Former Saint Jamie Lundmark is the real deal

By Marc Ciampa

When the reports came in for Jamie Lundmark before last year’s NHL Entry
Draft, not surprisingly, they were glowing.

There was talk that Lundmark ten years from now just might prove to be the best player out of that draft class. “(Eventual number one choice) Patrik Stefan is a man, Jamie Lundmark is a boy. All he needs is time,” gushed one
NHL scout.

The Central Scouting Bureau said all the right things, including “displays
exceptional lateral movement when skating with the puck and is outstanding
in one-on-one situations.”

And to think, what will almost assuredly become a great NHL career started
right here at Akinsdale Arena in St. Albert.

Lundmark joined the Saints as a slight 15-year-old with big dreams and an
even bigger slap shot. In his first season with the Saints back in 1996-97
he gave a sign of things to come with 10 goals and 19 points in 35 games.

The following year, he became an integral part of arguably the most dominant
line in the AJHL this decade. Playing with Mike Comrie and Dave Hukalo,
Lundmark netted 91 points and 33 goals in 57 games. He racked up 176 penalty
minutes during the Saints’ 1997-98 AJHL championship season as well for good
measure. Considering that he was two or three years younger than anyone else
close to him in the AJHL point-scoring standings, at the age of 16 Lundmark
already had scouts drooling.

Expectations were high for Lundmark heading into the 98-99 season. Not only
was it his draft year but also he was entering the WHL with the Moose Jaw
Warriors. Lundmark shone in the WHL as well, and only served to further his
standing in the draft. In 70 games, he had 40 goals and 91 points for 121
penalty minutes. The Central Scouting Bureau ended up ranking him the third
best player in North America.

In the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Lundmark was taken ninth overall by the New
York Rangers. In the preseason Lundmark impressed and was the last player
cut by the Rangers going into the season. He played eight of the team’s nine
preseason games, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Part of the reason for Lundmark’s point total was that he played with
fourth-liners most of the time and as such received limited ice time.
“(Playing with Darren Langdon and Eric Lacroix) was different. Hopefully, I
can play with more offensive players,” said Lundmark three games into the
preseason.

Rangers coach John Muckler had glowing praise for Lundmark. “Jamie is going
to be the complete package. He’s going to be a very, good player in this
league for a long time. He’s feisty, he’s got this burst of speed that pulls
him away from people and, for a young guy, a good knowledge of the game when
he doesn’t have the puck.”

So far this season with Moose Jaw, Lundmark has six goals and 22 points in
19 games. He started off the year slowly-likely due to a letdown from not
making the NHL-but recently has begun to return to last year’s form.

He is one of many Edmontonians expected to join Canada for the 2000 World
Junior Championships where he just may be put back on a line with former
Saints teammate Mike Comrie.

Seeing Comrie and Lundmark together on the same line once again should bring
back some great memories for St. Albert Saints fans.