We’re closing out the top 10 on the draft board today, and that last spot goes to Anton Lundell. He’s a well rounded center coming off of a strong second season with HIFK of Liiga (Finland’s elite league), and while he’s a player that still stirs up some debates among scouts, there’s little doubt to the talent and prowess he’s shown so far, and there’s a lot to be intrigued about with this player, that’s for sure.
BSH 2020 Community Draft Board, No. 10: Anton Lundell
Team: HIFK, Liiga
Statistics: 10 G, 18 A in 44 GP
No. 3 (EU Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 8 by Future Considerations
No. 8 by ISS Hockey
No. 9 by Wheeler/The Athletic
What’s there to like?
There’s a lot to like about Lundell’s offensive game, which, as we said, is already showing as being pretty well rounded. He has a good shot, can pass pretty well, and his vision helps him to be decisive in play making, there’s certainly a confidence there. Additionally, he’s shown that he can be really strong in-zone on the cycle, and really just presents as an active force when he’s on the ice.
His skating isn’t something that we would call a particular strength, but somehow in spite of that he’s also worked to establish a strong transition game for himself, as he’s able to move the puck up the middle of the ice well enough.
And finally, we mentioned it in the introduction, but it bears repeating that Lundell is coming off of his second Liiga season, a really impressive feat in and of itself. There are players in his draft class that won’t even break into a professional league for another two years, and he already has two years under his belt. And really this should speak to his skill, how he was able to break into an elite league at such a young age, playing with and against grown men, and find success and a role for himself. That’s no small feat.
What’s not to like?
To crowd source the answer for this one, for Corey Pronman’s recent piece on which prospects create the most divide among scouts, one scout providing the cons for Lundel’s game said:
“I just don’t see his game translating to the NHL. He’s a third-line center, maybe even a fourth-line center for me. I just don’t see the speed or skill in his game.”
And while this isn’t a definitive ruling on Lundell—some scouts are more optimistic about his skill game, and think that the speed could develop for him—but it is something to take into consideration. There are some concerns about his skating, it needs some polishing but there doesn’t seem to be a reason why it absolutely cannot improve. But the questions of his upside and whether his game will translate to the NHL, while they may end up being unfounded, it’s not yet clear, may still be enough to scare some teams, and leaving him to slip a bit, even if he does still go in the first round.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
The Flyers are still looking for the answer to their 3C vacancy question, and while they might well have that already in-house, it can’t hurt to add more centers to the pipeline, if they look like they might be a real difference maker. You don’t draft by position, but by best availability, of course.
But, that said, Lundell does seem to be a type of player the Flyers would like. And we know that because, well, they already have a bunch of them in the system. The Flyers really like two-way, not always too flashy, does a little bit of everything type of forwards, or at least the last regime did, and made sure to stock up on them during their tenure. Talent is talent, and you can’t pass that up, but if the question is moving up to try to grab a player whose skillset you already have a wealth of in the system, the Flyers just might look elsewhere.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
Even if Lundell were to fall into the middle of the first round, that would still leave him well enough outside of the Flyers’ range, and it would take a pretty significant trade to move up to get him. It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility, but the Flyers would be in a somewhat tricky position of weighing whether the difference in impact between Lundell and whoever they’d pick at 23rd is worth whatever they’d have to give up to get him.
We’ll make two additions to the poll:
Jake Sanderson — D, U.S. National U18 (USDP)/USNTDP (USHL) — 7 G, 22 A in 47 GP and 2 G, 12 A, in 19 GP
“He’s an excellent skater. His ability to generate power through his straight-line push is better than I thought it was at the start of the year. He’s a mature, polished defender for his age, not only in the way he defends the rush but also off the cycle with the decisions he makes on reads and pressure. And he plays a hard-nosed style that teams covet.” - The Athletic
Seth Jarvis — RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)— 42 G, 56 A in 58 GP
For his size, he plays a deceptively powerful and gritty game. He isn’t afraid to take the puck hard to the net and has the utmost confidence in his ability to win puck battles. Jarvis has everything you look for in a dominant two-way player. He’s a smart, skilled forward with excellent hands. His vision and puck control is elite, and his ability to deliver the puck cleanly onto the tape and execute on the rush is among the very best in this draft. - The Hockey Writers
2020 BSH Community Draft Board
- Alexis Lafreniere — LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
- Quinton Byfield — C, Sudbury (OHL)
- Marco Rossi — C, Ottawa (OHL)
- Tim Stützle — LW/C, Manheim (DEL)
- Cole Perfetti — LW/C, Saginaw (OHL)
- Lucas Raymond — RW, Frölunda (SHL)
- Jamie Drysdale — D, Erie (OHL)
- Alexander Holtz — LW/RW, Djurgardens (SHL)
- Yaroslav Askarov — G, SKA (KHL)
- Anton Lundell — C, HIFK (Liiga)
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?
Who should be No. 10 on the 2020 BSH Community Draft Board?
This poll is closed