Monday, June 20, 2011

Oilers Update - Gabriel Landeskog Top 5 Prospects NHL 2011 Draft

According to some of NHL scouts, grit and grind and leadership is best the way to sum up the prowess of Swedish forward, Gabriel Landeskog. 

Landeskog, a 6'1" 207 pound product from Stockholm Sweden, made headlines in Kitchener Ont., when it was announced that his Rangers sweater was stitched with the letter 'C' .  Within major junior hockey, it is almost unheard of for a 17 year-old import to be handed a the torch to lead his club; yet, what Landeskog brings to his Rangers is everything what a Captain should have under the belt: grit, grind and some skill.  

Obviously, a Captain doesn't stop there, and the left winger understands the concept of being a leader on and especially off the ice. 

Landeskog, is a natural born leader who also offers his time, help and patience to his surrounding teammates.  In fact, it was noted by his coaching staff that he is willing to help the players within the weight room and even take them out for dinner.  

"He was a great teammate," said Rangers Jeremy Morin. "Those guys coming overseas here, you don't really know what to expect, but he was a great guy, one of my linemates. He brought a lot of energy to the team and he was a great leader.

"He's a very physical guy. He's the nicest guy off the ice, but when you get him on the ice and into a uniform, he finishes his checks and plays hard."

For Landeskog, the characteristics of a being leader doesn't have to be represented with a letter.  

"Doesn't matter if I have an 'A' or a 'C' on my chest or nothing, I'm still the same person. I am vocal in the room and on the bench. It's all about being a pro on and off the ice and being a leader and trying to get the boys going." said Landeskog.

Landeskog finished the 2010/11 season with 36 goals and 30 assists in 53 games.  According to one scout, he may not produce the same amount of numbers in the NHL primarily because without the puck, Landeskog makes every effort to play the defensive role within an instant. 

In terms of sandpaper, J.F. Jacques, and Gilbert Brule are literally the only two forwards left on the Oilers roster who can provide the jam and grind.  On a team who has limited personnel for the blue-collar role, Landeskog could fill in that gap should his name be called in a few days. 

"It's my goal to play in the NHL.The hockey is very good for me. I have a North American style of hockey, but I have some skill to me and I have that European style to me."

"That is my style of game. I like to rough it up a bit." 

Next up...Sean Couturier

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