The Carolina Hurricanes went for the relatively safe pick by selecting a well-rounded center in Elias Lindholm with the fifth overall pick of the 2013 NHL draft. The 6-foot Swedish Elite League skater was the third-rated European in this draft class and should help the ‘Canes return to prominence.
“The Hurricanes played it safe with going after Lindholm, who is an excellent two-way center with offensive skill,” according to the CBS Eye on Hockey crew. “He has starred for Sweden internationally and should give Carolina depth down the middle. He won’t be in the NHL next year, but he needs a little more time anyway. Valeri Nichushkin was another guy who could’ve made sense here, but Lindholm’s value is similar.”
“He’s a tremendous competitor,” Canes’ director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald said, via the Charlotte Observer. “He plays the game hard. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He gives you everything he’s got every shift.”
Lindholm, at age 18, may have a long way to go before looking the part of an NHL-ready product, but he’s already drawing comparisons to some of the best forwards in the game. MacDonald also noted that he’s been compared to the Ottawa Senators‘ Daniel Alfredsson and the Washington Capitals‘ Niklas Backstrom.
“That’s because of his tenacious game, the complete game he plays, the way he’s strong on the puck,” MacDonald said. “You have to be careful putting the Forsberg tag on a player because that’s difficult to live up to. But he has some of those tendencies in his game.”