2019-20 EU Rangers prospects recap: week 1
Hockey season has started in Europe with the first regular season games this past weekend. Unlike previous seasons, all the Ranger prospects are playing up North in Sweden and Finland. Here’s a recap of how they performed.
Nils Lundkvist – Luleå (SHL): 2 assists
The 19-year old defenseman earned his spot on the top pair in the SHL with some great performances in the Champions Hockey League over the last few weeks. With 2 assists in the season opener, Lundkvist was a big reason his team managed to beat Växjo Lakers 3-1. With almost 19 minutes of ice-time, the 2018 first round pick finished with a +2 rating and was picked as player of the game by his teammates.
Calle Själin – Leksand (SHL): +1 rating
An often forgotten prospect, the younger brother of Lundkvist’s teammate Pontus Själin, Calle has had a tumultuous 12 months. While his team won promotion to SHL last season, Själin was sidelined with a concussion near the end of the season. In the team’s return to the highest level, he played 14 minutes on the 3rd pairing in a 5-2 win, thanks to former Ranger Marek Hrivik adding a goal and assist. Själin finished with a +1 rating but did not add any points to his otherwise solid performance. If he can stay healthy, he’s a prospect to keep an eye on.
Adam Edström – Rögle BK (SHL): 11:27 TOI
The 6th round pick in the 2019 draft made his SHL debut for Rögle BK on the 3rd line but had a rather uneventful performance in a 4-0 win over HV71. Playing center at junior level, the 6’6″ prospect played on the wing. Patience is key with Edström but him playing more than 10 minutes this early in his D+1 season is a good sign.
Karl Henriksson – Frölunda Indians J20 (SuperElit): 3 SOG
In his first game back from North America, Karl Henriksson played with the under-20 team in SuperElit for his club. In a 6-2 win over HV71, Henriksson centered the 2nd line but failed to register any points. With 3 shots on goal he had some offense to his game, but his bad numbers on the dot, winning only 6 of 17 face offs, were unfortunately more telling. It’s just 1 game, and Henriksson missed most of pre-season due to his involvement in the Traverse City Tournament. Expect a better performance in the following weeks.
Leevi Aaltonen – KalPa (Liiga): 4 SOG
Aaltonen played one game on the 3rd line, getting 11:25 of ice time in a 3-2 win over Jukurit, in my opinion the team with the best logo in hockey. His 3 shots in limited ice time showed glimpses of what he can do. The following day, he was on the 4th line in a 2-1 loss to HIFK.
Olof Lindbom – Mora IK (Allsvenskan): 47-save shutout
Although the regular season has not yet started, Olof Lindbom did play a game this week that is worth mentioning. In a pre-season encounter with AIK from Stockholm, the 19-year old goaltender made a case for him being the starter with a 47-save shutout. Mora won the game 2-0 but everyone was talking about the great performance of the teenager between the pipes.
The following players did not play
Jakob Ragnarsson – Rögle BK (SHL): Healthy scratch
Lauri Pajuniemi – HC TPS (Liiga): Injury