Flames First Round Targets 2013: Elias Lindholm

Kent Wilson
May 27 2013 12:28PM

 

Aside from Sean Monahan, Elitersen rookie Elias Lindholm is perhaps the Flames most likely choice at 6th overall this coming June. Like Monahan and Aleksandr Barkov, Lindholm is a center with a offensive capabilities and an advanced two-way game. So, like the two targets we have already profiled, Lindholm ticks a lot of the organization's boxes.

Unlike Monahan and Barkov, however, Lindholm isn't a "big body", standing at about 5'11" and weighing 185 pounds. That doesn't make him overly small, but it also means he's not the ideal vision of strength and size down the middle.

Nevertheless, Lindholm is universally tabbed as one of the best talents in this draft. International scouting service ranks him the 7th best skater available, while central scouting has him the third best European skater behind Barkov and Valery Nichushkin. Corey Pronman placed him 6th overall while the consensus amongst the various sources collected for the NHLNumbers rankings placed Lindholm 5th.

Surface stats seem to back up the scouts. Lindholm was the higest scoring teen in the Elitersen (SEL) this year with 30 points in 48 games. Former draftees Niklas Jensen (23 points) and Sebastion Colberg (9 points) trailed Lindholm despite being older and more established. Elias was also only one of three kids to score more than 20 points in the league this year and was the youngest of the three.

Aside from the KHL, the Swedish Elite League is the toughest non-NHL pro competition on the planet, so any youngster who has success there is automatically noteworthy.

The Scouting Reports

Lindholm's scouting profile is dominated by discussions of his compete level, intelligence and two-way game. Corey Pronman had these notes on Lindholm in his ranking:

Lindholm, like Barkov, is a uniquely advanced player for his age. He had a special season for an 18-year-old in the Swedish Elite League, often recording over 20 minutes per game as a premier scoring option for Brynas. He has high-end offensive skills, displaying plus skating ability. He regularly shows his speed in transition, and he can pressure defensemen quickly on the forecheck. Lindholm has great hand-eye coordination and he can really dangle with the puck. His ability to make plays in tight spaces is very impressive. Lindholm's two-way hockey sense is also high end, as he is a great offensive playmaker. He sees the ice at a high level, and he knows where to position himself in the offensive end.

In his own zone, he makes good reads, and he commits to staying with his assignments. As with most young players, he needs to continue to get stronger. That said, he is fairly firm on the puck, and he can muscle players off of it defensively as well. He is a tad undersized, and that is his one notable weakness.

The key differentiating feature between Lindholm and guys like Barkov and Monhahan is not only size but skating: while the other two guys are bigger and stronger, their skating is also usually characterized as average. Lindholm, however, is frequently described as having above average quickness.

In researching Lindholm, I also approached a couple of Swedish scouts/writers for their insight. First up is Uffe Bodin, editor of Hockeysverige.

Elias Lindholm had a strong rookie season with reigning champs Brynäs. He was especially good during the fall, early October, when he finally got a shot at playing real minutes. For the first few weeks, he was used very sparringly as an extra forward, but after his coach put him on the wing with cousin Calle Jarnkrok, he took off and had a great impact on the team's power play. Brynäs eventually got into a deep funk and had a really troublesome second half of the season, where they almost lost every game and came just an inch from missing the playoffs after being one of the top teams for the first half of the season. After coming back from the WJC, Lindholm's production tailed off. He wsn't playing poorly, but being an 18 year-old kid on a struggling team isn't easy, especially when you're suddenly expected to be one of the pillars on the team as a rookie.

...

Lindholm had 30 points in 48 games which have to be considered very good for an 18 year-old in a defensive league like the SEL. He showed flashes of brilliance during the season that made me think of Nicklas Backstrom, one of his boyhood idols. Lindholm is mainly a playmaker with really good instincts in the offensive zone. He seems to be one step ahead of a lot of his opponents and showed great chemistry with linemates Calle Jarnkrok and Andreas Thuresson during the first months of the season.

The Peter Forsberg comparison is a bit unfair since we're talking about one of the greatest Swedes that have ever played the game. I think the scout that made the comment meant that Elias Lindholm is pretty gritty and aggressive in his style. He doesn't mind being physical or going into the painful areas on the ice. He's also got a temper, which comes from being a stubborn player that really hates to lose.

...

