Likelihood Of Lindblom To Lehigh Valley This Season

der Eishockeyzuschauer

Hockey Analyst



Continuing to monitor the developments that will directly affect whether or not skillful winger Oskar Lindblom will be joining the Lehigh Valley Phantoms later this spring for what would be a second consecutive season, it shall be noted that the 20-year-old whom the Philadelphia Flyers selected in the fifth round (# 138 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft has been summoned by his country’s senior national team for the second time this season and will be participating at the upcoming Sweden Hockey Games tournament to be held in the city of Gothenburg beginning on February 9th.

Lindblom, who tallied two goals and five assists for seven points while skating in eight American Hockey League games for the Hamilton Street Heroes at the tail end of last term, acquitted himself fairly well on his full international debut for Tre Kronor during the 2016 Channel One Cup tournament in Moscow that was played in mid-December and senior national team trainer Rikard Gronborg obviously wants to see more of the youngster who is currently third on the domestic elite league scoring chart having totaled 16 goals and 37 points in 40 games for IF Brynas Galve this season.
A review of Lindblom’s performance for Sweden in Moscow can be found here:
Lindblom, who was not chosen for the 2016 Karjala Cup tournament that was played in Finland at the beginning of November, is among the eight forwards who return from the Swedish squad which skated at the Channel One Cup a couple of weeks before Christmas.  This time around for Tre Kronor, however, the former and perhaps future Phantoms winger will not have the luxury of skating on the same line as Linus Omark, the extremely talented 29-year-old NHL veteran now with Russian club Salavat Yulayev Ufa, who has registered 15 goals and 63 points in 80 career games for Sweden, but is making way for others at this upcoming tournament.  Johan Ryno, the 30-year-old veteran center from BK Farjestad Karlstad who once skated in a dozen AHL games for the Detroit Red Wings’ farm club in Grand Rapids, before going home abruptly many moons ago, centered for Lindblom and Omark in Moscow and also returns for the Sweden Hockey Games.
Ryno (6’5″ 216 lbs), for all his size and professional experience, really only has ten career games (no goals, one assist) for Sweden under his belt and so the coaching staff might want to evaluate how Lindblom does skating with a center who is more established at the international level.  Mattias Sjogren (6’2″ 214 lbs), the well traveled 29-year-old veteran from Swiss club SC Zurich who once skated in 51 AHL games over parts of two seasons for the Hershey Bears, before returning to Europe for good in the summer of 2013, has already appeared at the annual IIHF World Championship four times and is a decent playmaker–as is evidenced by his 25 assists in 86 career games for Sweden.  Another plausible option might be Johan Sundstrom (6’3″ 2015 lbs), the 23-year-old former second round NHL Draft pick of the New York Islanders who racked up 171 AHL games over the course of three seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before signing with powerful domestic club HC Frolunda Gothenburg two summers ago.
The Sweden Hockey Games tournament, which constitutes the third leg of the so-called Euro Hockey Tour, figures to be a significant event for Lindblom in terms of his immediate future with the senior national team program — conventional wisdom says another good showing in the colors of Tre Kronor and continued good form for IF Brynas Gavle could make it awful hard for the national team coaching staff to not include the prolific young winger in the Swedish team which will be skating at the Czech Hockey Games tournament beginning on April 27th.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, meanwhile, will conclude the regular season portion of their American Hockey League schedule on April 15th.
Follow der Eishockeyzuschauer on Twitter:  @EishockeyRolf
Cover photo:  Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Categories: Phantoms Hockey, Uncategorized


6 replies

  1. So it’s not looking good for Lindblom to join the rush in the Calder Cup Tournament, is what you’re saying.

    As we’ve written before, this Phantoms team is deep and talented, so while we’re not waiting on the arrival of Lindblom–or others–to propel us forward to that end, it certainly would add an extra measure of challenge for those teams we’ll face in the post-season.

    With slightly less population than the state of North Carolina, there certainly are some talented hockey players coming out of Sweden. IIRC, Lindblom is about the second youngest player on the national squad right now, to the young center Joel Eriksson-Ek, first rounder from the Minnesota Wild who has already appeared briefly for the Wild as well as the AHL Iowa Wild. I think he plays with Ryno on that BJ Farjestad Karlstad team, and Captain’d and showed well at the recent World Juniors.

    Good stuff, dE.

