With the 28th pick, the Rangers selected Swedish defenseman Nils Lundkvist.
From the Rangers release:
- Lundkvist, 17 (turns 18 years old on July 27), split this past season between Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and Lulea's junior team in SuperElit.
- He skated in 28 SHL games with Lulea, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with a plus-two rating.
- His 28 games played were tied for the second-most among SHL defensemen younger than 18 years old in 2017-18 (Dahlin - 41). He averaged 16:00 of ice time in his 28 SHL games and posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 22 of the 28 contests.
- The 5-11, 172-pounder was selected as the Best Defenseman in SuperElit in 2017-18. In addition, he registered five assists and posted a plus-five rating in six playoff games during the season.
- Lundkvist participated in the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship, registering two assists and a plus-one rating in seven games while helping Sweden earn a bronze medal.
- At the 2018 NHL Scouting Combine, Lundkvist ranked second in the Vertical Jump (26.7 inches), finished third in the Standing Long Jump (114.5 inches), and finished fourth in the No Arm Jump (20.69 inches).
Craig Button said on NBCSN, "he played in the SHL this year as a 17-year old defenseman and was very good. Excellent head, excellent hands, he knows how to get himself into the right position to take advantage of opportunities. Defensively he can beat the pressure, can shake a check, really good with the puck. More than anything, you watch a defenseman that might not be the biggest guy, he digs in, he competes and when you look at other players at a similar size or stature, yea, it's not a strength of his but he gets in there and that is what you are looking for because of the physical maturity will be able to handle it."
Bob McKenzie said, "was named the best defenseman in the Swedish junior league. He was 36 on our list, 4 of the 10 scouts that I talked to did have him as a first round pick."
Button added, "he reminds me of Sami Vatanen" and Pierre McGurie concurred, saying "he reminds me a ton of Sami Vatanen."
Button said that Lundkvist wasn't on the radar heading into this season but that "when you are in the SHL and you do as well as he did as a 17-year old, people stand up and take notice."
- TSN: 36
- THN: 51
- Future Considerations: 35
- ISS: 56
- Hockey Prospect: 16
- McKeens: 37
McKeens listed Lundkvist as the 8th most skilled player in the draft.
Craig Bustton's TSN Scouting report listed him as 4/5 for hockey sense and competitiveness and 3.5/5 for skating, defensive play and puck skills.
ISS listed his skating as "excellent, his puck skills, shot, offensive play, competitiveness and hockey sense as "very good," his defensive play as "good," his physical play as "average and his size/strength as "below average."
Adam Rotter: Another defenseman and one that the Rangers can let develop in Sweden for a bit. Scouting reports indicate that he is a reliable and smart player that makes good decisions with the puck and has offensive upside. The Rangers needed more defensive prospects in the system and they accomplished that with their two picks in the 20s.