A lot has been said this offseason about European prospect Oscar Lindberg pushing for a roster spot in camp next month. While Rangers fans are excited about the talented center who was named MVP of the Swedish Elite League playoffs this past season, many, including myself, have never seen him play.
Well, here' s a little highlight video to familiarize yourself with him (he's #24)...
...i hate to take anything away from Lindberg, but man the goaltending in the SEL is horrific. I'd say 75% of the goals in this video would be easily gobbled up by every goaltender in the NHL not named Marc Andre-Fleury.
...back to Lindberg. Despite the embarrassing display of netminding in the video, I was shocked to see the offensive ability this guy possesses. I remember when the Rangers first acquired him, the scouting reports said that he was a defensive minded forward who could chip in the occasional offense. But the moves Lindberg displayed during the highlights where top level stuff you'd expect from an offensively dynamic forward. I know a video such as this is meant to pump his tires, but I couldn't be more excited about this kid's future after watching these clips.
...i'm rooting for Richards to figure it out this year, but I can say with confidence that he couldn't pull off 90% of what I just witnessed in that highlight film. Now that doesn't mean Lindberg is going to have instant success at the NHL level, but I can tell you with confidence that he can't be worse than what Richards offered last season.
Clearly a good skill set there, but it's also clearly not the NHL. If he can develop into a player that can compete in the NHL (and obviously he's not quite there), there's some potential to get excited about, but it all remains to be seen.
Looked like some pretty weak defense as well. A guy like this shines with the extra room east west and in the corners. If he can adjust to an NHL rink I'd like to see what he can do. He'd better keep his head up coming across the middle of the ice in the offensive zone cause I didn't see anyone touch him in this reel.
I'd like to see him play in the preseason for sure !
Raw, but talented. Looking forward to seeing what he can do in NA. Thanks for the clip, Kevin.
Btw, I remember seeing a really nice set of clips showing off Grachev a few years ago. That didn't really pan out, sadly. So lets be cautious in our optimism. :)
@TheNYRBlog Bad goaltending
"but I can tell you with confidence that he can't be worse than what Richards offered last season." Well, Richards was on pace for roughly 52 points over 82 games last season. I know he was bad, but he's bad within context of being one of the top paid players in the game. We'd be extremely lucky to get that production from Lindberg next season if he's called up.
...Then again, I'm just nitpicking a statement that I know is hyperbole BUT STILL
@TheNYRBlog If you judge goaltending in the Swedish Hockey League by a 4-min action reel presenting a forward, you're not much of an expert.
@TheNYRBlog wow ads in the entire face off circles
@TheNYRBlog he's great
@tygalpin While you answered your own question. Lindberg will likely only get a chance if Richards really struggles. And I think the Rangers will give him a long leash in an attempt to justify not amnestying him.
@AnnicaGramman Obviously Lundqvist is product of SEL, but he seems like the exception not the norm. No demand for Swedish goaltenders in NHL
@mistacabbage Got to assume that will eventually happen in the NHL at some point as well.
@TheNYRBlog And yet there's 9 Swedish goalies on NHL team rosters for the upcoming season.
@TheNYRBlog Let’s get some smaller goalie pads in there first so we can see the Rangers score more than 2 goals a game!
@TheNYRBlog Henke was unproven once as well, everybody learns. There's 3 NA goalies on SHL rosters this season learning to play on big ice.
@AnnicaGramman And a grand total of 3 of them are starting goaltenders. And two of them (Fasth & Markstrom) are still unproven.