NHL Draft Prospect Profile #23: Hampus Lindholm

Drafted #6 Overall by Anaheim Ducks

Our #23 ranked prospect, Hampus Lindholm continues our draft run on Swedes and on offensively talented defencemen.  He follows immediately after Ludvig Bystrom, and in truth there isn’t much to seperate the two.  Lindholm was also an important part of Sweden’s entries in the 2011 Ivan Hlinka, the 2012 Four Nations, and 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.

Born Jan 20 1994 – Helsingborg, SWE
Height 6.02 — Weight 185 — Shoots L

2011-12 Rogle BK Swe-1 20 1 3 4 12 -1

Lindholm played 20 games for Rogle in the Swedish Allsvenskan.  He helped Rogle earn promotion, and the club will play in the Elitserien next year.  An explanation of how the Allvenskan and Elitserien work was given earlier in our profile of Filip Forsberg:

“Some think that the Allsvenskan is like the Swedish version of the AHL, this is not the case.  With the way Sweden’s pro hockey leagues are set up, we need to remember that they are set up like European Football (Soccer) leagues.  The Allsvenskan is basically the equivalent of the Italian Serie “B” to the Elitserien’s Serie “A”, or like the Championship League instead of the Barclay’s Premier League.”

Lindholm is yet another excellent skating defenceman in this draft class.  He is particularly impressive in his backwards skating which is extremely fast.  We rarely see him getting beat to the outside by forwards off the rush.  Lindholm shows good agility, balance and edgework.  He is equally adept and also very quick moving forwards, and this adds a lot to his offensive game.

Lindholm is already an excellent defender.  He has size and is willing to use it to hit opposing forwards.  He is generally a defensively responsible player, with good instincts, and an ability to read the play, however he can make youthful mistakes, and get himself out of position looking for the big hit at times.  We do however believe that any issues that he does have can be corrected with time and good coaching.  He does retrieve loose pucks and dump ins quickly due to his quick skating ability and makes a good first pass out of the zone.

Lindholm has good offensive potential.  He has great hockey sense and instincts.  He picks good times to join the rush, and to make pinches at the blue line.  He’s a good passer, with good instincts, vision and creativity.  Lindholm also possesses an accurate shot from the point and good velocity, however this is something he definitely needs to utilize more often.

Lindholm is a bit of a project as he still needs time to fill out his frame as well as to further refine his defensive game.  However we do feel that these issues will be able to be corrected with some time.  Lindholm has a very high ceiling and that contributes to our first round ranking.  We think that if he can reach his potential, he’ll be similar to Nicklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings.

… and thats the Last Word.