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About Last Season: Elias Lindholm Performance Review and Grade

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Grading the former fifth overall pick who had his best season yet.

Elias Lindholm celebrates a goal in a home contest against the Boston Bruins.
Jamie Kellner

Elias Lindholm: 2016-2017 By the Numbers

  • Age: 22
  • NHL Seasons: 4
  • Games Played: 72
  • Scoring: 11g-34a-45p
  • Ice Time per Game: 18:10 in all situations, 2:12 PP, 1:14 PK
  • 5-on-5 Stats: 52.03% CF, 47.56% GF
  • Contract Status: Completed first year of two-year, $5.4 million contract.

Making the Grade

This past season was always going to be a big one for Lindholm, who came in with two consecutive seasons of 39 points. Was he going to continue to hover around high-end third line/low-end second line levels of production, or was he going to establish himself as the legitimate top six forward that the Hurricanes drafted him to be?

Fortunately for Carolina, the Swedish winger was able to do just that. Lindholm established career highs with 34 assists and 45 points, though his total of 11 goals did leave a little bit to be desired.

When we contextualize, those assist and point numbers, though, things start to sound a fair bit more impressive.

According to stats.hockeyanalysis.com, among forwards who skated at least 500 minutes of 5-on-5 play, Lindholm was 7th out of 351 players in terms of 5-on-5 primary assists per 60 minutes.

That’s about as good of a metric as we have to determine the quality of a playmaker, and Lindholm was downright elite in what turned into a breakout year for him as the season wore on. The only players who finished ahead of him were Ryan Getzlaf, Connor McDavid, Nick Schmaltz, Johnny Gaudreau, Henrik Zetterberg, and Evgeni Malkin. I’d say that’s decent company to be in, wouldn’t you?

Lindholm was good on the power play, putting up 11 points there, but he wasn’t overly reliant on it for his production. His even-strength points per 60 minutes mark of 1.78 trailed only Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal among his Carolina teammates. Sebastian Aho got a ton of attention this year, and rightfully so, but Lindholm was clearly the superior producer at even-strength.

What we can expect to see from Lindholm moving forward is likely more of the same, but with increased offensive outputs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him scrape 50-55 points next year while eventually topping out at around 60.

If he does that while continuing to provide solid two-way and possession play, he’ll have a nice, long, successful career with the Hurricanes.


Exit Interview


Poll

How do you grade Elias Lindholm’s 2016-17 performance?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    A - significantly outperformed expectations
    (31 votes)
  • 50%
    B - outperformed expectations
    (138 votes)
  • 32%
    C - met expectations
    (90 votes)
  • 5%
    D - underperformed expectations
    (14 votes)
  • 0%
    F - significantly underperformed expectations
    (0 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now