As always, it's hard to say how good this kid could be. I would guess that he will, at least, be a productive second line center in the NHL. A guy that plays good solid hockey in both ends of the ice and that could be used to set up the power play. He's pretty all-round as a player and it's hard to find ny real weaknesses or concerns, but one could be his health. He's been hurt a bit a few times and I guess it has something to do with his physical play and the fact that he doesn't shy away from the action.

Swedish fan and frequent twitterer Steffe G also supplied us with a detailed scouting report:

Skating ability: 8.0

While not a elite speed kind of skater, he's got many other attributes when it comes to his skating abilities that will help him a lot in the next level of competition. He's very agile, being able to twist and turn in and out of traffic while using the other tools in his toolbox to create offense.

Puck skills: 9.0

Can handle the puck at a high speed and in tough traffic, controls the play even when tightly checked along the boards, can play an up-tempo give-and-go style of play down low to make use of his linemates to create opportunities.

Passing ability: 9.0

Sees the ice extremely well, and is super smart. Can play the puck with hard, cris passes, quick give-and-goes, saucer passes, far out on his backhand, whichever way is needed to help him create offense.

Finishing ability: 8.0

Here, too, his intelligence is one of his biggest assets. Not the heaviest of shots, he is able to shoot "smart" and make the right decisions when to shoot. Definitely not a shoot-first player, he will sometimes pass up opportunities in order to set someone else up or just keep possession.

Defensive play: 7.0

Backchecks well, understands his assignments very well. Nothing out of the ordinary, but reads and reacts very well and is quickly switching his mind-set from offense to defense and vice versa in order to jump-start a play at any given time.

Physical play/intangibles: good

While he always tries - finishing checks, battling hard along the boards - he is not a punishing player. He's strong on his skates, so he can protect the puck, and be relatively successful in board battles.

Elias' top asset is his vision/smarts/decision-making. He sees the ice like few others, not only for passing purposes but he is able to help his teammates do better and create space for himself.

A terrific face-off man in junior, he has been playing on the wing at the SEL level which has led to an impossible evaluation of his face-off skills at the next level.

Short version: smart, agile, playmaker with a fairly advanced two-way game. Concerns are size, health and physical play. 

The Numbers

Lindholm is amongst the upper echelon of prospects in terms of NHL equivalence (NHLE) this year, coming in at about 40 with Barkov thanks to the increased quality of the SEL relative to the SM-Liiga. That said, there is some cause for minor concern when we add context to his results.

First of all, eight of Lindholm's 11 goals came on the PP, meaning he scored just 3 times at 5on5 this year. I can't determine how much of his overall offense was garnerd on the PP nor what is the normal rate in the SEL for most forwards, but scoring just 27% of your markers at even strength is a bit of a red flag for me.

In addition, Lindholm fired just 77 shots on net in 48 games, or just 1.6/game, which means his shooting percentage was about 14.3% on the season. That's a low shot rate and high SH% in the NHL, suggesting Lindholm is either a very accurate Tanguay-like shooter, or a guy who saw the bounces go his way this season. Add those up and it suggests his true goal scoring talent might be a little exaggerated by his output this year.

Lindholm averaged more than 16 minutes a game in the SEL, the sixth highest ice time amongst forwards on his team. As mentioned by Steffe above, however, Lindholm spent most of the season as a winger rather than a center, which makes truly grading his two-way game as a pivot problematic given the discrepency in responsibilities between centermen and wingers, typically. That said, the youngster won 58% of the draws took over the course of the season, for whatever that's worth.

Conclusion

Lindholm has drawn Forsberg comparisons, but those are probably predicated more on playing style than a level assessment of his future impact at the NHL level. Keep in mind Lindholm is a December 1994 birthday, meaning he's 8-10 months older than guys like Barkov and Nathan MacKinnon.

His season as an 18-year in a pro league is nevertheless still exceptional, even if we grant that his goal scoring at least was dependent on SH% and circumstances this year. Like most prospects, Lindholm has some minor concerns around his size and strength, but the fact that he was able to compete and thrive in a the SEL as a teen this year suggests that shouldn't be a significant impediment for him going forward.

Flames First Round Targets

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 the-wolf
May 27 2013, 12:43PM
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Still torn between him and Monahan and this article did nothing to sway me unfortuantely.

Would still like to see a WOWY for him and Jarnkrok.

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#2 Baalzamon
May 27 2013, 12:51PM
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Lindholm is definitely not in that picture at the top.

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#3 Ed Ward
May 27 2013, 12:58PM
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Just like the -wolf I'm torn between Monahan and Lindholm. I think with either guy we are getting to get a very good two way centre. However, I don't think with either guy we will end up with a superstar calibre player.