    • Yeah, I don’t know about Lindblom joining the Lehigh Valley Phantoms later this spring — the way things have been going this season, he just might be busy skating for the Swedish national team. This third leg of the Euro Hockey Tour is the last of what shall be termed the ‘evaluation tournaments’. Including the squad picked to play at the upcoming tournament in Gothenburg, the Swedes have called up 25 different forwards to the national team so far this season. After the Sweden Hockey Games is over, the national team coaching staff will get serious about making a list of final candidates for the squad which will appear at the 2017 IIHF World Championship later in May. Only players who are classified as ‘serious candidates’ to make the WC team (which will, of course, include NHL players from teams not in the Stanley Cup playoffs) will be invited to participate at the Czech Hockey Games. But again, if Lindblom has another good showing at this international tournament and continues his good form for IF Brynas Galve in the domestic league then Swedish coaching staff almost have to keep selecting him, at least until the older and more experienced NHL reinforcements arrive.

      Eriksson Ek, the newly turned 20-year-old who scored two goals in nine NHL games for the Minnesota Wild at the start of this 2016/17 season before being sent out on loan to BK Farjestad Karlstad in mid-November, is, indeed, on this particular Swedish national team … Eriksson Ek had a pretty good showing at this year’s 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Canada, centering the Swedes’ number one line featuring Alexander Nylander of the AHL’s Rochester Americans and Carl Grundstrom of HC Frolunda Gothenburg, the second round pick (# 57 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2016 NHL Draft. Eriksson Ek led Sweden at the WJC with six goals and finished second on the team with nine points behind Nylander, who had a dozen. Like the rest of the squad, however, Eriksson Ek came up small for fourth place Sweden in the round robin — yes, he had a shorthanded goal and an assist in the first period of the semifinal versus Canada but he was also on the ice for two critical third period goals allowed during the host nation’s 5-2 triumph; went pointless during Sweden’s 2-1 loss to Russia in the Bronze Medal Game … Eriksson Ek, whose twentieth birthday was just on January 29th, actually skated in four exhibition games (and scored two goals) for Sweden’s senior national team as a teenager last spring and so he actually has more experience at this level as compared to Lindblom (who now has three appearances for Tre Kronor to his credit), who is roughly five and a half months older.

      I thought about Eriksson Ek and Lindblom skating together but that would be more of a classic Russian thing to do, to put players who are roughly the same age on the same line … historically speaking, the Swedes usually prefer to blend youthful talent with reliable experience.

  2. Oh, one other thing. I know a bunch of Flyers writers and bloggers are penciling in Lindblom for the Flyers for the start of next season. That could certainly happen and would also ease the conversation with Lindblom who has so far preferred to stay in his native country. I’m just thinking that he’s still rather young and in order to help him adapt to the smaller ice sheet in North America, that we might see him on the Phantoms for the start of next season until he’s ready to move up. Thoughts?

    • Oh, I’m sure these Flyers writers/bloggers are but that would be something rather more than a bit premature at this point in time.

      For starters, Lindblom, himself, has been quoted as saying he is not the greatest skater in the world and actually cites that as one reason why he would like to come and play hockey in North America’s smaller rinks. With all due respect to the Russians as well as all of the talented imports to be found in the Kontinental Hockey League, there is no question that the largest collection of the very best skaters on the entire planet play in the National Hockey League. Over the course of hockey history, countless players put up big numbers in the American Hockey League but were unable to accomplish the same at the NHL level and in many of those instances ‘not being the greatest skater’ was the major reason why.

      IF Lindblom actually makes Sweden’s team at the 2017 IIHF World Championship —which is being co-hosted by the German city of Cologne (Koeln) and the French city of Paris — and gives a good account of himself at that tournament which will include lots of NHL players, then a proper conversation about whether or not the young winger MIGHT win a spot with the Philadelphia Flyers coming out of training camp next fall could realistically commence.

      Until such time, conventional wisdom says Lindblom starts with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms in order to get acclimated to both the smaller ice rink and the far more physical North American style of hockey played.

  3. Note To Kram :

    I watched IF Brynas Gavle blow out HF Lulea 6-2 today … I don’t speak Swedish, but if I understood what I was watching in between periods correctly, the Swedish broadcasters were showing a projected line chart for the national team’s upcoming tournament and it stated that Lindblom (who was pointless today) would be skating with Joel Eriksson Ek at center and veteran winger Alexander Bergstrom from HK Karlskrona … Bergstrom is a 30-year-old who only has six career games for Sweden (all of them this season) but did score a goal versus arch-rival Finland at the Channel One Cup in Moscow roughly six weeks ago … So much for blending talented youth and reliable experience – still, Eriksson Ek and Lindblom are two talented youths so that could make for an extremely exciting combination.


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