Elias Lindholm, a highly-regarded Swedish center, is ranked third on NHL Central Scouting’s final list of 2013 European draft prospects. He has a hockey pedigree with two of his family members drafted into the NHL: his dad Mikael Lindholm was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and his cousin Calle Jarnkrok was drafted in 2010 by the Detroit Red Wings.
Lindholm, however, is considered to be the best of the three. The skilled pivot helped Sweden win the silver medal in both the 2013 World Juniors and 2012 IIHF Under-18 Championships.
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The points he posted are among the best for a Swedish player going into the draft in several years, making him an intriguing prospect in this NHL draft, a class widely considered to be deep and rich with NHL caliber players. As the go-to center for Brynas in the Swedish Elitserien, he put up 30 points in 48 games - and over half of those points came from assists.
Physically, Lindholm isn’t afraid to be a grinder and win puck battles along the boards. He has great patience with the puck, finding passing lanes, small openings and possesses the special ability to create chances when it appears there's no opportunity. When he keeps the puck, Lindholm is a proven finisher and has made a habit out of top-shelf snipes. He’s great at sneaking up on goaltenders and getting pucks in the net before they have a chance to realize he’s there.
Though his skating can sometimes appear a little awkward due to his wide stride, Lindholm’s balance allows him to fight off hits, hooks and holds. He also has great speed and acceleration. In his own zone, Lindholm isn’t afraid to throw his body around and disrupt things for opponents.
To succeed in the NHL, Lindholm could add some muscle and weight to his 5-foot-11, 183 lb. frame. An increase in size would obviously make him a stronger player, an added with his already-elite hockey sense, could make for an exciting young player. If he's selected by the Blue Jackets, they're getting a player who has the potential to grow into a top-line center that can control a game.
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-13 48 11 19 30 1 2