VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Sitting in the seats at Rogers Arena, Simon Lundmark predicted he may hear his name late in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
The Winnipeg Jets proved that prediction correct - selecting the Swedish defenceman with the 51st overall pick.
"It's a dream come true," said Lundmark, the 21st ranked International skater by NHL Central Scouting. "It was nice to hear my name… I was quite nervous."
The nerves quickly turned to excitement as the 6'2", 201-pound Lundmark pulled on a Jets jersey for the first time.
"It's a great city with great fans," Lundmark said of Winnipeg, who he had three meetings with over the course of the season. "They seemed to like me a lot."
They sure did.
Video: DRAFT | Simon Lundmark
"He was someone we're high on," said General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. "He's a good size defenceman that can skate, moves the puck well, playing in a men's league over there he has to fight for his ice time. The development path seems to be in good shape there."
The right-handed defenceman scored two goals and added 15 assists in 25 games with Linkoping's Under-20 team before progressing to the Swedish Hockey League, where he had three assists in 28 games for Linkoping's top club.
Jets Director of Amateur Scouting expects that offensive side of Lundmark's game to return in 2019-20, however.
"All those (young players playing in top leagues overseas), they don't get the quality ice (time) that older players get. We think there is more offence to come there - offence that he had in the junior ranks before that," said Hillier.
"We've got a guy that we've talked to the coaches about. He's going to get a chance on the first power play there as an 18, 19-year-old player. So we think his offensive game is going to take off."
Video: DRAFT | Hillier speaks Post-Draft
"The season started off pretty bad. I played better and got more confidence," said Lundmark. "To play with the 'A' team, it was real great.
Lundmark is under contract with Linkoping until the end of the 2021 season. Earlier in his career he also helped Sweden to a gold medal at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Now though, his chance to play in the league he's always dreamed of seems closer than ever.
"I've always watched the NHL and have always wanted to play in the NHL as well," he said. "I like to watch the best players and learn from them."