Based on the Flames needs there are very few packages I would turn down in order to move up into the top-4. I just believe the key to winning in today's NHL is superstar level talent and one of the only ways to acquire it is through the draft. This is especially true of this draft with the talent in the top-4.

The Flames have the resources to conceivably make a deal to get a superstar and they should take it. Very good players can be acquired through trade and free agency, elite players are pretty much exclusively have to be drafted. I hope Jay Feaster is burning up the phone lines to FLA, TB and NSH.

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#5 Baalzamon
May 27 2013, 01:02PM
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@Ed Ward

"Just like the -wolf I'm torn between Monahan and Lindholm"

This article nudged me ever-so-slightly closer to the Monahan camp. I still prefer Lindholm, but as far as the selection goes, I'm pretty much completely ambivalent.

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#6 Kurt
May 27 2013, 01:08PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

"Just like the -wolf I'm torn between Monahan and Lindholm"

This article nudged me ever-so-slightly closer to the Monahan camp. I still prefer Lindholm, but as far as the selection goes, I'm pretty much completely ambivalent.

This article support my suggestion the other day that Lindholm is not "nothing like" Sam Gagner. Sounds similar'ish IMO, including all his strengths and weaknesses... I believe his ceiling is probably higher, but I'm not convinced this type of player is what you can build a franchise around.... At the end of the day perhaps asking anyone at 6th place to be a franchise player is asking too much. I wonder....

End of the day I think I prefer Monahan (or trade everything we have including the kitchen sink to get in the top 3). Im still just hoping Barkov falls.

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#7 Lordmork
May 27 2013, 01:09PM
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I'm greedy. I want Barkov and Monahan or Lindholm, without having to trade any of our other 1st rounders or best players. Make it happen, Feaster!

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#8 Willi P
May 27 2013, 01:16PM
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How about the Flames two other Firsts for the Oilers #7 and take Lindholm (6) and Monahan (7)

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#9 Kurt
May 27 2013, 01:23PM
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Willi P wrote:

How about the Flames two other Firsts for the Oilers #7 and take Lindholm (6) and Monahan (7)

Maybe the Oilers would throw in Eberle into that deal as well...

Or we should see if Pittsburgh will swap Crosby for the St. Louis pick + Steve Begin.

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#10 Avalain
May 27 2013, 01:24PM
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Lordmork wrote:

I'm greedy. I want Barkov and Monahan or Lindholm, without having to trade any of our other 1st rounders or best players. Make it happen, Feaster!

If we're going along that line of thinking, why not get both MacKinnon and Drouin so that they can play together still?

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#11 Austin
May 27 2013, 01:30PM
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I used to think Lindholm should be our pick now I'm not so sure. The problem is that neither are for sure top 3 players. That's why I think it's important to get Barkov. I think Lindholm still has to be our pick though. The fact that most of his goals were on the power play scare me a bit but then again half of Monahan's points came on the power play too. Please Barkov just fall to us.

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#12 Trianglereverie
May 27 2013, 01:31PM
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I think when you're comparing Lindholm, Barkov, and Monahan I think it's important here to take into account their nationalities.

With Barkov, I would personally be willing to take a chance because his top end talent and pure size gives him the edge. Combine that with his "potential ability" the speed and the physicality of the NHL probably won't have as big of an effect on him as it would on Lindholm.

With Lindholm, I worry about his size and the whole "compete level" comments. Everyone knows the NHL as a league is a difficult league to be consistent in and how many "chances" have we taken for offensive skill on guys like a Lindholm that have not paid off? Not to mention players of similar background from Sweden have not faired as well in the NHL because of the size and speed of the game. Too many!

It is for that reason if Barkov is gone by the 6th pick and we don't move up i would go with Monahan every day all day. Yes, maybe he doesn't have the upper end skill ability wise. But that doesn't always equate to goals and points in this league. What Monahan does have is competitiveness, a will to win, a drive to win, leadership quality, and the brains to go to the right areas of the ice and win puck battles. Therefore, Monahan has the potential and ability to put up 60-70 points in this league in my opinion. HE may not score a lot of pretty goals but that doesn't matter. They all count in the end.

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#13 the-wolf
May 27 2013, 01:37PM
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Trianglereverie wrote:

I think when you're comparing Lindholm, Barkov, and Monahan I think it's important here to take into account their nationalities.

