from the SHL and CHL and has also been a regular selection in the Swedish junior national teams. As a versatile and smart defenseman he can move the puck well and play all-round game, says Koskela.
– Filip is excited to come to Tampere and he can help our team during the remainder of the season. We thank HV71 for making this loan deal possible and welcome Filip to Ilves.
Czuczman out for the season, Mašín sidelined several weeks
An injury sustained in a game against HIFK on Thursday 5 January ended Ilves defenseman Kevin Czuczman’s, 32, season. The Canadian played six CHL games and 31 Liiga games and recorded 6 (2 goals,4 assists) points this season.
Czech defenseman Dominik Mašín, 26, has also been sidelined since the same game against HIFK and will still stay out of the action for several weeks.