Top 2018 NHL Draft Prospects: Isac Lundestrom

Top 2018 NHL Draft Prospects: Isac Lundestrom

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Top 2018 NHL draft prospect: Isac Lundestrom
Image by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images

Isac Lundestrom

With an “A” rating from NHL Central Scouting, Lundestrom is considered by most first round material this June and has pushed into the top fifteen in nearly all prospect rankings.

While his numbers don’t look all that spectacular this campaign with four goals and seven assists in 30 Lulea HF contests, he’s done comparatively well as a confident and driven 18-year-old plying his trade against adult competition in the Swedish Hockey League.

In addition, he’s engaged in a good amount of international play over his career, registering two goals in seven games for Sweden’s U20 World Junior Championship squad in this winter’s tournament in Buffalo.

Skating with Sweden’s U18 team in 2016-17, Lundestrom racked up a goal and four assists in seven WJC games, bringing his totals to three goals and 11 points in 17 international contests. Overall he’s landed 17 goals and 22 assists in international junior play since he began with their U16 club in 2014-15.

The 6-0, 185-pound center/left wing prides himself on working the puck in close to the net, and creating space with a variety of creative passing techniques.

He certainly sets his sights high, modeling his speedy, distributive game after Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

While he might not reach that level of stardom, Lundestrom is quite strong and smart on the ice, with a penchant for making the right play at the right time.

Others, including Lulea coach Thomas Berglund, compare his game to that of Henrik Zetterberg, featuring a host of gears on the ice and the ability to shift and accelerate on a dime. He is similarly praised for the ability, particularly as a playmaker, to sense when to patiently wait for the right opportunity and when to act quickly.

While still honing his defensive chops, Lundestrom possesses a well-rounded, gritty when warranted, 200-foot game that doesn’t dazzle in any specific phase, but should enable him to carve out a decent NHL career should he seek it.

Far from sheltered, in the SHL he serves effectively on the penalty kill, man advantage and at even strength during clutch time, where opponents find it difficult to contend with his slippery moves.

Eager and capable of effectively chipping in on both the forecheck and backcheck, he has a perceptive on-ice vision which helps his playmaking ability. He’s deftly able to find even the smallest openings through which to feed teammates in stride, creating high-percentage chances.

While he might bulk up a bit to help withstand the rigors of professional play and enhance his power game at the next levels, particularly on North American ice. He could improve his faceoff technique to be considered a first-line pivot. Lundestrom exhibits slick, soft hands, impressive puck skills and a rapid release.

Also lauded as a solid teammate who just makes those wearing the same jersey better on the ice, Lundestrom’s proven dangerous in one-on-one situations, employing his skills to outmaneuver opposing goalies with a wicked shot on the breakaway.   

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