The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Oskar Lindblom in the 5th round (138h overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. Lindblom is a strong left winger from Sweden, playing in the BRYNAS system. Here are his basic numbers:
Height: 6’0″-6’2″ (depending on where you look)
Games Played: 44
These numbers look neither terrible, nor outstanding. Therefore, let’s go beyond the numbers and put some of these stats into context while seeing what else Lindblom has accomplished.
Those stats come from the 44 games he played this past season in the Swedish Junior/U20 league, where he spent a majority of his season. However, he also spent a total of six games in the Swedish U18 league, during which he scored eight goals and added five assists. 13 points in five games? It is safe to say he was too good for that league.
Lindblom was also given a four game look at the highest level in Sweden, the SHL. Although he did not earn any points, it was an opportunity to play against grown men in what is quickly becoming one of the top leagues in the world after the NHL and KHL. As a point of reference, the Flyers 2nd round pick in 2013, Robert Hagg, played in the SHL for 27 games and in the U20 League for 28 games during the year leading up to the 2013 Draft.
Although Lindblom’s look at the highest level was much shorter, he should have the opportunity to move up next season.
Finally, Lindblom had two strong performances to finish out the season. He score six goals in seven games during the Swedish U20 playoffs.
He also took part in the IIHF U18 World Championships as a part of Team Sweden. His strong performance may have been outdone by the likes of 8th overall pick William Nylander (16pts in 6 games) and 29th overall pick Adrian Kempe (7pts in 6 games), but Lindbloms three goals and three assists through the six game tournament are nothing to sneeze at. Team Sweden stats can be seen here.
Lindblom has consistently put up solid numbers, albeit not spectacular numbers, in almost every league that he has played in. However, when looking at Lindblom as a 5th round pick and a player who was passed up 137 times on draft day, he looks to have a solid pedigree.
The next question to tackle is, what kind of player is Oskar Lindblom? Is he a finesse forward? A power forward? He is a high-end skill player or more of a grinder?
Full disclosure, I have never seen Lindblom play. However, I have attached the notes from those who have in order to understand Lindbloms style.
Eliteprospects had this to say about Lindblom.
Lindblom is a powerful skater with a strong, two-way game. He isn’t shy to do the dirty work and is a pain to move out from in front of the net. He gets himself open to create offensive chances but isn’t overly flashy.
Bill Meltzer added the following report,
There are no frills to Lindblom’s game and he is willing to battle for the puck. His size and style are well-suited to the North American game and his skating is improving. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder played his best games of the year at the most important time of the season, and that is an encouraging sign.
Dobber Hockey added these thoughts to their report of Lindblom,
He’s acclaimed for his power forward style of game that features strong skating skills and a good net drive. Not overly skilled with the puck, Lindblom appears to be a player that will complement a line rather than carry it.
When the Flyers director of scouting, Chris Pryor, was asked about Lindblom, he said this,
The consensus seems to be that Lindbloms size and strength allow him to be a solid power forward. The jury is out on his skating (Dobber and Eliteprospects seem to think its a strength, Meltzer believes its a weakness that may be improving), but his goal scoring ability cannot be denied. Lindblom has all of the makings of a Wayne Simmonds or Scott Hartnell type forward, and that is something to be excited about.
More in this series: