With so many offensive powerhouses in the top end of this draft, this player brings a strong two-way game and projects as a prototypical workhorse at centre.
Coming in at seventh on our draft rankings is Finnish centre Anton Lundell.
Name: Anton Lundell
Date of Birth: Oct 3rd, 2001
Weight: 187 lbs
Statistics provided by EliteProspects
The stats immediately pop off the page for Anton Lundell. He had one of the most promising draft minus-one years with HIFK in 2018-19 where he put up nine goals and 10 assists in 38 games. As a 17-year-old, he had one of the top scoring seasons for his age group and sits at the top with comparable numbers to players like Aleksander Barkov and Jesse Puljujarvi.
Whichever team gets their hands on Lundell will be happy to know they are landing a solid two way centre who controls the puck just as well as anyone in the Liiga. Lundell had a 65% Corsi percentage this season and finished third in the league in that department. As a draft-eligible prospect, that’s incredibly impressive.
Lundell keeps such a high CF% because he is excellent at controlling the puck and rarely turns it over. He is a rabid animal on the forecheck and is rarely out of position defensively.
One part that may lack in Lundell’s game is his edge work. His skating is fine but it almost seems as though he struggles to make quick transitions and can’t turn on a dime like some of the other high-end prospects in the 2020 draft. Once he gets a few steps in he is a very powerful skater and does seem like he has a high top speed. One thing that scouts always talk about is the first three steps. Lundell has a very powerful first three steps but getting to the point of takeoff seems to be the only issue in his skating.
Here’s what the scouts are saying:
A polished, two-way centre who already brings the full package. His patience with the puck allows him to distribute the puck with more efficiency. Boasts an elite brain to support his well-rounded style. Super safe.
-Cam Robinson, DobberProspects
When I watch him play nothing about his game stands out. I think his skating is average and his skill is just above-average. But it’s hard to deny how much he scores everywhere he goes, especially versus men in Liiga the last two seasons, and how much coaches seem to trust him. I like his hockey sense a lot and think he competes very well. The question among NHL scouts is whether he’s a second- or third-line center in the league. I lean to second right now because of the track record.
-Corey Pronman, TheAthletic
With an assist this morning, Anton Lundell is up to 26 points in 40 Liiga games on the season.
His 0.65 points-per-game are the 11th best ever by a U19 draft-eligible skater in Liiga history.
Not bad for a kid with a supposedly limited upside.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) March 3, 2020
It would have been great to see Lundell at this year’s World Junior Championship but he had to miss it due to an injury. Lundell actually assisted on Kappo Kakko’s gold medal-winning goal at the previous World Juniors.
There is a lot to like about Lundell. His two-way game is elite, he can score when given the opportunity and he has been playing well in one of the top leagues in the world for the past two seasons. He looks like a safe pick in the top 10 for a team that is looking to add a Bo Horvat type player.
I like Lundell and think that the only thing holding him back from being a top five pick is that he is too quiet. He plays a solid game but didn’t score any highlight reel goals or show many flashes of brilliance this season. He just quietly gets the job done and that will be something that an NHL team will love once he arrives in North America.