Photo Credit: Bildbyrån/Joel Marklund

William Lagesson returning to North America

Last week, news came out of Sweden that defensive prospect, William Lagesson, would be returning to North America to try and crack the Oilers roster after spending the year on loan to Djurgårdens IF of the SHL.

After splitting his last four seasons between North America (NCAA and USHL) and Sweden, William Lagesson looks set to make his way back to our side of the pond after finishing up his year with Djurgårdens IF. Joakim Eriksson, Djurgårdens IF’s General Manager, spoke to an SHL reporter and announced that the Oilers’ prospect would be returning after the loan that sent him to Sweden officially ended when they were eliminated from the playoffs.

From DifHockey.se (keep in mind the translation is a little rough):

William Lagesson has been on loan this season but returns to Canada. “Our loan agreement with William Lagesson, (rights) belonging to Edmonton, expired in April. Both Edmonton and Williams’s ambition is to play in Edmonton next season and we wish William good luck,” says General Manager Joakim Eriksson.

After playing well at last year’s development camp, William Lagesson was loaned to Djurgårdens IF as a means to get him more playing time as the Condors were flush with left-shot defenceman for the 2017-18 campaign. At the time, AGM Keith Gretzky spoke a little bit about the decision to keep him in Sweden and what kind of player we’re talking about:

“William’s a big, stay-at-home defenceman. He’s a little older, bigger, stronger and he needs to play more games. This will really help him and his development.”

All of that sounds good to me, but I still wanted to find out more about a player that I know very little about. So who is William Lagesson? I dove into the Google machine to find out what I could about the 22-year-old Swede.

From Elite Prospects:

“A strong defenseman that can put up some points, but plays more convincingly in his own zone. Likes to get involved in the rough stuff and has a pretty good physical game. Strong positionally, but could work some on his skating skills.”

In January of 2016, SBNation’s College Hockey blog named Lagesson the eighth-best NHL prospect playing in the NCAA.

He’s a physical, tough defender that could be a nice fifth or sixth blue liner for a NHL team down the road. His -3 plus/minus doesn’t look impressive when looking at it alone, but he’s on a woefully inept defensive team at UMass. He performed very well in all three zones at the World Juniors, and has proven he can be an aggressive, mean defenseman in his own end.

From Hockey’s Future:

Lagesson is a physical player who relishes one-on-one battles and can be extremely difficult to play against for opposition forwards. Still developing as a prospect, he has the height and demeanor of a prototypical shutdown defenseman. While his physical play is the most noticeable part of his game, Lagesson has a decent first pass and will jump up into the rush from time to time. He is a good skater for his size and has the makings of a good two-way defender.

Primarily known as a shutdown defenceman, Lagesson is said to be a strong positional player with plenty of physicality in his game and an overall toolbox that sees him projecting into an effective shutdown defenceman. Though point production has been a struggle for the 6’2″ Swede, he does have the ability to move the puck up the ice with a strong first pass which will hopefully develop into more offence as he gets more at-bats in at the professional level.

In 49 games played last season, the former fourth-round pick in 2014 (91st overall) put up 13 points (1G, 12A) with Djurgårdens IF and added a single assist in 11 playoff games. Lagesson signed a three-year ELC with the Oilers back in April of last year before returning to play the year in Sweden.


Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2014-15 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 52 2 14 16 79 18 8 1 1 2 4
2015-16 UMass-Amherst H-East 27 2 5 7 26 -6
2016-17 UMass-Amherst H-East 36 2 6 8 28 -6
2017-18 Djurgardens IF SweHL 49 1 12 13 30 13 11 0 1 1 31

Source: DifHockey.se, SHL News, 4/17/2018 – 12:00 pm MST

  • Sammy27

    “SBNation’s College Hockey blog named Lagesson the eighth-best NHL prospect playing in the NCAA”. I’m curious to see what he can do. I would’ve liked to see him play in the AHL, but sadly, they was no room as we needed to make room for marginal, veteran, flat-line development players, such as Keegan Lowe. Does the Red Wine Summit influence the AHL as well?

    • Rock11

      If the player you mentioned was not named Lowe then no one would notice. Even at the AHL level you cant have 6 rookie pros on D. Someone needs to provide some veteran leadership and calm the waters and give the rooks some cover. A rare strong developmental move by the Oil.

