What should be expected of Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom during the 2019-20 season?
In his short career, Oskar Lindblom has flashed his ability for the Philadelphia Flyers in a few regards; his play on the defensive side of the puck, and heads up play style in the offensive zone. Oskar will never wow fans with his speed or hands, but he is the type of player his teammates love since he does so many things right on both sides of the puck. Does he forecheck well? Check. (pun intended) Is he responsible in the defensive zone? Check. Does he always seem to be around the puck? Check. These are things that simply help you win games.
Lindblom’s stats don’t leap off the page at you, scoring 39 points in 104 games, but they should improve as he settles into a role on the roster and finds chemistry with whomever they choose to put him on a line with. Lindblom and Nolan Patrick seemed to click at times and play off each other well, making it a real possibility that those two spend a significant amount of time on the same line this season.
Let’s assume Lindblom slides into the third-line left-wing spot. Receiving minutes against the oppositions third and fourth line would be a great spot to post bigger numbers and help the team with depth scoring. He could also find time on the penalty-killing unit while maybe even obtaining second unit power-play duties depending on how the new coaching staff chooses to use him. Lindblom, for whatever reason, found his way into former Head Coach Dave Hakstols dog house a few times in the last two seasons with some of it being warranted and some of it being downright confusing.
Just as he seemed to pick up his offensive game playing top-six minutes on a west coast trip in late October and early November picking up seven points in five games, he was banished back to the fourth line and fell out of sync offensively. After Hakstols dismissal and the change to Scott Gordon, Lindblom was again trusted to jump back into the top-six and came back to life after a rough December and early January. He picked up 22 points in the final 44 games of the 2018-19 campaign, which was encouraging to see as he was being rewarded for his steady play.
I see him sliding into the second or third line this upcoming season, bringing his steady style of play in both ends and becoming an anchor for the Flyers lineup. He reminds me a lot of Johan Franzen in terms of style and what he brings to the squad. If Lindblom could measure up to Franzen’s career in any capacity, it would be an absolute home run for Philadelphia. Oskar is just scratching the surface of his potential, and I expect to see a big year from the third-year winger on a much better roster than he’s ever been apart of.