#2 Prospect: Anton Lander

Winter 2011: #2
Summer 2011: #6
Winter 2010: #9
Summer 2010: #8
Winter 2009: #10
Summer 2009: #10

The major story regarding Anton Lander broke in the early days of summer camp: his skating, long considered a small negative, had improved greatly.
  • Oilers Skating and Skills Coach Steve Serdachny: Anton has had incredible development. He’s made incredible strides in his skating and his quickness, he has so many great intangible qualities and a fantastic individual. Foot speed, mobility, efficiency have been a part of his program and something he’s been working on. This guy is a dedicated learner and working hard to become an Edmonton Oiler.
  • Stu MacGregor at summer camp: “His effort is so consistent, every shift. The best way to put it is he works smart. He’s really intelligent, good on ­faceoffs. That really stood out for us. His skating may have held him back from being a first-round pick, but it’s improved
  • 10-11 Boxcars: 49, 11-15-26 in the Swedish Elite League.
  • Desjardins NHL equivalency: 82, 14-20-34
  • His faceoff numbers in the SEL were just below 50%.
  • Lander was 28th in the entire SEL in time-on-ice last season at age 19.
Lander arrived at camp and kept impressing the coaching staff and the fanbase. His impressive speed married to solid 2-way play in pre-season meant he was in the mix for an NHL job at center; when Sam Gagner was injured late September it was Lander (ahead of Brule, O’Marra and others) who won the 4line job for the Oilers.
Anton Lander has not delivered a strong season at the NHL level. Oiler fans will know the 4line has been a dead zone so far this season. Blaming Lander for it is ridiculous, but the math facts tell the story of his season:
  • 5×5/60: 0.33 (11th among forwards)
  • Ozone %: 50 (8th among forwards)
  • Qual Comp: -0.083 (10th among forwards)
  • Qual Team: -0.425 (12th among forwards)
  • CorsiRel: -22.5 (13th among forwards)
There’s no real way to look at those stats and create a positive spin. Lander and men like Lennart Petrell, Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk have been bleeding all over everything. There are some things we can point to as “less than disastrous” including Dennis King scoring chances (as compiled by Jonathan Willis) but the math suggests he should be in OKC. Coach Renney’s choices for the 4th line have been curious this year, and Lander is included in the group.
Lander is getting 9:20 EV every night plus a buck forty on the PK. Among rookie forwards, that number ranks 8th in the entire NHL. Edmonton owns the 7th best PK in the NHL, and Lander is the 5th F option on the Oilers–ahead of Lennart Petrell. His faceoff percentage is 40.7 in 150 sorties, and we know that’s a pretty good number for a rookie.
Anton Lander is an excellent prospect. His improved speed and quickness were so good he won a job in the NHL, and he may one day flourish in the role. His performance so far this season is predictable, and unfortunate in that he should be in OKC building momentum. I don’t see a reason to punish him for it. Anton Lander is the second best prospect in the system.

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