Over the weeks leading up to the 2018 NHL draft, we're providing prospect profiles and how they would fit with the Flyers, who have two first-round picks — Nos. 14 and 19.
The NHL draft takes place June 22-23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Flyers have nine picks with two in the first, fifth and seventh rounds and one in the second, fourth and sixth. They do not own a third-rounder as it went to the Detroit Red Wings for Petr Mrazek. The 14th pick conveyed from the Brayden Schenn trade. The final details were Schenn to the St. Louis Blues for Jori Lehtera, a 2017 first-round pick (Morgan Frost) and the 14th pick.
Our prospect profiles will touch mostly on prospects projected to go in the 10-20 range but some may require the Flyers having to trade up to select. We’ll identify those prospects.
Position: Center/left winger
Team: Luleå HF (SHL)
As a late 1999 birthday, Lundestrom has been around a bit more on the international stage than most of his draft class, which means we know a little bit more about the Swede. He’s been part of Team Sweden for all of the major international tournaments, including the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships, where he joined Rasmus Dahlin as the only draft-eligible players to crack the team. He scored twice in seven games at the world juniors.
Lundestrom also wrapped up his second professional season over in Sweden. Playing for Luleå HF, the 18-year-old registered six goals and 15 points in 42 games this season, up from six points in 45 games as a 17-year-old in 2016-17. Lundestrom does not exactly flash skill across the board but is solid in all areas. In a somewhat weak center draft class, Lundestrom figures to be one of the top players at his position.
He has a quick shot with precision and is a decent skater. His 200-foot game is also good and he plays a smart game with creativity. He’s a reliable prospect in a deep draft class.
Fit with Flyers
It’s tough to get a projection on Lundestrom as some believe he’ll go near the top of the lottery or at the end of the teens, so there is a possibility the Flyers could have two shots at him.
Lundestrom is not the most polished prospect and will take a couple of years before coming overseas. He’s a self-aware player who knows what areas he has to improve. Hextall is notoriously patient with his prospects and with Nos. 14 and 19, the likelihood of the Flyers getting a player who could step into the NHL next season is extremely low.
What could intrigue the Flyers about Lundestrom is his versatility as he can play all three forward positions. That brings value. He should be available at No. 14, but there will likely be stronger prospects on the board for the Flyers to choose from.