Alexander Ljungkrantz extends with Brynäs IF through 2024-25, NY Islanders at risk to lose rights
As a result of the J.G. Pageau trade during the 2019-20 NHL season, the NY Islanders were without their first and second-round draft picks in the 2020 NHL Draft and sat out of the action through the first 89 picks. When they finally had their opportunity to make their first selection of the draft, the Islanders surprisingly took forward Alexander Ljungkrantz, a name many believed would be on the board later in the draft. Since being selected, Ljungkrantz stayed put where he had been all along, working through the ranks and moving up through the Brynäs IF system. On Wednesday morning, the Islanders prospect extended his tenure with Brynäs, signing a contract through the 2024-25 season.
Ljungkrantz has played in the SHL since he's been 18 years old, an impressive accomplishment given the face that the SHL is the highest level of professional play in Sweden. In 41 games this season, Ljungkrant has scored five goals and 10 points, filtering in and out of the lineup between a bottom-six player and a healthy scratch.
The Islanders have now held his rights since the 2020 draft and soon that will come to an end if the Islanders don't offer the Swedish forward a piece of paper to put pen to. Clearly, Ljungkrantz isn't willing to sit around and wait to see if his NHL dreams will be met as his new contract extends him through the 2025 SHL season. The Islanders lose his rights on July 1st, 2024, so although there is time, a decision will have to be made.
In terms of PNHLe, Ljungkrantz's development jumped a bit last season when he became more of an SHL regular. This season, it's remained relatively the same projecting the 21-year-old as an NHL third-liner if he were to meet his maximum potential. When looking at his similarity score, Ljungkrantz is comparable to everyone's favorite uncle on Long Island, Leo Komarov.
The Islanders have a little over a year to evaluate what they have in their 2020 third-round pick, but this was step one in the possibility that the Islanders lose Ljungkrantz's rights. According to Ljungkrantz himself, he's happy with his current situation.
"I am satisfied with the season so far. It feels like I got into it in a completely different way. When you as a hockey player start to feel that you can do the things you want to do, it becomes easier. I feel that I was able to do that several times this year, play my game," says Ljungkrantz.