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.
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.
LAGESSON’S CAREER SO FAR
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Source: DifHockey.se, SHL News, 4/17/2018 – 12:00 pm MST