Starting to get into the quality names part of the draft. Alfons Malmstrom and Hardy Haman Aktell go back to back. Strong showing.— Mike Halford (@HalfordPHT) June 25, 2016
At 6'3" and 198 lbs., Hardy Aktell is a sizeable defenseman out of Skelleftea's U18 team. Aktell was ranked 60th on Central Scouting's European Skater ranking and you have to believe this was one of those Pekka Rinne/Patric Hornqvist type picks. In other words, a Predators scout saw him at a practice or game and told Poile he had to get this guy. It definitely comes across as a targeted pick because this guy wasn't really on anyone's radar.
Skelleftea is a program the Nashville Predators have been connected with a lot over the past few seasons with Viktor Arvidsson, Johan Alm, and Emil Pettersson. We'll have to wait and see whether this pick was an unjustified shot in the dark or a stroke of brilliance by the Predators' scouting staff.