After starring at the World Championship but coming up just short, Anton Lundell is ready to move to the next level. The Florida Panthers prospect has agreed to terms on his three-year entry-level contract, which will kick in for the 2021-22 season. Panthers GM Bill Zito released a statement on the impressive young forward:
Anton is a cerebral, skilled and dynamic young player who continuously established himself in Finland’s top league and played a pivotal role on Finland’s national teams at all levels. Anton’s maturity, compete level and sound two-way ability are exciting qualities to add to our organization. We are thrilled to have signed Anton and look forward to his future with the Florida Panthers for years to come.
Once considered a contender for the top few picks in the 2020 draft, Lundell eventually slipped to the Panthers at 12th overall after scouting concerns about his offensive ceiling. The 19-year-old forward has put those concerns to bed after an outstanding season in Finland where he recorded 16 goals and 25 points in 26 games, followed by a World Championship where he was one of the best forwards in the tournament. Lundell scored six goals and recorded ten points in seven games for the silver medal-winning Finns.
A force at both ends of the rink, Lundell could quickly establish himself as a difference-maker behind top center Aleksander Barkov. As Scott Wheeler of The Athletic wrote in February:
He’s not going to be the kind of player who puts up 80-90 points in a season during his prime, but Lundell should comfortably fit into the 60-75 range (depending on linemates) while providing significant two-way value.
If that ends up being the case, the Panthers will have mined quite the player out of the middle of the first round and provided their already deep forward group with even more talent. Zito has his work cut out for him over the next few years as the entire Panthers team (save for Sergei Bobrovsky and Aaron Ekblad) will hit some form of free agency by 2023, but adding and developing options like Lundell should keep things rolling in the right direction. If he can provide value on his entry-level contract it makes it even easier to re-sign players like newcomer Sam Bennett without running into cap trouble.
What makes this an even bigger addition for FLA is him replacing a marginal player like Alex Wennstrom in the 2C slot.
If he can be anything close to what they are hoping, that’s a huge upgrade. And he could end up (as Wennstrom did) centering Huberdeau and Hornqvist. Nice way to start a career.
They are one solid RW for Barkov (move Bennett to his wing maybe) away from having a really formidable top six. All 589 of their fans are excited.
You should learn the players name before calling him out, and taking shots at the fans. I think your mom should not give you your lunch on your snack tray in your room. Then you can get excited
Lundell has been good in every tournament I’ve seen him play. With Spencer Knight in goal next season, the Cats will be right there with Tampa.
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What a difference 2 years make!
Frankly, after the Trochek trade and a few other moves they made last off-season, I had them going in the other direction. Wrong was I!