Flyers

Flyers

So far, it might be the most underrated storyline of the Flyers' 2018-19 season.

Oskar Lindblom, the playmaker and passer, one of the NHL's top rookies through mid-November.

When Lindblom's rise in Sweden started generating buzz here in the Delaware Valley, the reputation was the winger could score goals, especially around the net.

But a slick passer? Whether it has been an unexpected development or not, the 22-year-old is showing it so far alongside Jakub Voracek and Nolan Patrick — like he did Tuesday.

"I don't think I appreciate it enough as I should a lot of the times," Patrick said Wednesday. "I just see him having the puck and I already know he knows where I am and he's going to find me, so I don't think I really appreciate it enough as I should — I'm kind of used to it. 

"He obviously sees the ice so well, he's a really smart player, can make plays down low, he's strong, he holds onto the puck. He's an awesome guy to play with and I think he's been great so far."

Among NHL rookies, Lindblom is tied for third with 10 points (four goals, six assists). The only first-year players with more are the Canucks' Elias Pettersson (17) and the Senators' Colin White (11). 

Both were first-round picks. 

The Flyers snagged Lindblom in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.

"Just trying to think quick and read where the puck is going to go and see where your teammates are," Lindblom said. "That's a big part of the game and if you're good at that, you'll have a lot of goals and good passes."

 

The passing ability hasn't surprised Dave Hakstol. What the Flyers' head coach likes best is the effort prior to the plays. When Lindblom is battling and exerting himself, he stands out because the other tools are already evident.

"He's had that. The thing that comes before that, though, is the ability to come up with the puck," Hakstol said Wednesday. "I hope that's not lost on anybody. For me, that's one of the most important things that he brings to that line. 

"I didn't think he had a great [game Saturday afternoon]. He just wasn't on his game and it all starts with his puck battles and him being able to come up with the puck and create possession for that line.

"He's got a real talent and an ability there, and [Tuesday] night he was on it. When he's got the puck, good things happen because he's got good hockey sense."

What makes Lindblom's start even more notable is that all of his damage has been done at even strength. With the return of James van Riemsdyk, Lindblom won't be on either of the Flyers' power-play units.

That's no problem with him.

"We have a lot of good PP guys here, so you can't say you have to be on a power play," Lindblom said. "You just have to keep battling 5-on-5 and if you're good enough, you'll be on a power play.

"Just have to do my thing and be ready every game. Can't have a day off."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers