Leading into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on June 30 in Newark, N.J., nashvillepredators.com is going to provide an in-depth look at each of this year's top six prospects.
In this week's edition, we preview Brynas IF center, Elias Lindholm.
Brynas IF (SEL)
6-1, 181 lbs. • Center • Shoots: Right
Born: Dec. 2, 1994
Hometown: Boden, Sweden
Ranking: No. 3 European Skater
Prospect at-a-glance: The highest-ranked Swedish-born prospect in the draft, Lindholm put up 11 goals, 30 points in 48 games for Brynas in the Swedish Elitserien – his first full season at the Swedish Elite level. The 18-year old averaged more than 16 minutes per game - the fourth most per game among junior players and sixth-most among Brynas. He ranked third on the team in points, led the team in power play goals (8) and only took one minor penalty all season.
Nashville Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty’s player synopsis: “He is another very good two-way player,” Kealty said. “He has a very good sense of the game, great vision and good competitiveness. He can make plays on both ends of the ice. He is one of those players that makes guys around him better. He is a real versatile player – for him to be contributing at the level he is in the Swedish Elite League at 18-years old is very impressive.”
“He is a smart and creative player who is a two-way threat,” TSN Analyst Bob McKenzie said. “Lindholm put up good numbers playing against much more veteran players in the Swedish Elite League.”
"He's a complete package," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. "He could very well be the next Peter Forsberg. He's an excellent skater and great competitor who gives it 110 percent on every shift. He can skate, score and pass and is physically strong even though he is a finesse-type of player."
“Lindholm is an extremely talented player who is already an important offensive contributor for his top men’s league team. Possesses incredible hands, stickhandling skills and passing capabilities for a player his age. Displays well above-average ability to read and understand the game. Elias is strong at side-stepping checks and interpreting where opponents intend to pass or where they plan on skating, taking advantage of this to pick off passes or hold up opposing skaters. Makes wonderful use of the ice and is strong in transition.” – Hockey’s Future
Something you may not know: Lindholm posted four points (2g-2a) playing alongside Predators forward Filip Forsberg as Sweden fell to the United States in the gold medal game at this year’s World Juniors. Lindholm's father, Mikael, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 12th round (No. 237) in 1987. He's also the cousin of Detroit Red Wings prospect Calle Jarnkrok, who was drafted in the second round (No. 51) in 2010.
Comparable player(s): Jonathan Toews (Chicago), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington)
USAToday: Ranking the Top 10 Forwards in the 2013 NHL Draft
YahooSports.com: Elias Lindholm Earns Peter Forsberg Comparisons
Hockey’s Future: Elias Lindholm
NHL.com: Barkov, Lindholm top European Prospects
NHL.com: Sweden’s Lindholm could be top European Draft prospect
Video: OilersTV: Elias Lindholm at the NHL Scouting Combine
Video: Youtube.com: Elias Lindholm 2013 WJC Highlights
Video: Youtube.com: Elias Lindholm Highlights 2012-13