How Good is Anton Lander?

This is Doug Jarvis. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs on June 3, 1975; the Leafs dealt him later that same month to Montreal. I don’t know how many times a team has traded a pick in the same summer they drafted him, but the two times I know about (Jarvis and Bob Bourne) the acquiring team knew something.

I often wonder what the scouting director felt like the day Jarvis was traded to Montreal. The Habs got a good scouting report on Jarvis from his junior coach–Roger Neilson–who said Jarvis was an outstanding faceoff man.

There’s a chance–a chance–Anton Lander will do more to help his teams win hockey games than some of the high draft picks who are Oilers or on the way to the city. His resume reads in a similar fashion to Jarvis (he’s a solid 2-way player but his FO numbers aren’t dominant–then again he was a teenager in a man’s league) and he’s going to get a chance to show his stuff.

The question is this: will Anton Lander match Doug Jarvis and play in the NHL as a regular at age 20?

Stu MacGregor on Lander’s draft day: “Very excited about Anton. He’s a player we look at as a potential second-line centre with for sure third-line ability. He’s a great faceoff man, competitive at both ends of the ice. Smart, captain of the Swedish under-18 team. All of our interviews with all of the Swedish players this past year, everybody spoke extremely high of him. Their leader was Anton Lander.”

Bob McKenzie:  Lander is a two-way checking forward with excellent outside speed. He can make plays at full speed and controls the puck with a lot of confidence. A very unselfish player, Lander is always aware of where his teammates are and makes good crisp passes. He is a hard working forechecker, keeping his feet moving all the time. With a strong quick release wrist shot, he often uses d-men as a screen off the offensive rush. Lander drives the net hard with and without the puck and doesn’t quit on the puck until the whistle goes. Reliable and disciplined, he brings a consistent effort to the rink every game and always improves his team’s chances of winning a game. Will adapt and play any role given by coach.”

Lander’s SEL career line

  • (Age 17) 47gp, 4-6-10 (.213) -2 (40.28FO%)
  • (Age 18) 49gp, 7-9-16 (.327) -2 (47.32FO%)
  • (Age 19) 49gp, 11-15-26 (.530) -13 (46.63FO%)

I don’t really know what the Oilers depth chart looks like at center, but there’s a good chance he makes the club. He’s not exactly joining the 75-76 Habs.

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