Meet Sweden's Newest Power Hockey Twins

Sweden can claim to have the best twins in hockey history thanks to Daniel and Henrik Sedin. They're looking to bring the next two to the hockey forefront thanks to Mattias and Hugo Hävelid.
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Mattias and Hugo Havelid

There haven't been many twins to play in the NHL. Rich and Ron Sutter were the first to play together in the NHL, spending time together in the 1980s. Patrik and Peter Sundstrom spent some together in New Jersey at the end of that decade, and Chris and Peter Ferraro did so in the 1990s. 

But the most famous twin brother duo will always be Henrik and Daniel Sedin, two of the best to ever come out of Sweden and Vancouver hockey legends. They don't need any introduction: they're still hockey God's to this day in their native country.

And now, the nation is ready to unleash the next hockey twin brigade to the NHL: defenseman Mattias and goaltender Hugo Hävelid.

The pair are currently representing Sweden at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, playing together internationally just a few months after both made the U-18 World Championship team. 

Oh, and Sweden's coach? It's their uncle, Magnus Hävelid.

Not only have the twins played together internationally on multiple occasions, but they've spent their entire competitive hockey career in the Linkoping organization. too. They're inseparable, just like the Sedin's were – albeit, they were linemates, so it just made sense. It's a little harder having a skater and a goalie.

If the Havelid name sounds familiar, it's because their dad, Niclas, played nine seasons in the NHL with Anaheim, Atlanta and New Jersey and won gold with Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. He also played four years with Linkoping's team in the top Swedish league and has spent most of his time outside of his playing career in a coaching capacity with the team.

It's definitely a strong hockey family by Swedish standards, and the young men could find themselves both drafted in the NHL in 2022. It's way too early to slot either of them in rankings at this point, but both show good promise at this point in their careers.

Mattias, who scored the game-winning goal against the United States on Tuesday, is exactly what teams look for in a modern defenseman. Always looking around to make plays with the puck, Mattias is a tremendous skater with strong offensive instincts and can send laser beams from the point. He's creative when given space, can run the power play and while he's not a big kid at 5-foot-10, he's still a pain to push off the puck.

Hugo, also 5-foot-10, definitely doesn't meet the usual standards of goaltending size and it can hurt him at points. But from a full-on skill standpoint, he has a lot going for him. His junior career to date has been full of great efforts, including a nice bounce-back second-half against the United States in an eventual 5-3 win on Tuesday. He snagged a 30-save shutout in his only start of the U-18 World Championship back in May – against Latvia, but it wasn't an easy 30-save effort by any means. From a style perspective, Hugo's movements are fluid, he keeps his glove hand active and finds pucks through traffic well enough for a smaller goaltender. 

As custom in Sweden, prospects will often bounce around teams in different development leagues while sticking with a certain club the entire time. So it's great that they've both had the chance to play in the Linkoping system together. As it stands, Mattias is considered by many scouts to be the better prospect, but it's rare to find twin brothers representing their country in such an important fashion.

It's too early to truly pinpoint how good either of these two youngsters will be, but it's the start of what should be an exciting young campaign for the Hävelid's. Maybe they'll have a couple of medals hanging around their necks in a few days, and maybe they'll be spending next summer chatting about how they were selected by the same NHL team.

Either way, they've got bright futures ahead of them.

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