Flyers winger Oskar Lindblom ‘feeling it’ in first full season with team
Left winger Oskar Lindblom is making the Flyers look like geniuses for selecting him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.
Because of perceived speed issues, Oskar Lindblom's stock fell rapidly in the 2014 draft.
Once regarded as a first-rounder, he slipped to the fifth round and was selected 138th overall.
Lindblom, 22, is making the Flyers look like geniuses.
Now in his first full season, the 6-foot-1, 191-pound left winger had two goals and four assists on the Flyers' recently completed 3-0-1 road trip. He began Thursday tied for fourth among NHL rookies with eight points (four goals, four assists).
"He's feeling it right now, a little bit, so he's got a little extra moxie to his game," coach Dave Hakstol said before the Flyers hosted Arizona on Thursday. "The foundation of his game has always been there, and with a little bit of success, he's been able to loosen up a little bit. With that usually comes a little more production."
Lindblom said he felt more relaxed from the first day of camp this season.
"Last year, I didn't really know what to expect when I got here," he said. "This year, I was more comfortable. I knew what was going to happen,"
Lindblom was called up from the Phantoms last season and played in 23 games with the Flyers, managing just six points.
"He had good chemistry with Patty down the stretch," Hakstol said, referring to Nolan Patrick by his nickname. "So when he came back to camp this year he was a year more advanced and a year more mature. A little bit stronger and a little bit more confident in what he was doing, and that has carried over into some good success here."
Before playing in Lehigh Valley, Lindblom competed in the Swedish Hockey League.
"Just playing pro hockey and playing against men was a big part of it," he said of his growth. "I know how hard it was to get up and down the ice and you have to be ready to play defense."
At 20, he was named the SHL's top forward. His career was about to take off.
The Flyers have three regulars from the 2014 draft: Lindblom, defenseman Travis Sanheim (first round), and right winger Nic-Aube Kubel (second round). … Left winger James van Riemsdyk skated with the team for the first time since he was sidelined with a knee injury, which has kept him out of 14 games. "He still has some work to do to get back into our lineup, but it was good to see him on the ice," Hakstol said. … Goalie Cal Pickard made his third straight start, and the banged-up Brian Elliott was his backup.