2018 NHL draft prospect profile #14: Isac Lundestrom

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 28: Isac Lundestrom #20 of Sweden skates up ice with the puck in the third period against Czech Republic during the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on December 28, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. Sweden beat Czech Republic 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 28: Isac Lundestrom #20 of Sweden skates up ice with the puck in the third period against Czech Republic during the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on December 28, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. Sweden beat Czech Republic 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

We are less than two weeks away from the 2018 Entry Draft and the excitement is ramping up. Isac Lundeström takes the spotlight today.

Can you feel it? That underlying buzz that comes with the upcoming draft. This year’s edition is less than a fortnight away. No, not that Fortnite. Although, NHL teams are likely asking every prospect about the game thanks to Jeff Marek. Today’s feature covers one of the older centres in the draft.

Isac Lundeström may have a later birthday, but he has a leg up on experience compared to the rest. He spent the last two seasons in Sweden’s top hockey league, the SHL. Few players get a handful of games in that league at his age, but in that time span, Lundeström has played 97 games against professional adults.

Defencemen are the stars of this year’s draft, but good centres are available. NHL teams will like his professional experience and arsenal of skills that compose his game. Projections tend to vary and I’ll be honest, this draft is shaping up to very volatile.

I’m not quite sure where all teams are heading, so this could leave the first round wide open after the Vancouver Canucks make their selection at seventh. But that’s what makes a draft like this exciting. It doesn’t speak volumes for its relative strength, but I do appreciate the range of opinions we get from a variety of sources. Without further ado, here is the lowdown on Isac Lundeström.

The stats rundown

*Counting stats provided by EliteProspects

Height: 184 cm/6’0″

Weight: 84 kg/185 lbs

Birthdate: November 6, 1999

Position: Centre/Left Wing

Handedness: Left

Team (league): Luleå HF (SHL)







#15 by Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects)

#17 by Craig Button


Like I mentioned earlier, this is his second season in the SHL. Lundeström’s draft year improved on his six-point rookie season. He was also part of a very formidable Swedish squad at the World Juniors, collecting a couple of goals at the tournament.

With a shooting percentage of 14.3 and six goals, Lundeström produced about a shot per game. We would like to see more than that, but given his deployment, I can understand why his raw production and shot totals are on the light side. Remember, any production in the SHL at this age is very noticeable, even more so if a player secures a regular spot on his team.

More from Draft

Scouting reports

Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects:

"Skilled puck-distributor has shown very well as a draft-eligible player in the SHL and didn’t look out of place as a draft-minus one player in the top league either. His skill set may not jump off the page, but the nuances to his game are terrific. He’s the type of player you like the more you watch him. In a centre-lite draft, his stock will continue to rise. Soft hands and plus-rated hockey sense allows him to flourish in all situations."

Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst:

"Lundestrom was far too advanced a prospect to play junior hockey, and he succeeded with an altered role for Lulea. He’s fast, aggressive and loves to cause havoc on the forecheck. But don’t think for one second that his speed is what makes him a tantalizing prospect – Lundestrom is very creative with the puck and can bury chances from in close.Lundestrom owns an excellent shot with a quick release. He requires little backswing to get velocity on his slapper, and he can pick corners from the tightest of angles."

Patrik Bexell, Eyes on the Prize:

"He has a big body and isn’t afraid of throwing it around along the boards and behind the net, creating turnovers and taking the puck to the danger area to cause havoc for goalkeepers. (…)However what stands out is Lundeström’s vision. While he has a good shot when he decides to unleash it, he often looks for a pass even when he should shoot, instead setting up teammates for a chances. (…)His zone entries are strong, and he has quick hands that keep up with his top speed. He is, however, known to take the risky play rather than the safe option. (…)Still, his defensive game can’t be qualified as bad, it is just not up to the level of his offensive strengths."

What we think

Depending on who you talk to, they see Lundeström as a two-way centre with top six upside. His offensive abilities are excellent, complimented by his speed, creativity and impeccable passing. However, if we are talking about his defence, it’s a mixed bag.

He certainly works very hard and isn’t afraid to mix it up physically in the play. You may have seen more of that in Buffalo as Lundeström was one of Sweden’s most aggresive players. Although, that aggression is a double-edged sword.

Sometimes, his risky decisions can get him into trouble, but I personally don’t take issue with that. He is trying to create offence and as a younger guy in a mens league, I can see where he can get burned on mistakes.

This was something Timothy Liljegren was harshly criticized for, and he made a smooth transition to the AHL on a loaded Toronto Marlies squad. All I’m saying is that you don’t entirely discredit a player for taking offensive chances.

Next: 2018 NHL draft profile #15: Vitali Kravtsov

His reads and overall play in the defensive zone need work and I can see him spending next season in Sweden again. But that offensive toolbox is just something that you can’t ignore. He is a bright individual that needs a little time to hone his game, but come June 22, an NHL team will add a very intriguing prospect to their system.