Wednesday, August 8, 2012

PROSPECT OR SUSPECT? Anton Lander


Anton Lander
6’0 194 lbs
AGE:21

Year         GP   G     A     P      +/-     Team
2007/08    32    1     2     3       +2     Timra IK
2008/09    47    4     6     10      -1     Timra IK
2009/10    49    7     9     16      -2     Timra IK
2010/11    49   11    15    26     -14    Timra IK
2011/12    56    2     4      6      -8      Edmonton Oilers
2011/12    14    1     4     5       -1      OKC Barons   

Lander  had a tough first year in North America. There was lots of hype from several of us in the blogosphere last year with his arrival. Fans were excited to see him play, and they should have been. MSM was pushing him as well and the Oilers look highly upon him as do some other organizations. I always liked Anton, but his Boxcars have also worried me. He does not have soft hands around the net and more often then not he will take a defensive approach rather then offensive approach to the game. That is not bad, but if fans or the Oilers are expecting him to produce anything more then 25 points in a NHL year, they will most likely be disappointed. Strong, feisty, a competitor in all the sense, Anton will do what it takes to get the job done. Personally I think you are looking more at a Pisani type player. When the Oilers are finally making the playoffs, that is when his type of player becomes more valuable.

Last August 2011 , I wrote the following here at Oilers Jambalya...

A smart two-way player who has excellent hockey sense. Lander reads the game well and can make mature decisions with or without the puck. Upon being drafted, his skating was needing some improvement. After seeing his improvement over two development camps, I can say for sure first hand, his skating has improved in leaps and bounds. Lander really has in every aspect each year and arrows are pointing upward still. First step is much quicker 
(noted by coach’s and other oiler brass), really good in the face-off circle. He is one who protects the puck very well and usually comes out with the puck from the corners and along the boards. Very defensively aware. 

A bonus is, he also played tough minutes in SEL  Lander shows leadership out there on the ice with the other guys. He communicates and talks with guys after the plays and you can tell he is always thinking the game. You have to love his execution of drills. Lander is as much of a jokester as any Swedes out there. Anton Will have a honest shot at the centerman position in training camp with the Oilers, but most likely will be assigned to OKC to develop and learn the North American game. Likely to be the first center called up due to injury or trade. While each year Lander has improved and becomes more of a complete player, I do not believe he stands to be better then a third or fourth line centerman. That of course, is exactly what this team is needing, but some, see even greater upside in his offensive game. Boxcars are not saying that to me.

REVS TAKE: Rushed probably too quickly last year in adjusting to the North Amercan game , Lander was in over his head and it destroyed some of his confidence early.  Was used sparingly on the wing but Lander is a center in everyway. Likely will start the year in OKC and even be a second center call-up behind VandeVelde should Horcoff or Belanger get hurt or traded. While I can't see him carving out a career as a third line center with his boxcars, he would be one hell of a fourth line Center. I say he is definitely PROSPECT

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