The Swedish center is next in our countdown
Isac Lundestrom has one of the more complete skill sets in the draft, and even though he may be considered a “safe pick”, he might be a steal in the middle to late first round.
BSH 2018 Community Draft Board, No. 18: Isac Lundestrom
Position / Team: C / Lulea (SHL)
2017-18 Statistics: 6 G, 9 A in 42 GP
Size: 6’0”, 183
What’s there to like?
There’s a lot to like about Isac Lundestrom’s game. His skating isn’t on an elite level but it’s definitely one of his best attributes. He’s able to push defenders back and enter the offensive zone with his skating alone at times. He’s shifty and can weave his way between defenders with his top end speed. His edge work is also impressive and it will be interesting to see if he can improve upon that even more.
Lundestrom’s passing and playmaking ability are definitely going to be something teams have an eye on. His fantastic hockey IQ makes him a smart passer already, and I think he has the natural playmaking ability that can make him a very strong puck distributor at the NHL level. Although he’s known more for his hockey sense and playmaking, he’s definitely got a solid shot as well. I’m not sure if his shot is going to be consistently strong to be a 20 goal man at the NHL level, but I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility.
The 18 year old scored 15 points playing against men twice his age in the SHL this year, and that’s honestly one of the most encouraging parts of his game. He’s a hard worker and already a very defensively capable centerman. He’s shown he can be strong on the puck, including this fantastic reverse hit on a Russian player at the 2017 IIHF U18 championships.
What’s not to like?
The biggest issues with Lundestrom would be if he can be a game breaking kind of talent or not, and his size. He’s obviously shown to be a strong player, but he will definitely have to bulk up just a bit to make sure he can handle the wear and tear at the NHL level. As for the former, Lundestrom does many things well, just about everything if we’re being honest, but I’m not sure if his ceiling is all that high. It could be, but at the moment there are definitely other skaters who’s ceiling surpasses Lundestrom.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
Lundestrom would be right there with Morgan Frost in the center prospect pool. I think there’s a solid chance he stays at center and at the very least could be a very good middle to bottom six center in this league.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
I think he’s absolutely going to be there at 14, 19 is a bit more up in the air. He very well could be but I also wouldn’t be all that surprised to see a team take the safer bet and take Lundestrom.
Lundeström, given the play in the video, might best fit onto a line that likes to cycle the puck in the offensive zone. In the NHL, with less ice surface to work with, he will have to get stronger – maybe about 15 or so pounds heavier to compete on the boards. He will be able to outskate fewer defensemen, and could learn from the play of someone like Travis Zajac when it comes to being strong on the puck along the boards.
Even though he lacks the ability to draw “oohs” and “aahs” from fans, that does not mean that Lundestrom can’t be a big difference-maker in the NHL.
He uses the tools that he does have, along with his smarts and work ethic, to be a 200-foot player who drives possession and keeps opponents in check. It may sound cliché, but Lundestrom really is the type of player that teams win with. This is also suggested through some of the available analytics about him.
Highlights (video credit to bigwhite06):
Adding two to the board this time, with two defenseman. Dominik Bokk and Alexander Alexeyev
Dominik Bokk— LW, Vaxjo Lakers J20 (SuperElit) — 14 G, 27 A in 35 GP
He is a skilled puck mover, possesses smooth hands, and has good offensive instincts. He’s a threat to create a scoring chance whenever he has the puck on his stick in the offensive end. He can both set up teammates and finish the play himself. He works hard when battling for the puck and has a quick stick to allow him to win the loose puck. He’s smart and thinks the game at a high speed. He does a great job of anticipating the movement of both the puck and defenders.
— via Mile High Hockey
Alexander Alexeyev — D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL) — 7 G, 30 A in 45 GP
He can use his acceleration to get to loose pucks and clear them before opposing forwards can gain control, and is agile enough to follow those same players in their twist and turns. His top speed, even if it doesn’t match the speedy scorers he routinely faces, also allows him to save his team if a turnover happens high in the offensive zone.
On the breakout, Alexeyev constantly shoulder checks, and tends to make simple plays when pressured, usually rimming pucks to his wingers. But he is also able of using some misdirection to make more direct passes up to his forwards. He would gain from using his acceleration more to better separate from forecheckers before he reaches the puck, giving him more time to turn and try those passes.
— via Habs Eyes on the Prize
2018 BSH Community Draft Board
- Rasmus Dahlin — D, Frolunda (SHL) (no vote)
- Andrei Svechnikov — RW, Barrie (OHL) (60% of the vote)
- Filip Zadina — LW, Halifax (QMJHL) (74%)
- Brady Tkachuk — LW, Boston University (NCAA) (57%)
- Oliver Wahlstrom — C/RW, USNTDP (USHL) (40%)
- Quinn Hughes — D, Michigan University (NCAA) (50%)
- Adam Boqvist — D, Brynas IF (SHL) (42%)
- Evan Bouchard — D, London (OHL) (49%)
- Noah Dobson — D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) (50%)
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi — C, Assat (Liiga) (34%)
- Joe Veleno — C, Drummondville (QMJHL) (38%)
- Joel Farabee — LW, USNTDP Juniors (USHL) (45%)
- Rasmus Kupari — C, Karpat (Liiga) (31%)
- Ty Smith — D, Spokane (WHL) (22%)
- Barrett Hayton — C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) (34%)
- Bode Wilde — D, USNTDP Juniors (USHL) (30%)
- Vitali Kravtsov — RW, Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) (35%)
- Isac Lundestrom — C, Lulea (SHL) (29%)
Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?