With Barkov, I would personally be willing to take a chance because his top end talent and pure size gives him the edge. Combine that with his "potential ability" the speed and the physicality of the NHL probably won't have as big of an effect on him as it would on Lindholm.

With Lindholm, I worry about his size and the whole "compete level" comments. Everyone knows the NHL as a league is a difficult league to be consistent in and how many "chances" have we taken for offensive skill on guys like a Lindholm that have not paid off? Not to mention players of similar background from Sweden have not faired as well in the NHL because of the size and speed of the game. Too many!

It is for that reason if Barkov is gone by the 6th pick and we don't move up i would go with Monahan every day all day. Yes, maybe he doesn't have the upper end skill ability wise. But that doesn't always equate to goals and points in this league. What Monahan does have is competitiveness, a will to win, a drive to win, leadership quality, and the brains to go to the right areas of the ice and win puck battles. Therefore, Monahan has the potential and ability to put up 60-70 points in this league in my opinion. HE may not score a lot of pretty goals but that doesn't matter. They all count in the end.

Monahan is definitely made of 'Captain' material.

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#14 Willi P
May 27 2013, 01:40PM
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Kurt wrote:

Maybe the Oilers would throw in Eberle into that deal as well...

Or we should see if Pittsburgh will swap Crosby for the St. Louis pick + Steve Begin.

Maybe Kurt but if we get Eberle we won't have the pick left to trade for Crosby. Sarcasm off.

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#15 Craig
May 27 2013, 01:43PM
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This is a very tough choice, but I think that whichever way we end up going with the sixth pick we're going to get a high level talent. then hopefully we can add some nice pieces with the other first rounders and have some really strong assets to develop.

I like the idea of having Monohan for his leadership and his big body presence. With a bit of luck we could have some pretty good centre depth, Backlund, Reinhart, Janko, and this years pick. there's some potential there for a diverse group of centres.

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#16 Kurt
May 27 2013, 01:56PM
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Willi P wrote:

Maybe Kurt but if we get Eberle we won't have the pick left to trade for Crosby. Sarcasm off.

And if we got Crosby we'd use up all our beloved cap space :(

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#17 MWflames
May 27 2013, 02:01PM
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The tone of those two articles wasn't exactly inspiring like some of the prospect profiles i've read on here IMO.

Also, it's been on the back of my mind for a while now that Lindholm might be the guy that falls in this draft. By fall, I mean a few spots to 8th or 9th. If he makes it to Edmonton, does anyone else think they'd be hard pressed to pick up another smaller forward who's best weapons are in the offensive zone?

I am gonna be excited about either Monahan or Lindholm (or by some miracle Barkov), but Monahan is definitely my choice between the two.

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#18 the-wolf
May 27 2013, 02:08PM
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Craig wrote:

This is a very tough choice, but I think that whichever way we end up going with the sixth pick we're going to get a high level talent. then hopefully we can add some nice pieces with the other first rounders and have some really strong assets to develop.

I like the idea of having Monohan for his leadership and his big body presence. With a bit of luck we could have some pretty good centre depth, Backlund, Reinhart, Janko, and this years pick. there's some potential there for a diverse group of centres.

Assuming that they were to all work out, Janko, Monahan (if picked), Backlund, Reinhart would be pretty darn solid.

Of course, nothing works out that well, but some size down the middle on every line would be very welcome.

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#19 Purple Hazze
May 27 2013, 02:15PM
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After reading this profile, I definitely prefer Monahan over Lindholm. I can see Monahan fill into the roll of the future captain and leader of this team.

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#20 seve927
May 27 2013, 02:35PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Assuming that they were to all work out, Janko, Monahan (if picked), Backlund, Reinhart would be pretty darn solid.

Of course, nothing works out that well, but some size down the middle on every line would be very welcome.

I'd see Arnold on that list too. And Reinhart should definitely be more than a 4th liner, I was kind of hoping that would be a spot for DeBlouw. That might be enough options to give reasonable hope to be solid down the middle. Of course the 1C is the longshot.

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#21 BurningSensation
May 27 2013, 02:40PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Lindholm is definitely not in that picture at the top.

On the contrary, his NHLE is such that he HAS to be in the conversation at the top end, if only because he has been so successful against men in a real league.

Personally, I look at Lindholm as a Patrice Bergeron type. Someone who can dominate at both ends of the rink despite his size.

