The New York Rangers have completed yet another trade with
the Phoenix Coyotes.
This time, the Blueshirts acquired 19-year-old forward Oscar
Lindberg in exchange for fellow 19-year-old Ethan Werek.
Lindberg was the 52nd pick in the 2010 draft, just a year
after the Rangers took Werek five selections earlier at #47.
Werek put up decent totals (24 goals and 28 assists in 47
games) this season in the OHL, but he suffered with injuries and reportedly
fell out of favor with the organization. The Rangers faced the
decision whether to offer Werek an entry level deal, and apparently they were
not prepared to do so.
Lindberg stands at 6-1, 190, but has yet to come over
to North America. He put
together decent totals in the Swedish Elite League this year, playing 41 games
for Skelleftea and tallying five goals and nine assists. He
also added three goals and four assists in 18 playoff contests.
Also of note, Lindberg has been the best faceoff man in his
league for three years running. That’s an area the Rangers have struggled
Werek was the #6 prospect for the Rangers according
to The Hockey News: Future Watch. Lindberg was not ranked in the
Coyotes' top 10.
Jess Rubenstein believes that Werek cost
himself a spot with the Rangers because he had a bad training camp and
didn’t communicate well with the organization about his injury this
year. He believes Werek is far away from an NHL career because of
his suspect knee and because he has
maturing to do.
Dave Shapiro at BlueSeatBlogs thinks
the Rangers may have made the move because Lindberg doesn’t require an entry
level deal whereas Werek does, so the Rangers are able to stay under
the 50 contract limit by making the move.
Shapiro also writes that Lindberg is much more of a sure
think to make it to the NHL than Werek, though it may be in a defensive role.
Lindberg is likely AHL bound next season.