Will Nils Lundkvist ever Play for the New York Rangers?
The young talent keeps piling up for the New York Rangers. Top prospect, Nils Lundkvist, has joined the squad on his entry level contract. The 28th overall pick from the 2018 draft is joining a defensive core that already includes names like Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba, Ryan Lindgren, and K’Andre Miller. Lundkvist is the sixth defenseman who is 22 years old or younger that is under contract with the Rangers. Lundkvist is an elite prospect and the last piece of the young talent the Rangers have acquired to join the team. Draftmates Vitali Kravtsov and K’Andre Miller played all or some of this most recent season with the big squad. What does Nils Lundkvist potentially bring to the Rangers? Or someone else? Will he ever play a game for the Blueshirts?
The future just got even brighter. 😎
Welcome to #NYR, Nils! pic.twitter.com/3WKPRpT4mV
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 3, 2021
Nils Lundkvist – Elite Offensive Upside
Rangers fans have been blessed with elite offensive defenseman through the teams history. If it weren’t for Bobby Orr, we would talk about Brad Park as the man who revolutionized the position. Brian Leetch also donned the Ranger blue for the vast majority of his career. Now the Rangers have Adam Fox. Lundqvist’s skill set is comparable to that of Adam Fox.
The 20-year old Swedish defenseman set career highs in seven different categories this past season. He recorded 14 goals and 18 assists while also logging a career high in ice time. Eight out of 14 goals came on the powerplay. If he sticks with the Rangers, look for Lundkvist to quarterback the second unit on the man advantage. He was also the recipient of the Salming Trophy. This award is awarded to the best Swedish born defenseman playing in the SHL.
There is no doubt that Nils Lundkvist is good enough to be on the Rangers blue line next season. However, he is the third most important right-handed defenseman on the team. He would open the season on the third pair behind Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba. Would he bring more value to the Rangers as the headliner in a trade for a superstar player? With Chris Drury at the helm and a plethora of young talent, the Rangers are in a position to pull off a blockbuster trade this offseason. Will Lundkvist end up in Buffalo for Jack Eichel? What about in Toronto for Auston Matthews? Drury has a lot of options for Nils Lundkvist and trading him for an elite player is just one of them.
The rebuild is really coming to an end. The Gorton and Davidson firing signified that. If the Rangers are serious about contending this season, then players like Nils Lundkvist may be on the move. He can be the headliner in a trade for a superstar. Drury just has to find himself the right trade partner. Even if the Rangers decide to not trade him, he will contribute to winning hockey in New York for a long time. Nils Lundkvist is an extremely talented hockey player, and you need those to win. He will help the Rangers win by contributing on the ice for them, or help them win by bringing in an elite player that directly helps the team. Lundkvist has an extremely bright future ahead of him, but it is still to be seen if it will be with the Rangers or not.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)