Managed to track down an article in Swedish local press (Timra-related Dagbladet) where the Edmonton-scout Per-Erik Eklund explain how Lander have impressed him, now stating the Oilers prospect is ready for the NHL as early as next season.
Enjoy my freely translated version below about Anton Lander and World Juniors..
"He is ready for the NHL"
Edmonton-scout impressed by the development of Anton Lander.
Next week World Juniors will commence. Anton Lander will be a key-player in the Swedish team. And the Edmonton-scout Per-Erik Eklund is very pleased with the progress done by the Timra-centerman.
- I think he’s taken one and a half step forward this season. He’s ready to play in the NHL as early as the next season but it’s up to the club and himself to feel what’s best for his development, says Eklund.
This week the Swedish Juniors station themselves in Stockholm where they hold a traningcamp containing three practise games and some physical-training. On Saturday they will be on a plane heading for USA where the World Juniors will be held December 26th - January 5th. The practise-games will function as the last selection of the Swedish roster.
Has gotten to play a lot
One who doesn’t need to worry is the 19 year old centerman, Anton Lander who plays for Timra. He’s a given for the roster and will be a key-player for the Swedish team in their hunt for a medal.
- Anton Lander will be a very important player. He is a great leader who leads both Timra and the Swedish national team, says the Swedish Juniors head coach Roger Ronnberg when he first released his squad containing the 31 players which will soon be 23 later this week.
Lander have been playing often by the Timra-coach Per-Erik Johansson this year and is one of the few players in Timra who have played all 30 games this season. During these 30 games Lander have scored seven goals and seven assists.
"He’s a leader"
One who has followed Lander with interest is the Edmonton Oilers Swedish scout Per-Erik Eklund.
- I think he’s taken one and a half step forward this season. He’s gotten quicker while skating and have scored more points, which is great to see. He’s started this season very good, says Eklund and continues..
- And he’s also been assigned as one of the captains in Timra and that’s a sign his coaches have a huge belief in him. And that’s one of his better qualities; he’s a leader-type. And more proof on how much trust they put on him is that he’s played a lot on both, five against four, four against five and three against five. Also, I think he’s getting better on showing himself out there on the ice, allowing himself to take more space.
What does he need to work on, according to you?
- First and foremost his skating. He will never be a Paajarvi, but if he can boost it a couple of steps it will be all good, considering the NHL.
Just as Magnus Paajarvi, who recently took the step from Timra to the NHL before this season, Lander is drafted by the same team, Edmonton Oilers, and the question remains if Lander will join him in the NHL-team next season.
Eklund believe so.
- He’s ready to play in the NHL as early as the next season but it’s up to the club and himself to feel what’s best for his development. Question is whether it’s better for him to maybe get on a 3rd-line play only 8-9 minutes or if it is better for him to play in the AHL or stay in Timra one more year, says Eklund.
Lander is truly a great prospect and I believe there will be a time when he wears an “A” in the Oilers. But he really needs to learn English way better if that’s ever going to happen. He might become a leader when it comes to work ethic without using his tongue, but he won’t be much of an impact in the dressing-room with the English he currently possess.