Photo via Zimbio
In Round 5 of the 2014 Draft, the Flyers selected Oskar Lindblom out of Sweden. He was still 17 years old at the time, not turning 18 until August 15 making him one of the youngest players drafted. As such, the fact that he played this season in the top Swedish league is all the more impressive.
Lindblom had a very solid season on a team that wasn’t very good in Sweden. Scoring 15 points against men in a top league is very impressive, and shows Lindblom has the mental skills to play against adults. This indicates he likely as more NHL potential than his current scoring projections.
While his current scoring projections push him out to 18 points per 82 games right now based off Vollman’s formula, he still has time to develop more offensively. This was a pure age 18 season and Lindblom won’t turn 19 until right before training camp re-opens in the late summer. Because of that, it’s very possible that he develops a lot more scoring talent as he gets older.
There is a a precedence for this as some NHL names came with similar Swedish League numbers to top line NHLers. Anze Kopitar is one who had 20 points in 47 games at age 18, compared to Lindblom’s 15 in 37. Kopitar has become an elite NHL center with the Kings. Now, he did score more than Lindblom but the career track shows that there is a chance Lindblom could blossom into a top 6 wing. Even getting a 40 point wing in Lindblom would be a huge steal for a 5th round pick.