Prospect Preview: Emil Lundberg

Emil Lundberg
Position: Left Winger
Height: 6′ 3
Weight: 209
Shoots: Left
Born: 09/17/93, Katrineholm, Sweden Sweden
NHL Central Scouting Rank: #44 European Skater
Player Pages:   NHLEP

Talent Analysis:
Lundberg isn’t the guy from Office Space, he’s a big winger in the mold of Mike Knuble.  Not fleet afoot, he certainly isn’t the flashiest player, nor does he boast of excellent stickwork or amazing play in any particular area.  Lundberg is that guy who brings his lunchpail and goes to the net for the greasy goals.  He is working his way into becoming more solid in all three zones, which is the old Swedish recipe for any player who makes it to the top levels.  He does have a good shot and good enough hands to score off the rush occasionally, but he won’t be mistaken for a playmaker. 

Last Season:
Lundberg played a full season with Södertälje of the Allsvenskan, the second-highest Swedish professional league.  As an underager, Lundberg finished 6th in team scoring with 6 goals, 18 points, and only 12 penalty minutes. Most impressively, he got stronger and took on more responsibility as the season went on, not a common trend for players so young in their first season playing against adult professionals, including some who have played in the NHL.  In six games against players his own age in the J20 SuperElit, he posted 2 goals and 4 points, and he posted 3 goals and 4 points in 4 international junior games.  Going pro this season was the culmination of several years of hard work as Lundberg gradually worked his way into tougher and tougher competition, as he proved he is able to score plenty of goals against players his own age. 

NHL Projection:
Already at NHL size, Lundberg projects to be a power forward in the NHL.  He already plays a North American-style game, so the transition won’t be a challenge for him.  He isn’t likely to go to the All-Star Game, but if he gets on a scoring line, he’s the guy who can put in the goals, like Tomas Holmstrom, so 20-goal and 40-point seasons on any of the Capitals’ top-3 lines won’t be a surprise. 

Will the Capitals draft him?:
The Hockey News picked Lundberg to be the 52nd overall pick in this draft, which would put him in the running for the Caps to take him with their second round pick at 54.  Since he is the 44th ranked European skater, it is quite possible he will still be around when the Capitals pick in the third round at 77.  Judging by George McPhee’s affinity for Swedes and big guys who go to the net, he is a likely pickup. 

Plans for next season:
If the Capitals draft Lundberg, he will almost certainly spend another season in Södertälje where he would be expected to be a top-6 player.  If he progressed well after next season, he could certainly make the transition to the Swedish Elite League the next season, or if he were ready, even North America, as his game is well suited for the AHL.  He would likely need three more seasons to develop before he would have a realistic chance of making an NHL roster.  If his history is any indication, his slow and steady progression will earn him a spot in the NHL eventually.