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Nils Lundkvist

Nils Lundkvist will remain in Sweden for another season

Lulea of the SHL has announced that Rangers prospect Nils Lundkvist will remain in Sweden for another season. (Lulea)

Lundkvist said that staying in Sweden will help him gain “more experience until the day I cross over” and added “also, if you look at the state of the world right now, this feels best to me.” (Lulea)

Adam Rotter: With so much uncertainty about when the NHL and AHL were play next season, it makes sense for Lundkvist to stay in Sweden. What it also does is allow the Rangers another year to figure out who is staying and who is going on defense.

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Nils Lundkvist

The big season that Nils Lundkvist had

Chris Peters of ESPN named Nils Lundkvist to the defense of his All-Prospect team this year and also named him a “runner-up” to being Prospect Of The Year. (ESPN)

Lundkvist, the 28th overall pick in 2018, finished second on his team in points (11 goals, 20 assists) and averaged 20:18 per game.

His 31 points and 20 assists this season “both the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history.” (Rangers Prospect Report)

On this past season, Lundkvist said that injuries to other players allowed him to take a bigger role and get more ice time and “showed the coaches that they can rely on me.” (NYR)

He added that he enjoyed playing a big role for Sweden at the World Juniors in helping them win Bronze. (NYR)

On which current NHLer he models himself after, Lundkvist said he likes watching fellow right handed Swedish defensemen Erik Karlsson and John Klingberg as well as Kris Letang, and since he has been watching the Rangers, Adam Fox and Tony DeAngelo. (NYR)

From the Rangers Prospect Reports since Lundkvist was drafted:

  • 10/29/18: “He has an internal fire, the engine that burns really bright, and it shows whether you meet him or you watch him on the ice.” – Rangers Director of European Scouting Nickolai Bobrov on Nils Lundkvist
  • 2/18/19: “After World Juniors, he came back (to Lulea) with a new energy and confidence. Since then, he has played great hockey and has taken his game to another level. His skating ability and speed have improved compared to last season, and he is noticeably stronger. Defensively, he is hard to beat due to his good hockey sense and mobility. Offensively, he has been more productive recently. He is taking steps to get better every day.” – Rangers European Scout Patric Kjellberg on Nils Lundkvist
  • 10/7/19: “He is a very confident player this season. He makes sharp breakout passes and carries the puck with presence. He looks bigger and stronger (this season) and plays a solid defensive game. He has earned the coaches’ trust and plays a much more significant role on his team than he did last season.” – Rangers European Scout Jan Gajdosik on Nils Lundkvist
  • 12/12/19: “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m one year older and one year wiser. Last season, I think I put a bit too much pressure on myself and maybe tried a bit too hard out there on the ice. Now, I only try to play as easy as possible and keep it as simple as I can. This year I’ve started to play to my strengths a whole lot more.” – Rangers prospect Nils Lundkvist on his development from last season to this season (Credit – EliteProspects.com)
  • 1/20/20: “It’s obviously something I dream about, to play in the NHL for the New York Rangers. If it’s next year or the year after that, we’ll see. It’s a goal I’m trying to achieve, but I’m not in a hurry. I just want to make sure I’m ready.” – Rangers prospect Nils Lundkvist

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic had Lundkvist as a member of the defense for his All Prospects First Team.

He wrote that “Lundkvist didn’t just have the best year of any D prospect, he had one of the better years by any player outside the NHL.” (The Athletic)

Lundkvist was recently rated by The Hockey News as the 52nd best prospect in the NHL and third overall for the Rangers.

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Igor Shesterkin New York Rangers Top Propsects Nils Lundkvist

Igor Shesterkin ranked as the top NHL prospect by TSN

TSN‘s Craig Button lists Igor Shesterkin at #1 on his list of top-50 NHL affiliated prospects.

Shesterkin ranked 10th in his rankings last year and Button says he has “all the tools necessary – skill, poise, sense and technical ability – to be a success at the NHL level and is the heir apparent to Henrik Lundqvist on Broadway.” (TSN)

Other Ranger prospects ranked by Button include:

  • 22: Nils Lundkvist
  • 36: Vitali Kravtsov (Ranked 1st last year)
  • 43: K’Andre Miller

On Shesterkin, Button added, “when you look at his resume, all he has done in the course of his career is have success, unbelievable success. When you want to look at goaltending leaders wherever he has played he is at the top of the list or near the top of the list. When you think about his NHL debut on Tuesday against the Avalanche, a little bit of a shaky start but then he settles right in. When you consider that he has mind, skill, poise and technical abilities, you are looking at the heir apparent to Henrik Lundqvist, who has been one of the greatest goalies of the history of the NHL. Pretty big shoes, skates and pads to fill but for Shesterkin you are looking at a top-end goaltender and the Rangers have a replacement for Henrik Lundqvist.”

Corey Pronman of The Athletic listed Lundkvist as one of his standouts from the World Juniors, saying that he may not be “the biggest, quickest or most skilled defenseman you’ll ever see, but he’s so smart and that makes him project as a top-four defenseman in the NHL.”