Read: Oscar Lindberg Relishing Offensive Opportunity
Oscar Lindberg is far more than just a defense-first two-way forward, and he’s pleased to have the opportunity to show it this year.
I spoke with Lindberg earlier in the year about his excellent start to the season on the offensive side of the puck and the opportunities afforded him by Skelleftea coach Anders Forsberg this year.
“It’s fun to get the trust of the coaches and to get so much ice time when there are players who are injured. There is more responsibility, but I think I have handled it in a good way.”
Lindberg has spent time jumping between lines this season based on club need and body count, but he’s pleased with his contribution at both ends of the ice.
“I have played on various lines this season. Often I have played with Joakim Lindstrom and Jimmie Ericsson, and I think it has worked well. We have contributed much offensively.”
I asked Lindberg about another young Swede bound for New York in the near future. HV71′s Jesper Fasth, like Lindberg, signed an entry-level deal with the Rangers this summer, and I was curious to know if the two had spoken about the future at all.
“We have not talked a lot about what next year will be like, but it’s obviously nice to have another Swede in the same situation as myself. It will help a lot when I move over to the US.”
Blueshirt fans should be excited by Lindberg’s progress this season, but, after back-to-back playoff final defeats in Sweden, his sole focus at this point is on league glory with SAIK.
“I have not really thought very much about next year yet. All my focus right now is on Skelleftea, then we will see what happens next year.”
In an interview with Blueshirts United Gordie Clark said that Lindberg has been the Rangers prospect who has improved the most. Clark said that Lindberg was always a good defensive player but the offense he has added this season has turned him into a solid two-way player.
He has 10 goals and 16 assists this season and is tied for sixth in the SEL. Prior to this year he never had more than five goals in a season and 14 total points.
Expressen reports that Oscar Lindberg has suffered a likely concussion in today’s 7-3 Skellefteå win over Jesper Fasth’s HV71.
Lindberg was hit hard to the head by HV71′s Per Ledin late in the first period. Ledin was given a 2+10 penalty on the play and, after leaving the ice immediately, Lindberg did not return.
His participation in next week’s Karjala Cup tournament for Sweden is now unlikely.
Rangers Trio Named To Swedish Karjala Cup Squad
Carl Hagelin, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fasth have all been named in Sweden’s squad for the upcoming Karjala Cup tournament today. The full international call-ups are a first for both Hagelin and Lindberg.
The Blueshirts trio have made fine starts to their club seasons in Sweden. Hagelin’s seven-game stint in Sodertajle has revitalised the Allsvenskan club, winners of six of those games. Lindberg and Fasth, meanwhile, have proved standouts in strong starts for Elitserien sides Skelleftea and league- leading HV71.
Sweden’s campaign begins against the Czech Republic in Liberec on November 7.
Why Oscar Lindberg Is Having A Strong Start
Through 16 games, Oscar Lindberg is tied for third in the Swedish Elite League with 8 goals and 9 assists.
Three of his goals have come on the power play and two have been game winners.
In speaking with Lindberg, he cited filling out his body more as a reason why he has had such a hot start, “It probably depends on several things, I have improved physically and I have also had a major role on the team. I got a good start this year and it has continued.”
As of yesterday Lindberg led the entire Swedish Elite League in shots with 58 and says that he hasn’t really changed his approach other than trying to get better “if you shoot a lot the chances are bigger that you make goals. My shots are something that I try to improve all the time in practice.”
Lindberg added that he enjoyed being being known as a strong two-way forward who is strong in the faceoff circle, but also understands that he has more to give on offense, “Obviously I want to develop my offensive game further. That’s something I feel I have lost a bit in recent years as I have been playing in a more defensive role. It’s fun to help with the offense.”
Alex will be following some of the Rangers European prospects for SNY Rangers Blog.
Read: Oscar Lindberg’s Prospect Preview
In May of 2011, the New York Rangers obtained Oscar Lindberg from the Phoenix Coyotes for Ethan Werek.
Lindberg was a second round pick of the Coyotes in 2010.
Regarded mostly as a defensive forward early in his career, the 19 year old has slowly developed into a solid two-way player by becoming more involved offensively.
Hockey Prospectus: Already a Pro Level skater, thinks the game at a solid level, works hard on the ice and has an advanced defensive game. His offensive skills won’t exceed average, and physically he needs to get a little stronger. Otherwise, Lindberg is a dependable player in all three zones and is particularly strong in the face-off circle.
Lindberg has one goal and three assists in four games in the SEL so far this season.
CLICK HERE for a section on Lindberg.
At Hockey’s Future, Leslie Treff writes that the Rangers need to sign 2010 sixth round pick Jesper Fasth to an entry-level contract to be able to keep his rights.
Treff writes that the Rangers need to offer Fasth a contract in the next two months, “What that will involve is likely giving Fasth a bonus while having him play in Europe for another season, with no assurance that he will play for the Rangers in the fall of 2013. Although that is a big risk, it is expected that New York will do just that, as Fasth has excellent offensive upside.”
Treff writes that Oscar Lindberg, acquired for Ethan Werek last spring, is in the same situation as Fasth.
On Lindberg, Treff writes, “according to the Rangers, the experience Lindberg is getting is excellent, and his development is on target. Projected to be a second- to third-line player in the NHL, the Rangers are looking for Lindberg to develop into a mostly defensive forward.”
Treff writes that Lindberg could play next season with the Whale.
[jbutton color="red" link="http://www.snyrangersblog.com/category/prospects/jesper-fasth/" size="xsmall"]CLICK HERE[/jbutton] for a section dedicated to Fasth
[jbutton color="blue" link="http://www.snyrangersblog.com/category/prospects/oscar-lindberg/" size="xsmall"]CLICK HERE[/jbutton] for a section dedicated to Lindberg.
Grachev has played 10 games for the Blues and picked up 1 assist while averaging 9:25 per game. He has five shots in ten games.
In the BCHL, Fogarty, who will play at Notre Dame next season has:
Werek is playing for the Portland Pirates in the AHL this season. He has three assists in eight games.
Playing in the Swedish league, Lindberg, a 2010 second round pick of Phoenix has:
The Skellefet Website says that Lindberg “Have a good game inside and is a skilled two-way center. Is also a good skater and playmaker who can carry and pass the puck at high speed.”
I wanted to see his faceoff stats, since he is a wizard at them, but I struck out looking for them.
I am rooting for Grachev to succeed, Werek less so, but like the potential that Fogarty could bring down the line and Lindberg too even if he is a defensive center who is just Tim Erixon’s buddy and cousin.