This season may be the last for Oscar Lindberg to make the leap and join the New York Rangers.
The 23-year-old center, who signed a two-year $1.3 million contract in July, needs to clear waivers, if New York wants to send him to the AHL.
Given Lindberg’s talent, he could be plucked off waivers prior to making his way back to Hartford.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Swede centered the Wolf Pack’s top line last season and finished second in team scoring with 28 goals and 56 points in 75 games. He added three goals and 13 assists in 15 Calder Cup playoff games.
Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander believes Lindberg can contribute at the NHL level.
“He’s very committed to becoming better on faceoffs. He’s had good success (in the AHL) with his percentages and things like that,” said Gernander.“Playing at the NHL level, I think his whole game will translate well. He has offensive upside, and what team wouldn’t want that?”
Originally a second round pick (57th overall) of the Arizona Coyotes in 2010, Lindberg has spent the past two seasons in the AHL. He made his NHL debut with the Rangers last season playing 8:18 in New York’s 1-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Feb. 24.
Prior to beginning his professional career in North America, Lindberg played with Skelleftea in the Swedish Hockey League.
In order to crack the Rangers’ lineup this season Lindberg will have to outplay the likes of Jarret Stoll and Dominic Moore – a tall order for a player columnist Larry Brooks says “doesn’t appear to have the checking game, face off prowess or penalty killing ability to replace” Moore.