In an apparent effort to defend the drafting of Anton Lander 40th overall in the 2009 NHL draft, there are more than a few Oiler fans declaring that Anton Lander has “finally arrived”
Of course…that’s nonsense.
Let’s examine the actual evidence.
Lander has played 26 games for the Oilers this season…scoring 6 goals and 13 points…and racking up a -12 rating.
What the fanboys are ignoring is that Lander has 4 goals and 6 points on the power play meaning he has scored 2 goals and 7 points at even strength.
Lander is also riding a 17.1 shooting percentage while his career shooting percentage is 6.8 percent.
I think it’s likely the penny has dropped for him somewhat offensively this season but his numbers are all based on a very small sample size on the PP and with a totally unsustainable shooting percentage.
He’s still getting his head kicked in at even strength and since he is averaging just over 1 shot per game…that ain’t going to change.
Now, let’s take a look at a few players who were drafted AFTER Lander in the second round. We’ll do this by PPG since the number of games played varies widely depending on the development strategy of the team drafting the player.
Tomas Tatar – .568
Brandon Pirri – .489
Eric Gelinas – .405
Drew Shore – .297
Richard Panik – .269
Jeremy Morin – .267
Dimitri Orlov – .261
Anton Lander – .017
And then there are all the later round picks who have passed Lander by like a house on the side of the road.
Tyson Barrie, Brayden McNabb, Reilly Smith, Taylor Beck, Cody Eakin, Casey Cizikas, Mattias Ekholm, Marcus Foligno, Sami Vatanen, Marcus Kruger, Anders Lee and Jordan Nolan are just some of the players who are showing more promise than Lander and unless Lander can find a way to contribute offence while getting 1 SOG per game or become a shut down defensive beast…he’s a whiff at #40…6 years ago.
You can find better 3rd line centres in the remainder bin every offseason so spending 6 years developing a mediocre one is a waste of time and resources.