For one to buy your argument there'd have to be a reason to give Lindberg the benefit of the doubt over Fasth. Right now I don't see one. It's not set in stone that either player makes it in the NHL. Lindberg's faceoff prowess won't do much good if he never makes it beyond the AHL.
IMO he's already in the AHL - Sweden's version. And he's doing pretty well.
1) Chris Kreider
2) Carl Hagelin
3) J.T. Miller
4) Dylan McIlrath - Needs 2 more years of seasoning in Hartford
5) Jesper Fasth - Probably NHL ready next year, but 1 year in the AHL to get used to smaller rinks is needed.
6) Michael St. Croix - He will need a couple of years in the AHL, but he will surprise a lot of people, he is too talented not to be in the NHL. Upside is 2C.
7) Christian Thomas - He is rounding into form.
8) Oscar Lindberg - He can be a good bottom 6 Center.
9) Nick Palmieri - Most of you already forgot about Nick, but he will surprise.
10) Cristoval Nieves - He looks like elite talent at this point, hope he continues his development, definite top 6.
11) Brady Skjei - Steady second pairing that can skate well and is sound defensively, 2 or 3 years from the NHL.
12) Marek Hrivik - The concussion is concerning. May or may not be back in time to be NHL ready season.
13) Cam Talbot - Put him here because he has picked his level of playing recently and we desperately need somebody to groom at G.
14) Andrew Yogan - I was debating whether to put this guy in the second tier, he has good hands, size, can skate, and drop the mitts. I am rooting for him.
15) Samuel Noreau - Can be physical #6, which this team desperately needs right now, but is 3 years away.
16) Steven Fogarty - I am not sure what happened to Steven, he appears to be groomed as a checking Center in college, with his size and skating, he can be a little more than that.
17) Brandon Mashinter - We will see how he finishes the season, may get called up for a cup of coffee and a scrum or 2. Future enforcer.
18) Ryan Bourque - Good genes, small size.
19) Calle Andersson
20) Kyle Jean
21) Blake Parlett
22) Shane McColgan
23) Thomas Spelling
24) Peter Ceresnak
25) Jyri Niemi
26) Jason Wilson
Yeah, but that's not the NHL, which is my point. They're both playing well in the SEL, but by all account Fasth is on a different level from Lindberg.
Skill-wise, yes, Fasth is the better player. But I think what it may come down to is the difference between a player like Hagelin and a player like Malhotra/Pahlsson. Both are valuable. Who was more valuable in their prime? Unknown.
I don't know if any of you have been watching The Whale recently but C. Thomas is looking A LOT better, the type of control over the game you saw him having in the OHL. In the last couple of months there is an apparent change is his play, he's getting to pucks and demonstrating great skill against the big boys.
I'd move him up right behind Kreider, Miller and McIlrath.
I'd say the reverse than what you described. Instead of trying to control the game with his stickhandling, which was great for the OHL but not good enough for the pros, he decided to simplify his game and now became more of a north-south player who actually shoots the puck.
His main asset is his amazing shot. It's very much on par with the top-6 NHL scorers. Thomas has one of the 2-3 best releases in the whole organization. He also has good speed. By using his strengths, he's become a much more effective player.
I wouldn't say it has been 2 months, either. That's what the article said, but it's just false. We are talking about around a month, since his benching. He came back like a man possessed after that.
Honestly, at this point, I think you might have to put Hagelin ahead of any prospects. The kid got 46 points in his 77 NHL games. This would place him around 110-115 in scoring among all forwards, meaning he'd be the #4 scorer on a team. That is solidly second line level scoring. Add on his energy and good defensive play, and he seems to be playing like a second liner, albeit an unproven one. Oh, and he's still improving. I think we are talking about a 7.5B prospect here becauseat worst he'll be a tweener and at best, he can be a top-shelf second liner.