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Photo Credit: SIMON ELIASSON / BILDBYRÅ N

CANUCKSARMY’S 2018 NHL DRAFT PROFILES: #11 Isac Lundestrom

Landing in the 11th spot is Swedish centre Isac Lundestrom.

A mainstay for the Swedish junior teams throughout his junior career, Lundstrom has been a regular in the SHL for the past two seasons and now has 91 games of experience at level.

He ended the year with 15 points in 42 games this year while producing some great two-way underlying numbers and draft analytical data.

The only question to his game is his offensive ceiling but there is little doubt about his trajectory towards an NHL career.

Bio

  • Age/Birthdate: 17.86/ November 6, 1999
  • Birthplace: SWE
  • Frame:6-foot-0/ 185 lbs
  • Position:C/LW
  • Handedness:L
  • Draft Year Team: Lulea HF(SHL)
  • Accomplishments/Awards:
  • 2014-2015
    • J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Points by U16 Junior (1)
  • 2015-2016
    • U17 WHC Bronze Medal
    • U18 WJC Silver Medal
  • 2016-2017
    • SHL Most Points by U18 Junior (6)
  • 2017-2018
    • U20 WJC Silver Medal

Stats

Career

2017-18 Season

GP G A P SEAL INV% 5v5 Pr INV% 5v5 eP160 Sh/Gp Sh% GF% GF%rel GD60rel XLS% XPR xVAL
42 6 9 15 1.42 15.2% 11.1% 0.97 1.00 14% 62.1% 15.7% 1.25 60% 38.06194408 5.443014946

We don’t see many teenagers have this much experience at the SHL level ahead of their draft class and combine that with the sparkling GF% and GFREL%, there is a lot to like about his game. He stands in term of SEAL and XLS% simply because he has been in the top league in Sweden.

His production won’t stand out but ranks well when looking at U19 players, finishing third among that group in points, trailing only Rasmus Dahlin and Lukas Elvenes.

Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)

Team Relative

Two things stand out about these graphs.

Despite having a limited role with Lulea, he made the most of his time in terms of production and generally made everyone better in GF% WOWY. He’s all alone in terms of GF% in the SHL Teammates Chart.

Cohort Based

Looking strictly at his points, size and age – 59.6% of his cohorts went onto becoming NHL regulars. There are some really notable names that he out-produced and he isn’t far off the other names on there. We see high success rates among draft-eligible players who see limited production in the SHL during their draft season but their pGPS produces a lower percentage that the blanket success rate.

Whereas Lundestrom stands out on his own.

Our Take

Isac Lundestrom is a player that you know what you are going to get when you draft him.

He is an effective in his two way player with a responsible mindset that has some decent and noteworthy offensive skills.

When creating offence, he is a good playmaker with a soft touch to thread passes to his linemates. He displays patience with the puck and uses his quick hands to move the puck well.  His shot isn’t fantastic as it lacks velocity but the release on his snapshot is good enough to beat goalies before they can get set and react.

Lundestrom has good speed that comes from strong and effective strides. He doesn’t have really quick acceleration but doesn’t take long to get going as his strides are fluid and direct. He is good at gaining speed in the neutral zone and then driving along the boards to draw defenders with him, he then flips it to his open teammate.

I’ve really liked his ability to protect the puck while in stride, able to lean with his leg to protect the puck-lane. Defenders can’t get through him to get to the puck, which allows him to do things as he chooses. When he doesn’t have the puck, he does generally play high in the offensive zone, as it appears that he is leaning towards the defensive side, but can slip into coverage easily to find those gaps.

Overall, his offensive game is good, and he was able to generate offence in a variety of ways, but he may lack that game-breaking offensive tools that some of the other prospects in this range have.

Lundstrom posted really impressive GF% numbers for any player in the SHL and given that he is only 18 years old, it’s even more noteworthy. It wasn’t simply that he outscored his opponent when he was on the ice, it was his line just shutting down the opponent. He uses the skills I outlined above to intelligently and effectively cut off passing lanes and move the puck out of the zone efficiently.

He is patient and reads his opponents extremely well.

The Lulea centre isn’t afraid to grind it out in his own zone to win puck battles.

Lundestrom isn’t a player that will make his mark every time he is out there. He disappears into the game in a good way as he keeps his play in his own zone very tidy while producing positive underlying numbers. Lundestrom is a just really smart player with a good toolbox.

Lundestrom has struggled in the faceoff circle at the SHL level, but that isn’t shocking and likely why we don’t see many teenagers as regulars at centre.

The major concern is what his ceiling might end up being. Given his skillset, it’s easy to see him topping out as a two-way third line centre who can help in an offensive role in a pinch. The defensive side to the game is often overlooked and is likely why Lundestrom isn’t a sexy pick. There is reason to believe he has more to give on the offensive side of the game with a larger role, and the scoring rates suggest that he has more to give, combined with his own zone play and there is a chance he could defy those expectations. Even if it doesn’t come together, you’ll walk away with a 3rd line centre and that isn’t a horrible thing.

