The Carolina Hurricanes hit a draft jackpot of sorts with forward Elias Lindholm. He is an insanely capable player with clutch performance abilities and instant chemistry with teammates. The question is whether or not he fits into the Hurricanes’ future plans or if there’s room for him in them.
It’s become well known to the point of cliche that Carolina is in need of a serious house cleaning over the summer. Head coach Kirk Muller is more than likely out of there, taking with him a number of deadweight players. Probable new GM Ron Francis has the privilege of building a team nearly from scratch. The direction he chooses to take and the reasoning behind it is anyone’s guess and is likely not even known to the team or Francis himself.
Lindholm with either fit perfectly into a plan of rebuilding for the future or just not have a spot anymore in a team stacked for immediate success.
Should Francis decide to put a bunch of marginal players onto the trade market in an attempt to draw in big-name talent, there’s little room for a developing young player like Lindholm. He’d be more valuable as a worm on a hook to attract bigger and better talent than he would be as an assistant coach’s pet project.
On the other hand, he has proven himself to be a solid player and is finishing the season strong on a top line with wunderkind Jeff Skinner. Should the Hurricanes decide to keep him around, Lindholm could prove to be an anchor of a very solid Hurricanes roster three or four seasons down the road. Which would be nice after a stacked team establishes a postseason foothold.
Either way, the Hurricanes cannot afford to waffle on Lindholm. He could be one of a handful of keys to seeing inside Carolina’s logic early in the rebuild process.