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Lindbom Hopes to Follow in Lundqvist's Footsteps With Rangers

Swedish netminder grew up watching Rangers great

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Olof Lindbom found himself in a pretty ideal situation following the 2018 NHL Draft.

A Swedish goaltender who grew up watching Henrik Lundqvist, Lindbom was selected by the Rangers 39th overall in Dallas on Saturday.

Less than 48 hours later, the 17-year-old was on the ice wearing Rangers red, white and blue and manning the same crease his hero has called home his entire career.

"Obviously The King," Lindbom said, referring to Lundqvist when asked who he model his game after. "His focus [and] he's so mentally strong and he's so fast. I try to be as fast as him and as mentally strong as him."

Video: Prospect Camp Day 1: Olof Lindbom

Lindbom is coming off a strong season in Sweden, namely with Djurgardens' junior team in SuperElit, where the 6-2, 180-pounder he was one of just 11 goaltenders under 20 to appear in 20 regular season games. 

He turned in a stellar postseason with the organization's under-18 squad. The netminder posted a 1.20 GAA and a .955 SV% in five appearances, on his way to capturing a gold medal and being named MVP of the Playoffs.

Lindbom has had success on the international stage, most recently he was named the Best Goaltender at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship, as he posted a 1.66 GAA and a .949 SV% in six appearances while helping Sweden earn a bronze medal. In addition, he helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

"A very positional sound goalie that has been very good in crucial games," said Rickard Gronborg, Sweden's National Coach. "He is excellent to coach and applies information quickly. According to Stefan Ladhe, our National team goalie coach, Lindbom is the top goalie in his age group."

Lindbom is one of four goaltenders at the week-long camp. And while they're all Rangers, Lindbom is looking forward to trying to stand out in the field.

"I like to compete, and I think I've got a chance," he said. "I'm excited."

Lindbom is proud that he was the first goaltender selected in the draft, but knows the next step in his career began today.

"It's a surreal feeling. I worked hard," he said. "Now the hard work begins."

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