Finland would have been a lot harder to play against at the World Junior Championship had an upper-body injury not felled Lundell before the tournament began.
Lundell already has a gold medal from the 2019 WJC, and if talent hawks wanted to see his progression, they could simply watch him and his mature game in the Liiga, where he was stellar. “His game is very advanced in terms of his ability to play with men,” said one scout. “He’s a powerful kid, gets around the ice well, tremendous details to his game, maybe to a fault. At times you see him on the defensive side of the puck more than you’d want. You want him to break out and show off the skill, start driving the net more.”
Because of his responsible ways, Lundell is going to be a coach’s favorite and will likely be able to jump into the NHL sooner rather than later, since he can play a bottom-six role to begin with and not be wasted. “Expectations have been high, and he’s delivered,” said another scout. “He’s so smart. He’s a little wide-paced in his skating, but you can do so much in the summer.”
BEST CASE | Mikko Koivu
This excerpt is from The Hockey News’ Draft Preview issue. Purchase a digital copy of the issue here.