Anton Lander (wearing the “C” in photo by Rob Ferguson) was recalled to the Edmonton Oilers today. Again. There’s a difference this time, though. Anton Lander got the call to play for coach Todd Nelson in Edmonton and that could make all the difference.
Edmonton’s new coach is a believer in Anton Lander, having coached him during the Swedish center’s time in Oklahoma City.
Nelson: “One thing I’ve always liked about Anton is he holds himself
accountable first, then holds others accountable. That’s why he’s a
captain. Sometimes it’s not always pleasant being the captain, but he
finds a way to get guys motivated, get them on board with what we’re
trying to accomplish.” Source
TOP 10 SCORER
Lander has been impressive this season with the Barons, scoring well enough to land inside the AHL’s top 10 scorers. He won’t have the same kind of impact in the NHL—partly because he won’t see the power play much if at all. Lander in OKC this season is 26GP, 3-10-13 with the man advantage, fully half of his overall production.
HOW WILL NELSON USE HIM?
In last night’s game, coach Nelson used Boyd Gordon between David Perron and Jordan Eberle from the beginning of the game. As we discussed earlier this week, Edmonton’s two of Edmonton’s centers were not performing well offensively:
Todd Nelson’s solution? Run Gordon with better wingers and give his team a chance to ice two scoring lines.
What does that mean for Lander? Chances are he’ll get those 4line, tough zone starts we’ve seen Gordon’s line handle for the last year and a half. It’s a good situation for Lander, who hasn’t delivered much offensively but has some nice things on the defensive side of the ledger. He’s been an effective penalty killer and is a good bet to help that 4line deliver (possibly with veteran Matt Hendricks and rugged Steve Pinizzotto).
Once Lander gets comfortable, the offense may come more frequently.
IS THAT A NEW ROLE?
Yes. In training camp, Dallas Eakins described the role Lander would be applying for:
(Lander) is going to play here, he has to be able to play centre, he has
to play left-wing and he has to play right-wing. He has to be able to
step in on the power play and kill penalties. He has to be able to wear a
bunch of different hats.”
DOES ANYONE BELIEVE IN HIM?
Todd Nelson. Todd Nelson believed in Lander, that’s why he is here today.
MacTavish before training camp: “We’ve got Leon Draisaitl, which is a
big question mark for an 18-year-old’s ability to come in. We’ve got
Anton Lander, who has shown an ability to score and be a real good
player at the American League level. We’ve got Mark Arcobello, who when
we sent him back had two points per game at the American League level or
very close [to it]; he’s got potential to fill one of those roles. When
you look at our depth chart, I understand and certainly agree with that
position having the most question marks.” Source
- Todd Nelson: “He’s been a leader his whole life.”
Anton Lander will never get a better shot at an NHL job than now. Godspeed young man.