The third round of the NHL Draft seems to be an area where the NY Islanders like to reach for players they like. In 2022, we saw Quinn Finley go here, the year before, Tristan Lennox, and in 2020, Alexander Ljungkrantz. Ljungkrantz has been a bit of an afterthought in the Isles pipeline, but this season, he's making it difficult to ignore him.
Playing with Brynäs in Sweden from the U16 level, Ljungkrantz re-signed with his childhood club through the 2024-25 season. Ljungkrantz joined Almtuna this year on loan, where he's been lighting the lamp on a consistent basis.
Ljungkrantz spent 52 games last year in the SHL with Brynäs - now with Almtuna, he's playing in the HockeyAllsvenskan, the second-tier of Swedish hockey. While the SHL is one of the top leagues in the world, the second-tier league is sometimes a better developmental league for younger players to gain experience while still playing professionally.
Through nine games, Ljungkrantz has recorded eight points, including six goals. Twice he's put together multi-goal performances, sitting tied for team lead in goals and second in assists.
Not only is he near the top of his team's leaderboards, but he's also been one of the most productive players 21 and under. He sits third in points among all players in this classification, just three points from the top.
Seeing consistent playing time with Almtuna has done wonders for Ljungkrantz's production, twice seeing over 20 minutes of ice time this season. He's been consistently lined up in Almtuna's top 6, allowing him to play alongside the team's top offensive talents.
It's been nearly three years since Ljungkrantz was drafted, and he has still not signed his entry-level contract. The Isles could soon lose his rights if a contract isn't offered to him by July 1, 2024.
If his recent form continues throughout the season, Lou Lamoriello will hope to ink the Swedish forward and attempt to bring him to North America.