When GM Bob Murray walked to the podium to announce the Ducks’ selection, anticipation rose as center Filip Forsberg had slipped through the first five picks and was waiting in the wings for the Ducks. Then, Murray announced the selection of Swedish defenseman Hampus Lindholm.
Lindholm is 18-years-old and is from Helsingborg, Sweden. He is listed as 6’2″-196 lbs. He plays for Rogle of the Swedish Elite League (SEL). He split time last season between Rogle’s junior team and the senior team. In 28 games for the junior team, Lindholm recorded 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points, along with a +25 plus/minus rating. In 20 games with the senior team, Lindholm recorded 1 goal and 3 assists for four points, with a -1 plus/minus rating. He also has some experience in international competition. He helped Team Sweden win a silver medal in the 2012 Under-18 World Championships where he registered recorded four assists in six games. Hampus Lindholm had this to say about being drafted by the Ducks, “I’m very happy. I had meetings with the Ducks and had a feeling they might pick me.” Murray also had said that the Ducks were looking at him for the 6th overall pick for a while. Murray said they were very happy to make Lindholm the 6th overall pick.
The scouting report on Lindholm says he is an all-round defenseman that is willing to play both sides of the game. He does have the size to be an effective defenseman, but he should fill out a little more to his 6’2″ frame. He has pretty good hockey sense and knows how to handle the puck. He will bang bodies, but he is not an overly physical player. I think he will need to work on that and become a defenseman that plays with that nastiness and snarl that the Ducks need. He plays on both the power play and on the penalty kill. Scouts also say he is a late bloomer and has risen on the draft boards in the last few weeks and months. Lindholm’s favorite player is Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall, let’s just hope that he can play like him in the NHL.
GM Bob Murray said this on this selection, as well as the trade that sent defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders for a second-round pick:
“I thank Lubo for his years with the team. He was a valuable member. At this time, we’re changing the direction of our team a bit. We’re looking to change the look of the defense. It’s one step at a time and this is the first step into changing that back end. We’re very happy with this pick. We think he’s going to be a quality player for a long time. We have some older guys and we’re moving on and changing the look of our team. We gave them the opportunity last year when they made the little run. Now it’s time for changes.”
When I first heard Lindholm’s name being announced, I was noticeably upset. I hadn’t really heard too much about him until he was drafted. I had heard on the pre-draft coverage that was a riser in the boards and should be taken in the middle of the 1st round. The only thing that was on my mind before the pick was made was that the Ducks were going to take Filip Forsberg. The thing that really upsets us Ducks fans about this pick is that Lindholm could’ve been taken later in the first round so, why not move down and take him where he was slotted to go. Well, I guess I should reserve judgement until we see him in action in the NHL, which will be about 2 or three years from now.
Follow me on twitter @ddb_sean!