Nils Lundkvist will stay in Sweden next season

Top defense prospect will play one more year overseas

Top NY Rangers defense prospect Nils Lundkvist has decided to stay in Sweden for next season.

His deal with Lulea for one more season. Lundkvist has been playing in the SHL, which is arguably a better league for development than the AHL. Playing against top Swedish and European talent will likely get him ready to make the jump directly to the NHL the following season.

It’s easy to understand his decision. He’s still a kid. There are still major COVID-19 worries in the US. Next season in the NHL is still a question mark. The season is likely not starting until January. There is too much uncertainty for him to commit when he can play a full year of professional hockey in Sweden.

This is the right move for him. There’s no need to rush a prized prospect when next season is such an undecided mess. Staying in Sweden is the right move for Lundkvist.

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  • That’s fine. Another year of development can’t hurt — plus there’s no reason to assume that with the delay in scheduling for next season that he won’t be able to sign and play in the NHL when the season is over in the SHL, assuming it’s a normal start to finish season.

      • It’s not the worst thing, but he needs to get used to the game here.

        Is the ice surface the same size in Sweden as here?

        • Tarasenko and Buch opted to stay in KHL and jump right away, on the other hand Andersson and Kravy….. not much

        • “Is the ice surface the same size in Sweden as here?” NO
          but… talent always beat surface with enough experience there

          • I didn’t think so. The play is tighter here my friend. Not as much open space to roam.

          • you might be right, but their confidence much stronger there and they come more mature. It’s matter of 10-15 games to get used to the size and rink. Most important is the coach who does the transition. DQ not that one, but Knob might. Well, I think it’s right way to stay one more year over there and see what Org does on revamp blue line

          • Correct Richter much easier to adapt to a larger ice surface from a smaller, then the other way around.

            Bu chosing a guaranteed season in Sweden over a maybe season in AHL is a smart move by the young rearguard.

          • The thing here is that the AHL season may not start for a while, maybe not until Dec or even Jan, so based on that assumption, then this is the right move.

          • “talent always beat surface with enough experience there”

            I disagree. I have played at the Herb Brooks Area my entire career. It’s basically an Olympic size rink but for sure it’s International size like Sweden. The size difference would throw off a lot of top prospects from Canada. The quadrants that we had to adjust isn’t a walk in a park at any level.

            During Can/Am weekend, we would have to switch between rinks. The Olympic center holds other skating rinks but their normal size with lower boards. Trust me it can definitely throw off a teenager who hasn’t played a NHL game yet . Add in how small this kid is and he will have to get use to that as well.

          • I don’t disagree re adoption to smaller rink, but… one more year playing among adults it’s more beneficial for him as his confidence building faster overthere.

        • It’s 15′ wider … and that allows players more time to do whatever it is they want to do. Compared to the leagues where they play on a larger ice sheet the NHL rink allows other players to better hound you. That’s the adjustment that needs to be made, quicker decisions and quicker execution.

          Normally I would agree that coming over and playing in Hartford wouldn’t be a bad thing, but Hartford over the course of the last few years didn’t really develop players. Last year was no exception. He’s 19 years old, let him mature physically in Sweden another year … that way he’s better prepared, even for the AHL — unless we’re moving Tony D out or to the LD in the next year. I’m guessing not.

          • “but Hartford over the course of the last few years didn’t really develop players”

            Then the Rangers do not have the right people there.

          • I think that’s right. The Rangers cleaned house in 2019 and the record improved immensely, but it appears that this was just because Shesterkin was just so good. The team faded a lot after he was called up and when you look at Andersson, Kravtsov, Gettinger, Day, Rykov, Hajek, somebody should have taken a step forward. Maybe the new Hartford coaches helped Lindgren and Keane, but that’s about it.

            I’d bring in another new team.

          • Well Ray, they’ve only been there one year. I might wait to judge them fully after 2-3 … but I am concerned about the treatment Andersson and Kravtsov got, the lack of development in Sean Day, Hajek, etc. It sometimes appears as if Hartford doesn’t really develop their players, the development of a player or two every year appears to be more tied to the players themselves — i.e. Shesterkin, Lindgren, Georgiev, McDonough, etc. These were all guys who seemed to be capable of playing (not that they didn’t need some developing) in the NHL from day 1.

  • Not a fan of this decision at all. Already one of the top 5 defenseman in Swedish hockey. He has nothing left to prove in Sweden. Time to challenge yourself to a higher level of competition. He should have at least made sure had an NHL out clause should he make the team. Maybe he does. If not, Poe decision in my view.

    • Well, my friend, SHL is much better than AHL. With Staal and Smith here, Nils made the right decision. I don’t see any harm for Org to rush him here as we already having youth in ADA, Fox, Lindgren. Plus Trouba

      • “we already having youth in ADA, Fox, Lindgren. Plus Trouba”

        The issue with that is how I wouldn’t trust any of them in a matchup situation vs really good 2nd and 3rd lines. Trouba has a lazy stick and ADA has a overzealous on. Quality top 9 talent could school Lindgren in any of the three zones, the more he plays top 4 minutes, the more I fear he will be expose. Fox has the best stick out of those three and a upgraded awareness without the puck. These guys are still chasing the puck 24/7 in their own end when all they’re suppose to do is play zone.

        It hurts to see other teams with good PK forwards and size to them bully Fox, ADA and Trouba behind their own net on the PP. Nils and the Rangers D core needs a Kevin Klein for their bottom 4 for the PK, 5v5 and closing out games.

          • What do you mean trust Nils? If you want to put that trust in him than fine. I’m leaning more towards how he is going to have to play catch-up. He should be making plans to come over as soon as possible. He will have to alter his game on the fly if he wants a spot in 2021.

            I have been questioning his size throughout all my post. I even talked about how he’s going to be apart of a already small D core. The cons of being undersized against good NHL PK’s.

  • That’s probably the best thing for the team and the player in this case. The Rangers are stuck with Staal & Smith for 1 more season anyway. I’m sure they’d make it work if he came up but for the team, this is best. For the kid, he’ll get that one more full season against grown men in the SHL. I would have liked for him to learn the North American pro game for a year before he came up to the NHL but that’ll come too in due time. Can’t have everything.

    • Agree. Even if one doesn’t think it’s best for the Rangers, it’s certainly best for him and his development, especially given what we can expect next season, between COVID impact and the roster as it stands.

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