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#22 Baalzamon
May 27 2013, 02:42PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

On the contrary, his NHLE is such that he HAS to be in the conversation at the top end, if only because he has been so successful against men in a real league.

Personally, I look at Lindholm as a Patrice Bergeron type. Someone who can dominate at both ends of the rink despite his size.

HAHAHA OH LOL! No I meant 'Picture' in a strictly literal sense! OMG. Kent replaced the picture at the top of the article, so you can't see it, but his original picture did not have Lindholm in it at all.

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#23 Azim
May 27 2013, 02:43PM
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I really, really want Barkov. Lindholm and Monahan I'd be happy with as they should and could turn out to be fine players, but Barkov has superstar potential.

With that in mind, just thinking out loud here. I don't think Barkov slips to 6th. But Nashville might be looking to win now to keep Weber appeased, and could use some veteran help up front. If I were Feaster et al. I would throw in an offer of our St Louis Pick + Tanguay + 2014 3rd for the 4th. If that gets rebuffed, replace the 2014 3rd with the Pittsburgh deal. If THAT gets rebuffed, then seriously consider doing the 6th + Tanguay.

Rational for the Flames: Trading a 33-year old winger who is slowly regressing (yet still effective), and creating room on a left-side that is probably the current's roster's biggest strength (Glencross, sometimes Cammy and Baertschi). This would allow Sven to get more top 6 minutes, which he needs.

Rational for Preds: Right now the Nashville's LW depth chart is: S.Kostitsyn, Richard Clune, Gabriel Bourque, and Paul Gaustad. They can't afford to do a longer rebuild because they likely want to keep Weber happy to remain relevant.

Potential downside: They're pretty weak at centre, and Barkov could help almost right away.

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#24 piscera.infada
May 27 2013, 02:56PM
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@Azim

Ahhh, the things I would do to see the Flames pick #4, #6, and get rid of Tanguay....

I've resigned myself to the fact that unless Feaster turns in to Gandolf, it ain't happening.

This profile really makes me want to make the jump into the top four (by sacrificing 6) just to get Barkov. I'm also suddenly a fan of Nischukin. Nothing against Monahan/Lindholm, they're fine - and I'm game if we get either - but I want that impact player.

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#25 icedawg_42
May 27 2013, 02:56PM
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This is the guy I think we get..plain and simple.

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#26 seve927
May 27 2013, 03:00PM
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Azim wrote:

I really, really want Barkov. Lindholm and Monahan I'd be happy with as they should and could turn out to be fine players, but Barkov has superstar potential.

With that in mind, just thinking out loud here. I don't think Barkov slips to 6th. But Nashville might be looking to win now to keep Weber appeased, and could use some veteran help up front. If I were Feaster et al. I would throw in an offer of our St Louis Pick + Tanguay + 2014 3rd for the 4th. If that gets rebuffed, replace the 2014 3rd with the Pittsburgh deal. If THAT gets rebuffed, then seriously consider doing the 6th + Tanguay.

Rational for the Flames: Trading a 33-year old winger who is slowly regressing (yet still effective), and creating room on a left-side that is probably the current's roster's biggest strength (Glencross, sometimes Cammy and Baertschi). This would allow Sven to get more top 6 minutes, which he needs.

Rational for Preds: Right now the Nashville's LW depth chart is: S.Kostitsyn, Richard Clune, Gabriel Bourque, and Paul Gaustad. They can't afford to do a longer rebuild because they likely want to keep Weber happy to remain relevant.

Potential downside: They're pretty weak at centre, and Barkov could help almost right away.

The only deal I can think of right now that has a chance is taking LeCavalier's contract, and swapping picks with TB. Then buying him out so that they can sign him back cheap. That also might get us MacKinnon (probably not after that Memorial Cup performance).

I think it's going to cost a lot to move up into that top four, but that only hurts us monetarily - it's still all positive on the ice. Maybe Tampa could retain a bit of his salary in the trade in that scenario.

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#27 Graham
May 27 2013, 03:02PM
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For some unknown reason we played ourselves out of a top 3 or top 5 pick, and will now have to settle for Lindholm or Monahan, or hope that someone drops, or pay an massive price to trade up. Nothing wrong with Lindholm or Monahan, but neither looks like the franchaise center that the Flames desperately need.

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#28 piscera.infada
May 27 2013, 03:07PM
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@Graham

Nothing about that is unknown. The young guys showed they belonged (almost, at least); you can't fault them for that. There is no way in hell you ice that roster trying to pull your team out of picking in the top 3.

