Rangers’ first-round pick in 2018 NHL Entry Draft signs entry-level contract
NEW YORK, June 3, 2021 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Nils Lundkvist on an entry-level contract.
Lundkvist, 20, skated in 52 games with Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this past season, registering 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points, along with 30 penalty minutes. He was named the winner of the Salming Trophy in 2020-21, which is awarded annually to the best Swedish-born defenseman in the SHL as selected by Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming. Lundkvist established SHL career-highs in several categories in 2020-21, including games played, goals, points, average ice time (21:24), and shots on goal (156). He ranked fifth in the SHL (ranked second among SHL defensemen) in shots on goal in 2020-21, and he also led SHL defensemen in goals and power play goals (eight) this past season. Lundkvist’s 14 goals in 2020-21 were the most by a defenseman in one season as a U21 player or younger in SHL history.
The 5-11, 187-pounder has skated in 166 career SHL games over parts of four seasons (2017-18 – 2020-21), registering 30 goals and 48 assists for 78 points. Lundkvist’s 78 career points are the most by a defenseman while in his U21 season or younger in league history, his 166 career games are tied for the most by a defenseman while in his U21 season or younger in league history, and his 30 career goals and 48 career assists are each the second-most by a defenseman while in his U21 season or younger in league history. Over the last two seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21), Lundkvist led SHL defensemen in goals (25), ranked second among SHL defensemen in points (63), and ranked sixth among SHL defensemen in assists (38).
Internationally, the Pitea, Sweden native has represented his country in several tournaments. Most recently, Lundkvist recorded five assists in three games at the 2021 IIHF World Championship. He helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship, and he also represented Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Lundkvist was selected by the Rangers in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.