Sunday, June 28, 2009

10 Years Later, This Time It's A Pair Of Swedes, Not Finns

That we draft with a first and 2nd rounder in the same draft. Back in '99 it was Jani Rita and Tony Salmelainen from Finland, this time around its Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Anton Lander from Sweden. The first duo combined for only 136 NHL games and only 49 of them were with the Oilers.

Needless to say the Oilers are hoping for much more from the newly drafted Swedes. I was finally able to see these 2 in action thanks to a HF boards poster that left this link on the Oilers board. My personal impressions (once I was able to determine who the hell Lander was due to his #16 jersey looking much more like a 2nd #18 jersey) were these.....

Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
Dynamic skater with explosive speed and acceleration. There was one play in particular where Magnus was chasing down a puck that a Canadian defenseman was trying to go back to retrieve and Magnus literally came out of the blue, blew by the defenseman and just ran out of ice or he would've had the goalie at his mercy. That clip is about 5 minutes into the 3rd period, that clip says it all when it comes to his speed. That's the good part of his game. Now the bad, if this guy had an actual wrist shot, he wouldn't have fallen to us, I can definitely see why his finishing ability is in question. He must've put between 8 and 10 pucks on net, and most weren't any trouble for the Canadian goaltender. If he can develop a respectable wrister, this kid could be something special. As it stands, he is an exciting player that skates like the wind and drives to the front of the net. My initial comp is a better passing but much less physical Erik Cole.

Anton Lander
Once I found out who he was, I could easily pick him out due to the fact that he skated like Horcoff (the way that he looks, minus the speed). Seemed defensively responsible, good on the dot, decent shot, passable skating, and he seems like he's got some strength to him. I didn't get to see enough of him (I only for sure knew which player he was 1/2 way through the game) to take away any long lasting impressions, but he seems like a solid player with a 2nd but more likely 3rd line upside.

It will be interesting to see how these two progress overseas this season. It will probably garner the most outside of North America interest of Oilers fans since 10 seasons ago. Add in Linus Omark in the KHL, and 3 of our best prospects are in Europe.

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