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COULD ANTON LUNDELL BE THE STEAL OF THE 2020 NHL DRAFT BY THE TIME ALL IS SAID AND DONE

With the twelfth overall selection in the 2020 NHL entry draft, the Florida Panthers took Anton Lundell from Finland. Experts within the industry felt that Florida would be a good fit for Lundell, despite many scouts having him listed in their top 10.

The Espoo, Finland native is off to a great start in the Finnish top division, Liiga, where he's an alternate captain for HIFK. In 15 games this season, Lundell has put up 19 points (11 G, 8 A), 6 penalty minutes, and is a +8.

Going to a team like Florida is a perfect scenario for a player like Lundell. The presence and leadership of Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov will help him learn to adjust to the North American lifestyle, as well as being helping him to develop into a solid NHL-caliber hockey player.

Having Joel Quenneville as your first head coach will be big for his development as well. Being able to learn from one of the best coaches in NHL history will help Lundell to grow as a player. One need only look at how Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane developed under Quenneville in Chicago to get a sense of what the veteran bench boss can provide for a player like Lundell.

If the 2020-21 NHL season does happen to begin in January, there's a good chance we will see Lundell in Florida. Given the way he's played this season with HIFK, it would make sense for him to come over to North America to attend an NHL training camp to help prepare him for NHL action.

Lundell has played professionally in Finland for the last three seasons with HIFK, and playing against older competition has likely already given him a bit of an advantage.

In 97 regular season Liiga games, he's put up 66 points (30 G, 36 A), 32 penalty minutes, and is a +25. In 12 career playoff games, he hasn't been very productive, recording 0 points, 29 penalty minutes, and is a -2. Obviously it's still early. Lundell's lack of production in the playoffs, and in pressure situations is something he will need to work on if he wants to have success at the NHL level.



Internationally, Lundell has represented Finland on multiple occasions. In terms of tournaments, he most recently played at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver, and Victoria, BC. In 7 games, he tallied 4 points (1 G, 3 A), 0 penalty minutes, and was a +/-0.


Source: The Hockey Writers
COOPER GODIN
NOVEMBER 27, 2020  (15H55)
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