NY Islanders prospects: 3 International players having great seasons

These 3 international draft picks will garner our attention next pre-season.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Jeff Vinnick/GettyImages
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3. Alexander Ljungkrantz

The Swedish Hockey League has been kind to the Islanders, sending the team Aho and Holmstrom the past few seasons. From Gavle, Sweden, left-winger Alexander Ljungkrantz is having his first breakout season. He is described as a simple passer who has a strong forecheck along the boards, especially in front of the net. Ljungkrantz has great speed and awareness off the puck, which allows him to clear the defensive zone. Not known for his offense in the past, Ljungkrantz has developed his wrist shot to become more powerful. Similar to Cal Clutterbuck, Ljungkrantz is known for his defense and delivering hits when it matters most.

Ljungkrantz's numbers have not been impressive throughout his amateur career. In 2021-22, Ljungkrantz posted just 5 goals and 5 assists through 34 games for the HC Vita Hasten. Moving to the Brynas IS of the Swedish Hockey League in 2022-23 did not help propel his goal-scoring numbers, having just 11 points through 39 games. Even though Ljungkrantz failed to find his groove offensively, he was still credited for his defensive attributes, particularly on the penalty kill.

In 2023-24, Ljungkrantz found the wrist shot that made Lamoriello select him in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft. Playing 39 games for the Almtuna IS, Ljungkrantz has 18 goals and 11 assists. He has since been loaned back to the Swedish Hockey League to play for the Farjestad BK, where he is scoreless through 3 games. It's important to note that other NHL Swedish Hockey players have come to the United States with underwhelming offensive numbers but performed well here, including Holmstrom. Set to turn 22 years old later in February, Ljungkrantz will have the opportunity to sign his entry-level contract where he can develop his offensive game further in Bridgeport. Long-term, Ljungkrantz profiles to become Clutterbuck's duplicate: a bottom-six defensive-minded forward and an ideal penalty-killer, two areas the Islanders have struggled in this season.