Anton Lindholm was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round (144th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft. The Swedish blueliner later inked an entry-level deal with the Avs on May 24, 2016.
The 5-foot-11, 191-pound defenseman has spent the last several seasons playing for his hometown team, Skelleftea of the Swedish Hockey League. In the 2015-16 campaign, Lindholm led his team in hits (85) and contributed four points (all assists) and 26 blocked shots despite being limited to only 30 contests due to injury. He was a significant presence on the blue line, averaging 16:02 of ice time per game during the regular season and 18:11 during the playoffs.
ColoradoAvalanche.com sat down with Lindholm this past summer.
Was there any particular moment that made you know you wanted to be a hockey player?
"As long as I can remember, I've played hockey. I can't remember a specific moment, but I never questioned if I wanted to play or not because I love the game and that's all I've been doing."
What is your best attribute as a hockey player?
"I'm pretty clear on the ice with what I'm about to do and what I'm doing. I don't think I'm hard for my teammates to read. I'm pretty straightforward."
What do you think you've improved on the most in the time between being drafted by the Avs in 2014 and now?
"I play more mature and more consistent now than I did back then. My placement with the puck is more accurate, and I would say I'm more mobile on skates than I was back then."
Are there any NHL players that you try to emulate?
"Most of the Swedish defensemen. Maybe you look up to a guy like Nicklas Lidström, for me maybe a guy like Niklas Kronwall. He plays a pretty simple game but has played well on the NHL level for a lot of years."
What has been your favorite thing about being in Denver for development camp?
"The opportunity to practice on the ice with Adam Foot and Brett Clark is huge. It's just a big run this week, a lot of training, hard trainings. But it's fun. We're doing it as a group and it's inspiring to be here."
What is your favorite moment in sports or hockey history?
"The Olympic gold medal for Sweden in 2006 is one of the things I watched on TV and will always remember."
How did it feel representing your native Sweden in international play?
"First of all, it's an honor to be on the roster, having the coach calling you in. Then it's a big learning experience facing guys who play at the top level of the world."
What is your favorite band?
"Mumford and Sons."
If you weren't playing hockey, what would you be doing?
"I don't know. All of my family works in the medical industry. My dad is a paramedic, my mom is a nurse, my brother is a firefighter and my sister works part-time as a nurse. So maybe something like that."
Want to know more about Lindholm? Listen to his episode of the Avs Cast!