The Time For Oscar Lindberg Could Be Near
Oscar Lindberg, 23, has been one of Hartford’s most productive offensive producers from the get-go this season. A native of Sweden, Lindberg was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NHL entry draft by the then Phoenix Coyotes, and traded the following spring from the desert to New York in exchange for Ethan Werek.
Up to this point, Lindberg has yet to play a single NHL game, but with Derick Brassard having become the latest Ranger to fall victim to the mumps virus, it’s possible that Lindberg’s time could soon come.
Since traveling across the pond to North America after spending the better part of four seasons playing in the Swedish Elite League, Lindberg joined the Rangers organization last season in Hartford.
In 75 games last season with the Wolf Pack, Lindberg collected 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points. Not half bad for a guy who had to make the transition from the bigger European ice surfaces, to the smaller North American rinks.
This season, Lindberg has continued to progress, as he now has nine goals and eight assists for 17 points in a touch over a third of the amount of games as last season. He also has 65 shots on goal, which is second only to Chris Borque on the Hartford roster.
In addition to being on pace to set career highs in both goals and points, Lindberg has also been the Wolf Pack’s most productive center on the power play, with four goals on the man-advantage, and second on the team as a whole, trailing only left-winger Chris Bourque, who has six.
With the recent news of Derick Brassard and the mumps, a slot at center opened up. JT Miller, who had been playing on the wing since his call up, made the shift back to center in Brassard’s absence, but if the Rangers want to continue to experiment with Miller on the edge, the spot at center would again open up, and in theory would be Lindberg’s to have. This of course would force someone out of the lineup, more than likely Tanner Glass. This move would work out nicely for a younger guy like Lindberg to get a chance to display his talents.
The Rangers are returning closer to home now that their 3-0 swing of Western Canada has come to a close. They play in Carolina on Saturday and wrap up a home and home with them on Sunday at MSG. Whether or not a call up will occur is yet to be seen, but if one does, it would only make sense for Oscar Lindberg to have his chance in the NHL. The time might be here for Lindberg to try his hand under the bright lights on Broadway.