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Tracking the Storm

Draft Profile: Elias Lindholm

Friday, 06.21.2013 / 9:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Draft Profile: Elias Lindholm
Each weekday leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30, CarolinaHurricanes.com will profile one player we believe might be available for Carolina’s fifth pick. Previous Profiles: Seth Jones | Jonathan Drouin | Max Domi | Aleksander Barkov | Related Links: 2013 NHL Draft Preview | Hurricanes Draft History



Though the sequencing may vary, many pundits agree that this year’s top five draft prospects (in alphabetical order) are Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin.

Michael Smith
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The dark horse candidate? Elias Lindholm.

Lindholm, a native of Gavle, Sweden, is the third-ranked European skater by the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service. Similar to Barkov, Lindholm, 18, attracted attention with a stellar season in a professional league as a teenager.

The right-shooting center has top-end offensive abilities and an impressive two-way game. Weighing in at 181 pounds, Lindholm has room to fill out his six-foot frame, but he’s still rather strong on the puck.

“He’s a skill guy who has a high compete level,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ chief of amateur scouting. “He’s a good skater, and he works very hard.”

Developed in the Brynas system, Lindholm made his debut in the Swedish Hockey League as a 17-year-old, skating in 12 regular-season games and two playoff matches for the Brynas men’s team. In the same season on Brynas’ under-20 squad, Lindholm notched 49 points (14g, 35a) in 36 games.

ELIAS LINDHOLM
CENTER
HOMETOWN: GAVLE, SWEDEN
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 181
BIRTHDAY: DEC. 2, 1994 (AGE 18)

In 2012-13, Lindholm made the full-time jump to the Swedish Hockey League. In 48 games with Brynas, he led all SHL juniors with 30 points (11g, 19a) and was only one of two Brynas skaters who finished the season with a plus rating. Lindholm ranked fourth among SHL junior players, second among SHL junior forwards and sixth among Brynas forwards in average ice time with 16:17. In four playoff games, Lindholm’s average ice time jumped to 18:36, ranking fifth on Brynas. He finished the season as an SHL rookie of the year finalist.

Lindholm is a two-time silver medalist in international play. As an alternate captain for the Swedish national team in the 2012 World Under-18 Championship, Lindholm potted three points (2g, 1a) in four games. He recorded four points (2g, 2a) in six games skating with Team Sweden at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Some scouts have compared Lindholm to fellow Swede Peter Forsberg. MacDonald cautions against such lofty association, even if he projects as a future top-six forward.

“You have to be careful when you throw around names like Forsberg,” he said. “You don’t want to tag a guy with a label too early that gives him too much of a burden to bear coming in.”

MacDonald, rather, prefers a comparison to Lindholm’s peers.

“Similar to Nate MacKinnon, he does everything at speed,” he said. “He approaches every shift with a very strong work ethic and doesn’t take any shifts off. He’s smart, he’s skilled and he understands the game.”

Lindholm hails from a hockey background. His father, Mikael, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 12th round (237th overall) of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He logged 18 games in the NHL in the 1989-90 season, posting four points (2g, 2a). Aside from nearly 30 games in the AHL and a season in the now-defunct International Hockey League (IHL), the balance of Mikael’s 14-year hockey career was largely spent in the then-Swedish Elite League.

His son figures to be a top-10 NHL selection on June 30 in New Jersey, and if the situation presents itself, Lindholm could sneak into the first five and would fit in with the Hurricanes just as much as any one of the other elite forwards available.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 49 32 14 3 130 111 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 50 28 14 8 145 129 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 50 25 15 10 147 129 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 44 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 49 10 19 -15 29
E. Lindholm 48 9 11 -12 20
R. Nash 49 7 13 -4 20
J. Tlusty 42 12 7 -14 19
J. Skinner 44 10 9 -9 19
N. Gerbe 45 5 13 -7 18
V. Rask 49 6 9 -13 15
A. Sekera 47 1 14 -7 15
J. McClement 49 1 9 -2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .914 2.41
C. Ward 11 18 4 .913 2.42