Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ten Second Tier Prospects That Hopefully Exceed Expectations, #3 Anton Lander

The potential second line centers are now the hot topic of conversation in my top 10 list. Anton Lander is an interesting case, he has a number of things going for him. He is a leader, he plays a two way game, and he is part of the Swedish contingent that has been built up in recent years.

Last season watching Paajarvi and Omark play so well together, it made me wonder how well they'd do with a third like minded player that can cycle a puck like they could, a third Swede. A player that could take some of the defensive pressure off of Paajarvi and let Omark do what he does best, create offense.

In this regard Lander would not need to be a big time scorer as long as his line as a whole was productive and played well on both sides of the ice. Lander has this luxury unlike any of the other up and coming C prospects. Unlocking Omark's offensive game, freeing up Paajarvi to think more offensively, and doing all of this while also adding grit, leadership, and chipping in offensively. It could give Lander a leg up on second line C going forward despite maybe not being the most talented of our 2C prospects.

Omark-Lander-Paajarvi, I could see that as being a very solid second line moving forward. A mixture of creativity, skill, speed, grit, and two way play. I wonder if Renney will have the guts to try this trio in camp, because if he does I think that we will see some magic out of them. Gagner had damn well better be ready.


Lisa McRitchie said...

Trading Lander for Gagner on the Swedish line is a great idea in my book.

I also can't wait for all of the Swedish meatball headlines.

Bryanbryoil said...

I hope that they don't try that experiment again this year (Gagner with the Swedes). IMO Lander or Belanger would be a better fit.

Lisa McRitchie said...

Ummm... I'm pretty sure they will. The organization seems intent on giving Gagner another mile of rope and will likely play him on every line to see what happens.

Bryanbryoil said...

I agree, I'm just concerned that as a result they will continue to lower his value. If RNH and Lander make big pushes this year and Gagner looks like the man out his trade value could end up in the crapper. That said it's yet another contract year for him, you'd hope/think that he'd be better this year? If playing for a new contract and having some actual competition for offensive minutes isn't enough to push him then he's in serious trouble.

Lisa McRitchie said...

But even if he plays to deserve a new contract this year, what then? One year of good play will not be enough. Well, I don't think so at least.

Bryanbryoil said...

Not to mention he didn't exactly tear it up in his last contract year. If RNH makes the team Gagner will be in a world of hurt, he probably won't be showered with as many PP minutes or quality linemates, it could get ugly.