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Edit: Drafted 5th Overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Elias Lindholm is another prospect with NHL bloodlines. His father Mikael Lindholm, had a long career in the Swedish Elitserien, and was even drafted by the Los Angeles Kings. He played 18 games for the Kings in the 1989-90 season. His cousin, Calle Jarnkrok, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, and is just now getting his feet wet in AHL action. However, Elias Lindholm may be the most talented of his family.
Lindholm has spent this season playing for Brynäs in the Swedish Elitserien, and has put up some particularly impressive numbers for a draft eligible player. His 30 points in 48 games playing in Sweden’s top men’s league are amongst the best numbers of any player drafted out of Sweden in several years. Lindholm has also featured internationally for Sweden playing in the 2013 World Juniors and the 2012 IIHF Under 18, earning two silver medals in the process.
Born Dec 2 1994
Height 5.11 — Weight 183 — Shoots R
February Rank: 5
Lindholm is a talented centre with excellent vision and playmaking ability. He has soft hands and excellent stickhandling. Lindholm has patience with the puck, and is very creative, able to thread passes through small openings. While he is more of a playmaker than a scorer, his shot is decent, and his release good. With a little more bulk, he may be able to add some power. He works hard in the corners and wins battles, but again needs to gain a little bit more muscle on his frame for NHL hockey. A key asset is that Lindholm is unafraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice to make plays though, and loves to finish his checks.
Lindholm seems to have a very wide skating stride, that seems awkward at times. However this gives him tremendous balance, and allows him to be very strong on the puck, and gives him the ability to fight off hits, hooks, and holds. It really doesn’t diminish his skating too much either, as he has good top end speed and acceleration. His agility and edgework are strong and compbined with his soft hands allow him to make precise dekes around defenders.
Lindholm has an effective defensive game, as his willingness to throw his weight around extends to the defensive zone. He works hard on the back check and understands his defensive responsibilities down low. He works hard on the backcheck, reads the play well, and effectively handles his responsibilities. His complete game is very well developped for an 18 year old player.
Stylistically Lindholm’s game reminds us of Peter Forsberg. Now again, this is a style comparison only, and we would like to avoid saying he’ll be as good as the Hall of Famer. In terms of potential, we see Lindholm’s ceiling as a point per game player who can be used in all situations, and play big time minutes on the first line in the NHL.
Lastly we leave you with a video of Lindholm in action.
Check back tomorrow for our number 6 prospect.
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Photo Credit: Steve Poirier/HHOF-IIHF Images