Nils Lundkvist has been by way of this earlier than.
Due to 4 seasons within the Swedish Hockey League, the Rangers rookie realized that it’s important to begin as a sixth or seventh defenseman and earn the belief of the teaching workers earlier than you begin enjoying top-pair minutes. Maybe that’s why Lundkvist has handled the mental challenge of fluctuating in and out of the lineup with poise, usually figuring out the way it’s helped his growth and taught him to by no means get too snug.
“You’re used to being back home, knowing your role and know that you’re going to play your minutes,” he stated after follow Tuesday. “Coming right here and ranging from the start once more and coming into a brand new group, attending to know everyone and attending to know your function, and beginning to hopefully climb up and play extra minutes. It’s additionally a begin and that you must belief the method and never stress.
“I feel like I have good support from coaches, good support from the teammates, I’ve got everything I need to develop and be a good NHL player.”
Lundkvist stated he sees similarities between how his profession began with each the SHL’s Lulea HF and the Rangers. He seemingly has a mature understanding of the place he falls among the many Rangers’ defensemen and that he’ll have to be affected person with himself as he continues to develop.
Whereas Lundkvist has performed in 15 of the Rangers’ 20 contests this season, the 21-year-old stated he’s been capable of determine areas of his recreation he must work on when watching the group from afar — resembling creating extra pictures, shifting his ft and becoming a member of the frenzy extra.
Lundkvist introduced up how he’s notably realized rather a lot from watching the Rangers’ No. 1 defenseman Adam Fox. So what was probably the most useful recommendation he acquired from the reigning Norris Trophy winner?
“In the beginning of the season he said, ‘The guys aren’t as smart as you think’ and to just go out there and have fun,” Lundkvist stated with a smile.
As of late, nevertheless, Lundkvist feels he’s grown an increasing number of snug every recreation. He famous that he feels he has a greater understanding of the best way to have success within the NHL after roughly the primary 10 video games he participated in. Now, Lundkvist stated he feels he’s been more involved in the Rangers’ game.
Lundkvist, who has two assists on the season, recorded a season-high three pictures within the Rangers’ 5-2 win over the Bruins this previous weekend. The younger Swede has edged Jarred Tinordi out of the lineup the final two video games and in seven of the final eight.
“We’re eight really good D’s who want to play here, too,” he stated. “So it’s a contest on daily basis and it’s eight actually nice guys. You wish to play your finest recreation each evening and also you don’t really feel protected on the market, too, and I feel that’s a superb factor. It’s worthwhile to enhance, you may’t keep calm and simply [be] like, ‘yeah, I’m going to play each recreation and loosen up.’
“You need to play your best game every night and develop and get more playing time like that. That’s the biggest thing, if you’re playing better, you’re usually getting more playing time, too.”