Ducks pick Lindholm, trade Visnovsky on draft day

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks have selected Swedish defenseman Hampus Lindholm with the sixth pick in the NHL draft, taking a big risk to land a player who could provide a major reward.

The Ducks picked Lindholm on Friday night, bypassing several higher-rated defense prospects to land a fast-rising prospect.

Anaheim’s eventful evening began with the departure of high-scoring defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, traded to the New York Islanders one year before his contract expired. Ducks forward Bobby Ryan also voiced his dissatisfaction with the club in a newspaper interview.

The Ducks then chose Lindholm, a smooth-skating defenseman with an all-around game. He caught the NHL’s attention with impressive pre-draft fitness workouts, and Anaheim hopes he will be an heir to its tradition of high-scoring defensemen including Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Visnovsky.