With the 90th overall pick at the 2020 draft, the New York Islanders selected Alexander Ljungkrantz. The Swedish forward wasn’t projected to go that high in the draft, but the Islanders saw enough quality in the player that they didn’t want to wait for the later rounds.
The earliest I had seen him pop up in pre-2020 mock drafts was with the 106th overall pick. Some didn’t have him drafted at all. So taking him at 90 was a stretch for the Isles.
Over the months since he was drafted we’ve seen that there’s some quality there with Ljungkrantz with impressive production at the J20 level and now at the Hockeyettan (Div 1) level. The Swedish U19 program has also recognized that quality.
New York Islanders prospect getting a look at U19 level
The U19 Swedish program will hold a mini-camp from February 8 through February 14. The squad is comprised of 13 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goalies. Ljungkrantz is one of those 13 forwards.
This mini-camp has implications for the World Juniors Championships in 2022. This U19 squad is seen as the B-team to the U20 side that goes to the premier tournament. Depending on how well some of these kids play, they could work their way into the U20 squad that travels to Edmonton/Red Deer in 2022.
Ljungkrantz isn’t a new name in the Swedish national program. He’s worn the three crowns 22 times since 17-18 where he’s played for the U16 and U18 squad. He has five points in those 22 games.
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The Islanders prospect has had a busy year so far. Since being drafted he’s played 38 games between the SHL, J20 Nationell league, and Sweden’s Div 1 league, Hockeyettan. Through those 38 games, he’s put up 24 points.
Here’s his production across all three leagues:
J20: 16GP, 8G, 7A, 15pts
SHL: 13GP, 0pts, 1:55ATOI
Hockeyettan: 9GP, 6G, 3A, 9pts
It’s still way too early to say the Islanders picked up a good find in the third round of the 2020 draft, but what we can say is that it’s clear they selected him because he’s a quality player.