2013 Draft Prospect Profile #8: Elias Lindholm

Our fifth 2013 prospect profile is on Elias Lindholm of Brynäs IF of the Elitserien (SEL).

Elias Lindholm

Position: Center/Right Wing
Team: Brynäs IF (SEL)
Age: 18
Date of Birth: December 2, 1994
Place of Birth: Boden, Sweden
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 192 lbs
Shoots: Right

2012-2013 Regular Season Stats:

11 19
30 +1 2

2012-2013 Playoff Stats:

4 0 0 0 -5 4

Elias Lindholm comes into the draft with an interesting position: in years-past, he might easily be a top-3 pick. But, with as deep as this draft is, Lindholm comes in on the second tier of prospects. He's a bit undersized, but makes up for that with his skating, which is very good. He's got great vision, and is a true playmaker.

He's a smart player who knows where to be on the ice, has great movement which allows him to be in position all the time, and the ability to set up teammates with aplomb. He could stand to shoot more at times, and of course his size is a question mark. However, he played in a tough league for someone his age, and more than held his own.

Lindholm is ranked #3 in the final Central Scouting International Skater rankings.

Scouting Reports:

Lindholm is a uniquely advanced player for his age. He had a special season for an 18-year-old in the Swedish Elite League, often recording over 20 minutes per game as a premier scoring option for Brynas. He has high-end offensive skills, displaying plus skating ability. He regularly shows his speed in transition, and he can pressure defensemen quickly on the forecheck. Lindholm has great hand-eye coordination and he can really dangle with the puck. His ability to make plays in tight spaces is very impressive. Lindholm's two-way hockey sense is also high end, as he is a great offensive playmaker. He sees the ice at a high level, and he knows where to position himself in the offensive end. In his own zone, he makes good reads, and he commits to staying with his assignments. As with most young players, he needs to continue to get stronger. That said, he is fairly firm on the puck, and he can muscle players off of it defensively as well. He is a tad undersized, and that is his one notable weakness.

- Hockey Prospectus

Lindholm may not be the flashiest player in this draft, but don’t be so quick to discount this Swedish centre. Plying a similar style to countryman Nicklas Backstrom, Lindholm is a smooth playmaking centre who makes up for a lack of strength and physicality with his hockey sense and natural skating ability. Lindholm has a high skill-level and also competes reasonably well which is something that will help him come draft day. While he could probably stand to shoot the puck a bit more, if Backstrom’s NHL success is any indication, Lindholm’s skill-set certainly looks like it will translate to a potential top line role in the NHL.

- The Scouting Report (September 2012)

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:

Well, think of it this way: Lindholm is Derick Brassard with a higher ceiling. Lindholm plays the kind of game that Brassard played here in Columbus: great skating, ability to move the puck in traffic, and a desire to pass up his own shot to set up a teammate. I would say the biggest difference is that, if Lindholm hits his ceiling, he can be a much better player than Brassard is.

While the Jackets need scoring forwards, having a player with the mobility, vision, and smarts of Lindholm would only help to create offense.

Lindholm in Action:

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