What can the Rangers fans expect from recently acquired Oscar Lindberg this coming season? Immediately the young Swedish pivot is going to have to show the Rangers a glimpse into his talent as a lot of Rangers fans were excited about Ethan Werek and subsequently disappointed when he was moved out for the Swede. Clearly, Werek didn’t impress the Rangers management and a trade with frequent trading partner the Phoenix Coyotes resulted in Lindberg becoming Rangers property.
A long summer since the trade has perhaps pushed Lindberg to the back of the minds of many a fan but given that he will almost certainly be playing another season of pro hockey in the SEL, Lindberg’s season begins sooner than the Rangers’. The SEL is due to kick off again in under a month and Lindberg will be hoping to make an impact as he looks to make a future in the NHL. Lindberg is under pressure and not just to show he was worth moving Werek for but because the Rangers are now stacked at center and Lindberg will have to show quite a lot to make an NHL roster spot a legitimate goal in the short term.
Drafted 57th overall in 2010, Lindberg can play both left wing and center so it’s not all panic for the Swede should he not see an immediate future at center in the Rangers system. Indeed, given the expiring contracts in New York next season it may play into Lindberg’s hands if he plays a lot of left wing this year with his club, Skellefteå. There’s a chance that the young Swede may share a line with another talented youngster, Oscar Moller. The LA Kings property has returned to Sweden after failing to crack a deep Kings line up full time and potentially the two young forwards could help each other this season.
Known more as a defensive, two-way forward Lindberg may benefit offensively if he has line mates such as Moller. A productive season offensively with Skellefteå will certainly push Lindberg into focus even though he is based in Europe. With the SEL season starting September 13th, we’ll be keeping tabs on how the Rangers prospect does over the season.