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#29 suba steve
May 27 2013, 03:10PM
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@Azim

If that is the best offer the Preds get for their first, I would be shocked. I'll say it yet again, no one is going to give us a top 5 pick for our overpaid castoffs and a later first rounder or even our 6th overall plus our castoffs. If Feaster made that deal (in reverse), we would run him out of town. Tangs in 2000-01 would get that deal done, not in summer 2013.

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#30 Jeff Lebowski
May 27 2013, 03:17PM
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I see Lindholm as a nice fit for a guy like Baertschi. Lindholm is a right shot (Calgary has a lot of left shooting LW).

Lindholm played against men. Monahan against mostly teens. When I read the article I think of Claude Giroux-ish type player. That hyper competitiveness leads me to think Lindholm will be quite the relentless player. He just wants the puck and expects to do something good with it.

I think down the middle, it would be good to have some high end puck skills to open the ice up.

The mention of plus skating ability is just enough to put in the Lindholm camp over Monahan. But it's really close.

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#31 danglesnipecelly
May 27 2013, 03:27PM
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In my little peanut brain I've come to the following conclusions:

1) After the Memorial Cup none of the top three pics will be traded anywhere for anything

2) Barkov will not fall to us

3) Nichushkin will go in the top 5

Therefore we will have the choice of Lindholm or Monahan and frankly I'm torn between the two.

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#32 Denscafon
May 27 2013, 03:57PM
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I think a more realistic deal with tampa would be Gio,both pits/stl first rounders and maybe even something else like our first rounder next year for 3rd overall and lecavalier (if he even accepts as he has a NTC). This would let us keep our 6th for Monaham/lindholm and barkov or someome else that falls due to nichkunin or something else.

This is probably a huge overpayment for our part but if u really want Barkov/drouin/mackinon(i wish...haha) then we gotta pay up mad and even our younger guys like the B crew could be part of it. If it was for mackinon, I'd honestly almost trade anything we have for him as he's exactly what we need. For Barkov, almost the same deal except any of the B crew and glenx. Though I still htink tampa wouldn't even do the trade since those top 3 guys are just that good.

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#33 Brent G.
May 27 2013, 04:13PM
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Dream all you want. There is no way in any universe any of the top 5 teams consider trading down to 6th for anything less than our 1st, St Louis 1st and Giordano. Unless we do actually take Lecavalier back and buy him out there is no way. Every GM in the top 5 is a smart man who would also like to have this impact player. Hell I don't think that deal above even gets this deal done. Nashville would definitely prefer a scoring forward of value contract and that screams Glencross but I think he's better being retained.

Honestly I would trade our 1st, Pitts 1st and backlund if it meant getting Mackinnon but we are really dreaming then. It looks too poor long term to make that trade for spare parts. Maybe Backlund should be made available. It's a lot to pay but he doesn't have the offensive potential. I would rather have a legit 1st line centre and have to search for a 2nd/3rd line forward who is injured a lot.

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#34 the-wolf
May 27 2013, 04:20PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

I see Lindholm as a nice fit for a guy like Baertschi. Lindholm is a right shot (Calgary has a lot of left shooting LW).

Lindholm played against men. Monahan against mostly teens. When I read the article I think of Claude Giroux-ish type player. That hyper competitiveness leads me to think Lindholm will be quite the relentless player. He just wants the puck and expects to do something good with it.

I think down the middle, it would be good to have some high end puck skills to open the ice up.

The mention of plus skating ability is just enough to put in the Lindholm camp over Monahan. But it's really close.

It's a real toss-up for me as well, but I just don't buy the 'men vs boys' argument. The schedule in junior, plus school, plus the physical side, plus the general compete level IMO is more than enough to compensate. After all, it's not like Monahan is dominating due to size where he's running everyone over or anything. A tough call, for sure.

Agree with the othe rposter about Nichushkin being the wild card. I know he got out of his contract and that's a hugh epositive, but his quote about "if it goes wrong, I can always go back" didn't exactly instill confidence. Of course, with the language difference, maybe something was lost in the translation.

Zykov and Hartman with our other 1st's.

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#35 Baalzamon
May 27 2013, 04:26PM
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@the-wolf

"but his quote about "if it goes wrong, I can always go back" didn't exactly instill confidence"

I don't see how this is a problem at all. This is true of ANY player. Take the Kings' Bud Holloway for example. The guy put up great AHL numbers, inexplicably never got a look in the NHL from the Kings, and fled to europe, where he has been leading the Elitserien in scoring for 2 years.

