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Lindholm's Draft Day Differs from Father's

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 10:30 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
The National Hockey League Draft wasn’t much of a spectacle in 1987. That’s when Mikael Lindholm was chosen by the Los Angeles Kings in the 12th round.

Michael Smith
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Twenty-six years later, amidst the pomp and circumstance at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, the Carolina Hurricanes selected Mikael’s son, Elias, with the fifth overall pick.

Quite the contrasting scene.

“It was a little bit different,” Lindholm said. “He didn’t know he was drafted.”

Not surprising, considering Mikael was picked 237th overall. Elias, projected as a top-10, heard his name called a little earlier.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Lindholm said. “It was an indescribable feeling when Carolina called my name.”

Lindholm was surrounded by family when his name echoed over the loudspeakers through the arena, a celebratory end to what was a nerve-racking week.

“I was so nervous all day and when Carolina said my name it was amazing,” he said, the simultaneous relief and excitement present in his smile. “To be here and be able to get drafted is amazing.”

Equally amazing for the 18-year-old, right-shooting center will be his NHL debut. The Hurricanes believe he’s NHL-ready, based on his ability to perform and produce in a high-level professional league with men twice his age.

“One of his greatest assets is his tremendous compete level. He competes hard every shift, pushes the pace and plays a high tempo game,” said Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ head of amateur scouting. “He does everything at speed. He can make plays, he can shoot the puck and he can create.”

When asked if he would play in the NHL come this fall, Lindholm, who is under contract for another year with Brynas of the SHL, couldn’t say.

“I don’t know,” he said, the smile still ever-present. “We’ll see.”

Mikael played in 18 games for the Kings in the 1989-90 season, recording a pair of goals and assists (four points). That was the extent of his NHL career, but he can say that he skated on a line with Wayne Gretzky.

“He liked it over here,” Lindholm said. “He told me a lot about that and how it was to play with Gretzky.”

Elias, who possess high-end offensive abilities, said he isn’t his father’s son on the ice.

“He was tough. He was a defensive center. He wasn’t so skilled, but he was good,” Lindholm said. “Maybe I’m a more skilled guy, so we’re not the same player.”

On Sunday, Lindholm took a giant step toward fulfilling a lifelong goal.

“Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed about playing in the NHL. It’s the best league in the world,” he said. “You never know how long it’s going to take until you can play in the NHL. It might take a few months or a few years. I’m going to go back home, practice hard and hopefully get ready as soon as possible.”



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[SSS_STANDINGS.METROPOLITAN_DIVISION_LABEL]
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06
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