Photo Credit: HIFK / Riku Laukkanen
Anton Lundell is coming off of a strong 2019-2020 campaign with HIFK. In 44 games played, Lundell tallied 10 goals and 18 assists. The Espoo, Finland native was able to improve upon his 2018-2019 campaign, in which he tallied 19 points in 38 games.
Unfortunately, Lundell missed six weeks of play this season with an elbow injury. Not only did he miss six weeks of game play with HIFK, but he also was not able to play at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic. But, his injury failed to slow him down. As you can see in the below tweet from Lassi Alanen of Elite Prospects Rinkside, Lundell was able to put together an impressive display when he returned from injury and tallied six points in his first five games back.
D.O.B – October 3, 2001
Nationality – Finland
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Height – 6’1
Weight – 187 lbs
Position – Center
Handedness – Left
Lundell’s Style Of Play
When you watch Lundell play, you quickly see that the 18 year old does not play like he is 18. Instead, Lundell plays like a 30 year old veteran. Instead of focusing on himself and using his ice time to solely put on a jaw-dropping display, the Finnish forward is a team-player first. In the defensive zone, you will see Lundell become HIFK’s third defenseman. His positioning is very much defenseman-like and he strives to showcase his defensive-minded attributes whenever he gets a chance.
When HIFK uses a diamond defensive strategy and his teammates have applied pressure against the attack, Lundell will opt to sit in the trapezoid behind his own net to eliminate space for his attackers to potentially move the puck along the boards to the right side of the ice. It’s plays like these that show just how impressive Lundell is in the defensive zone. While he might not opt to deliver booming body-checks like Jake Sanderson or Kaiden Guhle, he is constantly trying to find spots in the defensive zone to plant himself in order to shatter the attack.
In terms of his skating, he has a wide stride, in which his feet are consistently planted wide apart. In addition, his crosses are always in fine form. Whenever he ends up using his crosses, he quickly reminds you of when speed skaters at the olympic level are completing crosses to help accelerate and make quick tight turns. When Lundell is completing crossovers, his knees are always bent and this allows him to have better balance on his crosses instead of if he was standing tall.
In the offensive zone, Lundell is constantly on the move. His comfort zone is right at the crease, but he does not sit back and wait for the puck to come him. Lundell is always helping drive the puck around the zone and when he does not have the puck, he is searching for defensive gaps. When he finds a defensive gap, he quickly moves over to that spot and he suddenly has plenty of open ice.
On the powerplay, Lundell will consistently look to plant himself on the opposite side of the attack. This means that if the attack is penetrating on the right side, you will find Lundell on the left side. This allows Lundell to move to the slot, where there is not much pressure. In the slot, he will then call for the puck and deliver a quick shot.
When it comes to forechecking, Lundell plays more of an insurance role (similar to Aatu Räty). He will not be the one creating a lot of pressure on his opponents in the offensive zone, instead he will be to back up his teammates and be at the ready to collect a pass off of a successful forecheck. His style of play in the offensive zone is the “safe approach”. Lundell is not a Lucas Raymond, but he is a forward that understands that someone has to be ready to keep the cycle alive once his teammates strip the puck.
As I touched on earlier, Lundell has a quick release shot. You can expect Lundell to lean more on his wrist or snap shot. Often times, he will take shots in the slot. He prefers to be in the mid-slot or at the faceoff circle hash-marks. His accuracy in the slot is strong and he does a great job of picking corners in the slot.
Last but not least, let’s talk about his passing. Passing is the one area of Lundell’s game, in which he can struggle at times. If you are looking for Lundell to deliver tape-to-tape passing, that is not an issue for him. But, when Lundell looks to feed cross ice passing or centered passing on the rush, he will sometimes struggle with his accuracy. Yet, that should not be a reason why you do not take Lundell on draft night.
Patrice Bergeron, Center, Boston Bruins
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