Carolina Hurricanes Elias Lindholm is Heating Up
Former Carolina Hurricanes’ No. 5 overall draft pick is finding his game at the right time
Earlier this year, many people used the dreaded “B” word to describe Carolina Hurricanes’ 2013 first round draft pick: Bust. People expected a lot more offense from a player taken so high in the draft. While his thirty-nine points in the last two season were adequate, they weren’t exactly something to brag about. Add that in with the Lindholm’s decrease in goals last year, seventeen to eleven, a lot of fans were getting nervous about whether Lindholm’s play would ever meet his potential. The start of this season did little to allay those fears.
In the first 16 games, Lindholm only posted four points total; none of them goals. It was
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about as bad of a start a player could have. Especially one looking to move his game to the next level and establish himself in a top-six role. Over the next eleven games, he did a bit better with two goals and three assists. Still not great, but better.
The next six games, though, Lindholm’s stick was on fire. In that stretch, he posted three goals and six assists. Those are top six player numbers right there. And he did it with a five-game absence due to injury as well. The absence didn’t hurt him one bit. In fact, he seems to have come back even stronger than when he left. It was only recently against the Bluejackets last night that Lindholm’s point streak was snapped.
Will he keep it up?
That’s a different story. Despite his lack of production, Lindholm’s play all season has been strong. The stats back that up with his CF% and xGF% both being above 50. Maybe some of his early year lack of production could be due to his shifting role from center to wing and moved up and down lines with no steady linemates. But now that he has steady partners in Brock McGinn and Jordan Staal, Lindholm has really taken off. Plus Lindholm has put up points against some of the best teams in the league: Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Columbus.
Believe it or not, a lot of Carolina’s playoff hopes will rest on players like Elias Lindholm. Teams will be looking out for our top players like Skinner and Aho, and it will be up to our secondary guys to help carry the load. And at least for now, Elias Lindholm is showing that he can do it.