Further Reading

Consolidated Average Future Considerations Hockey Prospect.com ISS Hockey McKeen’s The Athletic TSN Bob McKenzie TSN Craig Button The Hockey News Sportsnet ESPN Dobber Prospects
16 16.9 21 20 20 11 $$ 20 17 14 23 23 20

From Future Considerations:

The centerman skates well, with speed and mobility and balance. He’s a heady player and can produce offensively. Even without the puck and away from the play, he’s engaged in the play, actively seeking open lanes to become accessible to his linemates. When appropriate. Lundestrom would head for the net and look for rebounds and deflections. He’s got a nice flair for offense, whether he’s onetiming a shot or supporting teammates in enemy territory. Impressive decision-making with the puck. Quick hands. His release is admirable, but his shot could use an improvement in accuracy and power. He shows nice vision, with a real awareness of his linemates. Calm, but not afraid to grab the puck in the neutral zone and take over. He uses his body to shield the puck from opponents. Defensively, he’s smart and willingly shoulders a lot of responsible. With his high level of anticipation, he is able to intercept passes and take possession of loose pucks. He’s not the most physical player, but he doesn’t run from contact. Not afraid to take a hit or make a hit. Willing to run plays in traffic if necessary. A strong understanding of hockey, particularly team play, he offers a mature style of play. Confident in all aspects – and all zones – of the game, he displays a commendable workrate.

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CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings

#12 Noah Dobson #13 Joseph Veleno
#14 Joel Farabee #15 AKIL THOMAS #16 RYAN MERKLEY
#17 BARRETT HAYTON #18 Rasmus Kupari #19 RYAN MCLEOD
#20 JONATAN BERGGREN #21 VITALI KRAVTSOV #22 ALEXANDER ALEXEYEV
#23 CALEN ADDISON #24 DOMINIK BOKK #25 SERRON NOEL
#26 MARTIN KAUT #27 DAVID GUSTAFSSON #28 JAKE WISE
#29 BODE WILDE #30 RASMUS SANDIN #31 COLE FONSTAD
#32 JETT WOO #33 ALLAN MCSHANE #34 K’ANDRE MILLER
#35 JACOB OLOFSSON #36 NATHAN DUNKLEY #37 NILS LUNDKVIST
#38 JONATHAN GRUDEN #39 FILIP HALLANDER #40 JARED MCISAAC
#41 Nicolas Beaudin #42 Jack McBain #43 Ty Dellandrea
#44 Jesse Ylonen #45 Mattias Samuelsson #46 Jonny Tychonick
#47 Niklas Nordgren #48 Aidan Dudas #49 GRIGORI DENISENKO
#50 KYLE TOPPING #51 BLADE JENKINS #52 SEAN DURZI
#53 JACK DRURY #54 JAKUB LAUKO #55 JACOB RAGNARSSON
#56 ANDERSON MACDONALD #57 ADAM GINNING #58 FILIP KRAL
#59 Albin Eriksson # 60 Adam Samuelsson #61 Cameron Hillis
#62 Philipp Kurashev #63 BLAKE MCLAUGHLIN #64 MARCUS WESTFELT
#65 MILOS ROMAN #66 OSKAR BACK #67 GABRIEL FORTIER
#68 RILEY SUTTER #69 YEGOR SOKOLOV #70 ALEXANDER KHOVANOV
#71 CURTIS DOUGLAS #72 BENOIT-OLIVIER GROULX #73 SAMPO RANTA
#74 MARCUS KARLBERG #75 AXEL ANDERSSON #76 DAVID LILJA
#77 KODY CLARK #78 DMITRY ZAVGORODNY #79 LINUS NYMAN
#80 LIAM FOUDY #81 LINUS KARLSSON #82 Jachym Kondelik
#83 SCOTT PERNOVICH #84 G JAKUB SKAREK #85 TY EMBERSON
#86 JAY O’BRIEN #87 CARL WASSENIUS #88 VLADISLAV KOTKOV
#89 EMIL WESTERLUND #90 JERRY TURKULAINEN #91 STANISLAV DEMIN
#92 TYLER MADDEN #93 JAN JENIK #94 G OLIVIER RODRIGUE
#95 XAVIER BERNARD #96 KRISTIAN TANUS #97 LUKAS WERNBLOM
#98 NANDO EGGENBERGER #99 MATTHEW STRUTHERS #100 SHAWN BOURDIAS

 

  • Mattias

    His shot isn’t fantastic?
    He doesn’t have quick acceleration?
    Lacks game-breaking offensive tools?
    TOPPING out as a two-way third line centre?
    But hey, his GF% is sparkly???

    This guy projects to be a slow Hansen/Granlund..
    How can CA justify his positioning above Dobson? QMJHL prejudice?
    Or critiquing Virtanen or Sutter, like-ever?
    Reading between (and the actual) lines, I can imagine consensus was difficult to come by for the CA.

    With respect- a truly baffling selection at #11
    Hats off to your uniqueness.
    I hope is inability to accelerate, and his ability to disappear into the game (in a good way) translates to the NHL.

    That said, the effort here to profile (all) these players is commendable, and appreciated!
    Thank you for your hard work!

  • Jabs

    His average ranking is 16.9, he likely goes early second round.

    It is strange and unwarranted to see him ranked this high. I think CA needs to get their ranking process fine tuned and have a few kinks worked out because this is an example of a guy ranked too high whereas other guys, i.e. Kevin Bahl aren’t even ranked and he is projects to be a borderline first rounder on most rankings.

    • Ryan Biech

      16.9 equals 2nd round?

      That is 5 spots lower than where we have him ranked, but he is going to fall an additional 15 spots the other direction?

      Just because others have Bahl ranked high, doesn’t mean we should. He has poor two-way numbers and doesn’t produce offence.

          • Sandpaper

            I am not knocking Ginning, as I think he is a fine player and would be happy too get him on this team. I just think you overrate many of these professional leagues and underrate the Junior leagues especially if a player is Canadian and over 6’2″.
            I do enjoy the material, but, I keep an open mind on player assessments.