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New York Rangers Have High Hopes For Defenseman Nils Lundkvist

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Three years of waiting were three years in the making for Nils Lundkvist, the highly regarded 2018 first-round, 28th-overall draft selection who is here, under contract, skating in the Rangers development camp and is expected to nail down a spot on the opening roster at right defense.

“It is a big opportunity to be here, and I’m going to do the best I can to improve these weeks and show which player I am and hopefully make the team,” the 21-year-old Swede said after his session on Saturday. “That’s my dream also and what I’m looking forward to.”

Lundkvist, who has honed his elite offensive skill the past three years with Lulea of the SHL, is the final piece of the 2018 Ryan McDonagh-J.T. Miller deadline deal with Tampa Bay — in which Libor Hajek, Brett Howden and Vlad Namestnikov also came New York’s way. So far, this has not been a boffo return for the Blueshirts, but if Lundkvist becomes an impact player, evaluations will change.

The Rangers’ atypical patience with Lundkvist — who certainly had a say in the matter — has benefitted Lundkvist, winner of the Borje Salming Award as the SHL’s best defenseman after posting 32 points (14-18) in 52 games for Lulea before playing a significant role for Team Sweden at the World Championships.

“I feel like it’s been a great couple of years in Sweden and I’ve done what I could back home,” he said. “Playing back home has been the best opportunity to develop, and develop as a person on and off the ice. It’s a big step just coming here and moving overseas. With the COVID situation and the way the season went, I think it was a good decision to stay home.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com