The New York Rangers are genuinely excited about their young prospects as recently Nils Lundkvist was named the Junior Player of the Year in the Swedish Hockey League. Lundkvist was selected in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 13, 2020
The New York Ranger prospect had an excellent year in Sweden
The Swedish blueliner has made his mark in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for Lulea, scoring 31 points in 45 games, thereby setting a new points record for a junior defender in the league. Lundkvist is also no stranger to international competition, representing his home country at the U20 World Juniors twice, once in Victoria in 2019 and in 2020 in the Czech Republic. In helping lead Sweden to the Bronze medal, he tallied eight points by scoring a goal with seven assists. When asked what the experience of setting the new points record, he told eliteprospects.com that “It’s was that it was a cool thing. When there was talk of that record, that I had a chance to overtake it, I had a drought of four to five games when I didn’t put up any points. Then there was a lot of talk about that, a lot of questions, ‘when will you set the new record? When are you going to hit it?’
What is the next step in his New York Ranger future?
The recent coronavirus pandemic has made that question a little tricky to answer. Assuming the opportunity exists, Lundkvist could make a push to make the Blueshirts roster next season. The scouting report on him states that in addition to his scoring ability, he draws praise for his back end mobility and that he continues to improve from year to year. He is familiar with his future Ranger teammates, having participated at the Rangers’ developmental camp this past summer, an experience that Lundkvist has repeatedly stated has helped his progression as a player
His family is no stranger to professional hockey, as his uncle Jan Sandstrom played many years for Lulea in the Swedish Professional League. Lundkvist was quite happy that he could play one season with his uncle.
The Rangers have quite a few talented defensemen on the way, at the forefront being Lundkvist and former Wisconsin defenseman K’Andre Miller, as the Rangers continue to stockpile young talent in the hopes of making a run at the Stanley Cup in the near future.