With the Anaheim Ducks in a bit of a retooling phase, one prospect who could have an important role with the team in the coming years is 2018 first-round pick Isac Lundestrom.
Lundestrom was recently recalled by the Ducks, according to a release from Timrå IK, but in his short time in Sweden’s second-highest professional league, he had five goals and 11 points in 12 games. For reference, here’s how his points per game average compares to all other players on NHL contracts who have been loaned to teams in the Allsvenskan (team and birth year are listed as well):
As you can see, Lundestrom’s production measures up well against other players who have been loaned to the Allsvenskan. His points per game average is higher than other first-round picks, in Simon Holmstrom and Oliver Wahlstrom (though both are younger and have played fewer games), as well as multiple second-round picks, in Rasmus Asplund, Jesper Boqvist, Samuel Fagemo, Carl Grundstrom and Raphael Lavoie.
This is a good sign for Lundestrom’s development, especially when you look at his potential ceiling. Many would likely project Lundestrom as a long-term third-line center for the Ducks, rather than a top-six center, given that he’s strong defensively but doesn’t have huge offensive upside. With that in mind, it’s positive to see that he’s still been able to produce at a strong rate at a professional level.
Lundestrom may still be a couple of years away from making the jump to the NHL but we could certainly see him score 30 or 35 points from year to year. Considering Trevor Zegras and Sam Steel are both good bets to take on top-six roles down the middle for the Ducks, Lundestrom could be a strong fit in the bottom-six and his strong production in the Allsvenskan is a good sign for his development.
***NOTE: We've launched a HockeyBuzz Ducks Twitter account! For anyone interested, you can follow @HB_Ducks for updates on articles, Ducks news, etc.***
Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
What do you expect Isac Lundestrom's long-term role to be with the Ducks?