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.
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Cover photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Categories: Phantoms Hockey, Uncategorized