Lindholm skated mostly in a top-six role for the Hurricanes last season. He spent a good portion of the campaign on the top line alongside Jordan Staal and rookie Sebastian Aho, where he averaged 18:11 per game (including 2:12 on the power play) and finished with 45 points. Aside from missing a combined 10 games due to an assortment of injuries — one of which was reportedly a minor concussion — Lindholm has been mostly healthy the past three seasons, so durability is not much of a concern for the young winger at this stage. Drafted as a center when the Hurricanes selected him with the fifth overall pick in 2013, Lindholm has mostly played the wing over the past two seasons, but is still often called upon to take faceoffs (he won 55.6 of his draws last season). Overall, Lindholm is a versatile player that’s expected to form part of the Hurricanes’ offensive nucleus heading into the upcoming season.
The fifth overall pick in 2013, Lindholm was one of just a handful of bright spots for a mediocre Carolina team last year, falling barely shy of the 40-point mark for the second straight season. He also took a major step forward in ice time, cementing himself as a top-six fixture by averaging 18:07 of ice time per game, two full minutes higher than his rookie year. Lindholm was scheduled to undergo minor foot surgery this summer, but barring any complications, the 21-year-old should be ready to go when training camps open in September. He's only missed one game over the past two seasons, so durability has not been an issue for the young Swede to this point. The young Hurricanes are on the rise, and Lindholm should be a big part of whatever they can achieve as a franchise over the next several seasons.
Lindholm exploded for 17 goals in his second NHL season, establishing himself as a lethal sniper that the Hurricanes can build around. The 20-year-old potted four power-play markers, scored four game-winners, and fired an impressive 170 shots on goal, giving him 60 points in just 139 career NHL games. Expected to skate on the second line and first power-play unit once again in 2015-16, Lindholm projects to raise his scoring production again in 2015-16. The Swedish forward has a terrific shot and should do some damage on an increasingly dangerous power-play unit that also includes the Staal brothers and high-scoring defenseman Justin Faulk. Lindholm has gushing fantasy potential, so if he can stick in the Canes’ top-six throughout the campaign, a 20-goal season is a very realistic possibility.
Lindholm enjoyed a solid (if unspectacular) rookie year last season, providing 21 points in 58 games, including four goals and three assists on the power play. Keep in mind that Lindholm, who bypassed the AHL and landed on the Hurricanes’ roster straight out of the SHL in Sweden, started out averaging less than 10 minutes per game on the team’s fourth line, but gradually worked his way up the depth chart and finished the season as the Canes’ second-line right-winger alongside Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner. Assuming he begins the season in a similar role, there’s every reason to believe Lindholm will improve on his first year numbers. He has all the tools to become a top-six player in the NHL, so those in keeper formats should grab him now if he’s still available in your leagues.
Lindholm is a true blue-chip prospect who should be owned in all keeper leagues. He played 48 games for Brynas (SHL) in 2012-13, finishing third on the team in points (11-19--30) despite being the youngest player on the roster. He also was one of only two players on Brynas to finish the season with a plus rating (+1). He is a very solid kid with a complete 2-way skill set. Once he comes over to North America and gets acclimated he will rise quickly up the paper-thin Carolina organizational depth chart.