Islanders Take Speedy Swede Alexander Ljungkrantz In 3rd Round Of NHL Draft

Without picks in the first or second rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft because of the trade that brought Jean-Gabriel Pageau to Long Island, the Islanders had to wait until the second day of the draft to make a pick and that section came in the 3rd round when the Isles took forward Alexander Ljungkrantz with the 90th overall selection.  The 6-1 179-pound left winger scored 15 goals to go along with 12 assists for 27 points in 42 games last season for Brynas IF in the Swedish J20 Super Elite League.

“It was an unbelievable feeling getting drafted by a great organization as the Islanders,” said Ljungkrantz during a Zoom meeting with reporters on Wednesday. ““I know they had a great run and they have a bright future. I was shocked when my name got called.   I was sitting with my family watching the draft. It’s very special.  I’ve been working towards this my whole life.  I’ve got great support from my family.  It’s just a great feeling.”

Here is the scouting report on Ljungkrantz from the Elite Prospects 2020 NHL Draft Guide….

“Ljungkrantz is most effective when he keeps his passes simple and does the dirty work along the boards and in front of the net. He shows good awareness off the puck and can generate good speed up the ice. Ljungkrantz’s wrist shot has quite a bit of power to it as well. Ljungkrantz defensive game also revolves around hard work and giving full effort in all situations.”

Those are the some of the thoughts on Ljungkrantz from those who have seen him play but in terms of a self-scouting report, he’s not about to be too specific other than the one thing that clearly stands out about his game.

“I would say my skating…my speed,” said Ljungkrantz. “I don’t compare myself to any player but I watch a lot of the speedy guys.”

Islanders Will Have To Wait For Alex: 

The selection of Ljungkrantz is certainly a pick for the future by the Islanders as he knows he still has some work to do before he can make the transition to come over to play in North America.

“I would say that I’m a speedy forward who works hard at creating goal opportunities,” said Ljungkrantz.  “I would say I have much left to learn.  It will be a process.”

Ljungkrantz had his 2019-20 season in Sweden cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop him from getting his work in to prepare for the 2020-21 season that is underway.

“It was tough leaving the season in the middle of it and not getting to play the playoffs but it’s been quite good getting some off-ice training and on-ice training and just preparing,” said Ljungkrantz. “Our league here in Sweden has already started.  We’re in the middle of the season right now.”

So far through six games this season for Brynas IF, Ljungkrantz has two goals but there certainly has been some extra weight on his shoulders as he had to wait for the pandemic-delayed NHL Draft.  Now that the draft is over and he was taken by the Islanders, Alexander Ljungkrantz can simply focus on the task at hand in Sweden.  He’ll have some time before he has to keep an eye on the Islanders since the NHL is targeting a January 1st start to the 2020-21 season.

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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