Look at Danny Taylor. He's not getting a look in the NHL, so he signed in Sweden.

It is true of ANY player that he can look for work in Europe if his NHL career doesn't work out. Not just Russians.

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#36 Greg
May 27 2013, 04:27PM
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Kent, are you guys going to profile Nischukin too? It seems like he's the other option we'll have at #6. Thanks!

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#37 piscera.infada
May 27 2013, 04:28PM
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the-wolf wrote:

It's a real toss-up for me as well, but I just don't buy the 'men vs boys' argument. The schedule in junior, plus school, plus the physical side, plus the general compete level IMO is more than enough to compensate. After all, it's not like Monahan is dominating due to size where he's running everyone over or anything. A tough call, for sure.

Agree with the othe rposter about Nichushkin being the wild card. I know he got out of his contract and that's a hugh epositive, but his quote about "if it goes wrong, I can always go back" didn't exactly instill confidence. Of course, with the language difference, maybe something was lost in the translation.

Zykov and Hartman with our other 1st's.

I agree with not taking the men vs boys argument too seriously. After much contemplating the last time it was brought up here, I believe it would be a large advantage in the dressing room more than anything. Of course I'm just spit-balling here, but I can imagine being a 18,19,20 year old joining a dressing room of grown NHLers would be intimidating to say the least. I would assume playing in a man's league no matter where it is would probably help with a faster acclimation to the way pros work and act. I'm not sure if that's really anything to place any kind of stock in, but it's something to consider.

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#39 CanadianManiac3
May 27 2013, 04:44PM
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I think Lindholm would end up being a better winger than a center man. For that reason I would take Monahan unless we can guarantee getting Lindholm plus a guy like Horvat or Gauthier with our STL pick. That way we ensure we get a big two way center man.

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#40 the-wolf
May 27 2013, 05:04PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

"but his quote about "if it goes wrong, I can always go back" didn't exactly instill confidence"

I don't see how this is a problem at all. This is true of ANY player. Take the Kings' Bud Holloway for example. The guy put up great AHL numbers, inexplicably never got a look in the NHL from the Kings, and fled to europe, where he has been leading the Elitserien in scoring for 2 years.

Look at Danny Taylor. He's not getting a look in the NHL, so he signed in Sweden.

It is true of ANY player that he can look for work in Europe if his NHL career doesn't work out. Not just Russians.

It came across to me as a "if I don't get my way I'll tak emy bat and ball and go home" type comment, but I may very well be reading too much into it. Like I said, lost in translation. This is why pro sports teams need intel units, IMO. You don't want another Filatov (exceptionally talented, whiner to the Nth degree).

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#41 RexLibris
May 27 2013, 05:22PM
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@BurningSensation

Sounds like a very good comparison.

If the Flames pick Lindholm they won't be building around him, despite anything Feaster might say to the contrary.

Monahan is the more likely candidate at that draft position.

This isn't to say that Lindholm is going to be a bust, and a team like the Oilers could do well adding him as he may become a great depth center for the team. However, I don't necessarily think he has the talent level to be that franchise defining player. Much like Bergeron.

I'd recommend the Flames stay at #6, take Monahan, and then take another center (or at least forward) and a blueliner with the other two picks.

Ideally, they take Monahan then trade the other two picks to a team drafting around 10 and try to get Ristolainen. That'd be a good day's work.

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#42 Greg
May 27 2013, 05:51PM
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As FAs as trade up targets go, Carolina has a bit of a cap mess on their hands - they have to sign at least 2 forwards, 2 D, and a goalie, all at less than half the league average. Doesn't bode well for improving a non-playoff team, and they have to resign a couple key RFAs the year after too. That makes Ruutu a pretty obvious buyout candidate, so if they don't want to pay that, I could see moving down 1 spot to get the flames to take his contract. If Barkov is still available at 5 I think that makes sense for Calgary.

TB is in a much worse mess... Way less cap space to fill as many holes. Vinny is a favorite target, and there is the feaster connection, and I could see something happening there, but not in conjunction with a #3 for #6 swap. No way does Yzerman give up a Mackinnon/Drouin type franchise player for the luxury of moving out his third best forward, no matter how overpaid. Not only does that make the team worse now, it throws out a major rebuilding block - it simply doesn't make sense from any perspective, unless there is a Bartschi or a Brodie going back the other way. They'd be better off buying/moving out Malone, and even then dropping from 3rd to 6th is too steep a price for a temporary cap squeeze. Maybe they'd do that if we give up all 3 first rounders, but even that I doubt.

