Photo Credit – Nathalie Andersson
Alexander Ljungkrantz is a player who has been on a lot of Swedish prospect watcher’s radars for a few years. A regular in the national team set-up since he was 15 years old, the Gävle native was only outscored in his final year at u-16 level by potential top-40 2020 pick Theodor Niederbach. However, while he has been on the radar for some time he has not quite made the leaps that some might have hoped for over the last two years. He has not “disappointed” by any means, but while he plays a game-style that makes him easy to root for his production has not stood out against his peers, and his skill-set means that his potential is capped as an NHL bottom-sixer. That being said, he should be a legitimate option for teams later in the draft.
D.O.B –February 27, 2002
Nationality – Sweden
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Weight –185 lbs
Position – Left Wing
Handedness – Left
Ljungkrantz’ Style Of Play
In terms of his skill-set, Ljungkrantz fulfils many of the stereo-types for a modern-day bottom six winger. The gritty Swede likes getting to the danger areas. He also battles well along the boards and has a knack for finding seams and getting into space in and around the crease. Additionally, he is a good skater who moves up ice well. His skating is not “elite” but he uses his edges effectively when protecting the puck, when fighting for position, and to get space for himself.
While the man from Gästrikland is not an exceptionally skilled player he has some plus offensive skills. His release is good, and he shoots well in stride or stationary. But he does not have the deftest of touch or the high-end vision to create high-danger chances consistently.
On the power-play can play in either the slot or closer to the net. However, at a higher level it is unlikely he will get a consistent man-up role. Simply put, the winger is a complimentary player of the highest order. With a good, intuitive center on his line he may well be able to produce to a decent level in professional leagues.
He works very hard over all 200ft of ice, and while not an instinctive defensive player he is a plus in his own zone for his age. His work in the neutral zone at breaking up plays is a pleasure to watch. This ability extends to playing in man-down situations as well, where he has an active stick that he uses to send the puck the other way with regularity. For the Swedish national junior teams, he has been a go-to penalty-killer. For a player who likes the danger areas he is well disciplined, and rarely takes poor penalties.
Ljungkrantz could be an interesting proposition for a team in the final few rounds of the 2020 draft. He plays a mature game for his age, and it is hard to see him not becoming at worst a solid bottom six SHL player down the line. If he hits he could be a dependable bottom six winger in the NHL who is a regular penalty killer.
Jesper Fast, RW, New York Rangers
Ljungkrantz has a lot in common with his fellow Swede. While the Rangers winger undoubtedly has more skill and a better passing touch, both play the game in a similar way. Gritty and physical without crossing the line, intense fore-checkers and good penalty killers. They also both penalty-kill well. Both have plus shots, and are good at getting space round the net. While it is doubtful the Brynäs man will consistently produce at the 30+ point level Fast does if he makes the NHL, he could turn into a slightly lesser version of the man who wears an “A” for The Broadway Blueshirts.
Stats from EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Alexander Appleyard. If you would like to follow Alexander on Twitter, his handle is @Avappleyard.
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