GLENDALE - Filip Westerlund enjoys fishing in the off-season. The young Swede finds angling fun, and he likes being rewarded for being patient. It's a trait he brings to his hockey game.
"Filip's a very patient defenseman, yet he quickly sorts his options," said Tim Bernhardt, the Coyotes Director of Amateur Scouting. "He's not the biggest guy on the ice, but he uses his head and skill to defend."
Westerlund is honing his skills this week playing for Team Sweden at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., which features practices and games against teams from the United States, Canada and Finland. He's hoping to eventually earn a roster spot for Sweden's entry into the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Team Sweden is slated to play Team USA on Wednesday, and NHL Network will broadcast the game at 1 p.m. Arizona time.
Arizona is taking a patient approach with Westerlund, whom they landed with the 44th overall pick at this year's NHL Draft. The Coyotes are hoping he will add size and strength to his 5-foot-11, 174-pound frame over the next few seasons.