If you ask William Lagesson, he’ll tell you straight. He thinks he’s ready to make the jump to the NHL and become a regular defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers. And, he’s doing his best to make that case right now playing in Sweden.
Lagesson’s Been in the Oilers Organization for Six Seasons
Lagesson was chosen by the Oilers during the fourth round (91st overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2018-19 season, Lagesson played 69 games with the Oilers AHL affiliate the Bakersfield Condors. Then, the 24-year-old left-shot defenseman had his NHL debut with the Oilers in 2019-20 and played his first eight NHL games.
Lagesson also made the Oilers postseason roster during this past summer, but he didn’t play during the Qualifying Round against the Chicago Blackhawks. It wasn’t a productive season for the young Swede, and he was sort of caught between the AHL and the NHL. In fact, he played less than half of the games either with the Oilers or the Condors last season (33 games). In his 25 games with Bakersfield, he scored three goals and seven assists (10 points).
However, with no hockey in North America and after a season where his development sort of stalled, Lagesson signed with the Swedish second-division club and is currently starting the 2020-21 season with HC Vita Hasten of the second division HockeyAllsvenskan. So far, so good. He’s scored three goals and four assists for seven points in nine games and is playing on his team’s top defensive pairing.
His Success Is Spurring His Confidence
As the Oilers NHL.com reported, Lagesson noted: “I feel ready to take that step and to be able to take a regular place.”
He added, “These are exciting times now and I’m on the border. It is important to be prepared, have self-confidence and have the little luck that you also need.” As I noted, the self-confidence he seems to have. Now he just needs success at the NHL level.
Perhaps 2020-21 Will Be Better than 2019-20
The 2019-20 season started hopefully, and Lagesson did enough to make the big club out of training camp. However, it didn’t take long before he was sent to the minors. He scored no points in eight games with Edmonton this season and was demoted when Oscar Klefbom was taken off the injured reserve list. Before that, he was a regular visitor to the press box during his time with the Oilers.
Perhaps Lagesson’s success with the Swedish second division will springboard him to further success with the Oilers. He’s an RFA (restricted free agent) and the Oilers qualified him, but he hasn’t signed a new contract with the team yet.
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