      • Sammy27

        That is true, but with the amount of lefties already on the roster, and waiting, would Gryba, and Fayne not have been enough on D? I’m just saying maybe it was time to develop your own prospects rather than giving another seasoned AHL’er an extended chance. Same last name or not. I’m not sure the Oilers manage their draft development as well as they should.

        • nqmt

          Fayne played 6, Gryba played 24.
          Bear: 37
          Simpson: 61
          Jones: 58
          Mantha: 41
          Stanton: 46
          Betker: 42

          Doesn’t seem like they were playing that much ahead of the young players

          • Sammy27

            Thanks for the breakdown. If he added value, that’s ok. I hope they can balance development time for those young players who have good arrows with those who can help the team win but have limited upside to play in the NHL

          • OilerForLife

            Lowe is only 25 and it’s not a given that he’s a career minor leaguer. That’s right he’s not his dad, as a matter fact he initially didn’t want to play Edmonton – wonder why…lol. There is a lot of nutso fans here….

    • @S_2_H

      Having a Swedish prospect develop in Sweden is no big thing, and more common than you apparently realize. I’m no fan of the OBC either, but I don’t see this as a bad move – especially when you consider how poor Bakersfield’s track record is at developing prospects.

  • D'oh-ilers

    The team he was on ran 7 defensemen every game and he was 2nd on the team in playing time. Looks like he got a lot of big minutes in a shutdown role. Should be interesting to see how far he’s progressed when he comes into training camp in the fall.

  • Randaman

    Whatever. We need right handed offensive help. How does this fix that obvious hole? We need puck movers so our forwards aren’t circling three times before our useless D get them a pass or just ring it up the boards. Is this our new system? It’s been this way for many years now.

    • @S_2_H

      Translation: “hey Baggedmilk, don’t report on anything other than a right handed offfensive dman because that’s our biggest hole, and I’m a poopie pants”

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Lagesson reminds me of Larsson. man if we could get another shut down, physical and defensive d-man on this team as soon as next season, i’d be over the top happy ! Lagesson was one of the few actual good later round picks that the awful Stu MacGregor and his staff actually found but to be fair it seemed to me that Lagesson was clearly the BPA when the Oilers chose him so Stu and the staff only get credit for not passing him over.

  • Big Nuggets

    Our defense prospect are looking decent. Draft another one this year and I’d say the future of blueline looks alright. just need to be patient for another year or more likely two years.
    I really hope we can add another RHD to ensure Bear continues to develop in the AHL rather than be forced to sink or swim in the NHL. Even if he can tread water with the Oilers it would be better to let him grow with Bakersfield.

    I have no delusions that we can get a top pairing RHD. Even if we could make a trade for one I probably would not want to part with whatever is needed to make that happen. We reap what we sow and its time to start sowing the seeds of success. No quick fixes. With that in mind maybe Boston would entertain trading us McQuaid. I know we need puck movers more than lumbering shut down defenders but the man is a rock and I think having actual men in the lockerroom is underrated these days.

    I know there is a sense of urgency to get better right away but I would slow play things this offseason. Put the onus on the players to be better next year while upgrading some of the depth. sign Brodziak, trade for Mcquaid, add another winger. PK gets better by adding a proper 4th line center PKer, PP should be better with the talent level and better coaching, then its just a matter of Talbot, Klef and Sek playing better and we can get back into the playoff race. Another reason for optimism that nobody is mentioning is that Draisaitl has another level that he hasn’t hit yet. This year he had that concussion and the team crapped the bed so we didn’t see much development but with a full offseason to prepare and likely a more definate role of 2nd line center, next season could be when he shows how dominant he can be. fingers crossed.

    • Big Nuggets

      I dont see us getting a top pairing RHD so I’m just trying to be realistic. an extra RHD will help ensure we don’t throw Bear to the wolves next year. So, yeah we do need another 3rd pairing dman.

  • Arfguy

    One of the things that’s bothering me about a lot of the Oilers players is their inability to skate hard. I just checked out a couple of clips on YouTube (and obviously they were too small a sample to really gauge what I saw), but it seemed like Lagesson was coasting on most of them.

    I am watching the playoffs and I’m marveling at all the players that seem to be able to skate per team. The Oilers this entire season seemed like they didn’t know how to skate.

    I don’t know what this off-season will yield, but at this point, I’m thinking that drafting faster skaters should be more of a goal than anything else.

  • Oilers Rule

    Chiarelli has nothing to do. This guy will fix Oilers back end and KHL goalie will be the backup saviour!!!

    Anyone feel good about this fix, What could go wrong?