I don't see any way Col or Florida move down from the top 3, certainly no cap space issues. Nor for Nashville, although 4 to 6 is a small enough drop it might be possible. But again, I think that costs you all three first rounders - it certainly doesn't happen without at least 2 of them, and there's no way you can hang on to #6 and still move into the top 5.

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#43 Jeff Lebowski
May 27 2013, 06:36PM
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the-wolf wrote:

It's a real toss-up for me as well, but I just don't buy the 'men vs boys' argument. The schedule in junior, plus school, plus the physical side, plus the general compete level IMO is more than enough to compensate. After all, it's not like Monahan is dominating due to size where he's running everyone over or anything. A tough call, for sure.

Agree with the othe rposter about Nichushkin being the wild card. I know he got out of his contract and that's a hugh epositive, but his quote about "if it goes wrong, I can always go back" didn't exactly instill confidence. Of course, with the language difference, maybe something was lost in the translation.

Zykov and Hartman with our other 1st's.

My argument with men v boys is one in which Lindholm's competition is against fully developed men. When you look at all the prospects that come through any organization, the first requirement for all of them to physically develop ie gain strength.

Junior kids are kids, they are still developing.

What does all this mean? Well Lindholm probably gained considerable 'skill' having to be strong on the puck. While he may have more physical development to do, it seems he compensates with hockey smarts or positioning to be able to produce and play significant minutes against strong men who would try to out muscle him all the time.

Why is Barkov so revered? He did his work against men. If we credit him for that accomplishment we should do the same for Lindholm.

With Monahan he is probably on the higher end of physical development relative to his junior competition. Lindholm on the lower end in the SEL. Monahan must have grown in confidence playing multiple years in the OHL. Lindholm was essentially a rookie in a pro league.

While the junior have to balance school pros do nothing but hockey. I would say SEL>>CHL for the reasons of men v boys. I could be wrong but it intuitively makes sense to me.

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#44 Derzie
May 27 2013, 06:56PM
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Ville Niemenen was on the Fan this am. He played the year with Barkov and loves the kid. BUT he did say that the Finnish league is almost all skill based. Almost non-contact. Easier to flash skilled hands when no gorillas are slamming into you. Not sure if this is true but it a a big Red Flag for me. See Cervenka, Roman for a recent example of what can happen when skill players make the pond jump. Barkov is bigger which helps but does not solve the problem.

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#45 chillout
May 27 2013, 07:07PM
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@Denscafon

that is a massive massive massive overpayment. we would be the laughingstock of the league for that joke of a deal. Lecavalier has a disgusting contract just like Luongo. This makes him brutal to move. If he accepted a trade to calgary we would seriously be doing them a massive favor getting them out of salary cap hell. anything more than a stempniak and pitt 1st going back would be idiotic. tampa would have to throw in their 2nd or 3rd round pic as well as their 1st to make it a marginally ok deal.

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#46 chillout
May 27 2013, 07:14PM
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@chillout

oh yeah and no matter how "amazing" all these prospects are, they are still just prospects who may or may not make it let alone be impact or star players.

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#47 BurningSensation
May 27 2013, 07:36PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

HAHAHA OH LOL! No I meant 'Picture' in a strictly literal sense! OMG. Kent replaced the picture at the top of the article, so you can't see it, but his original picture did not have Lindholm in it at all.

My bad! I should have picked that up from the context.

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#48 McRib
May 27 2013, 08:35PM
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@CanadianManiac3

Great point Sean Monahan is a surefire centre at the next level while Lindholm is more of an occasional centre being better suited on the wing. People criticize Monahan's offensive potential, but he is the High Hockey IQ type that makes his wingers job easier with great positioning and instincts. That said he had 38 more points than the next highest scorers on his team, one of which was a defenceman traded midseason (Cody Ceci) the other was a tiny 16 year-old rookie (Dante Sailturo). If Monahan only put up 78 points in a full season on a stacked team like London or Barrie, than I would absolutely question offensive upside but he missed 20 games and played with no proven OHL forwards.

If he had even remotely capable wingers this kid would have put up 80-90 points in his sleep and still have been in the Top. 4 conversation. Monahan is a no brainer at six for me, unless of course Barkov slips. I doubt Calgary takes Valeri Nichushkin but his recent comments of wanting to come over should get someone like Carolina thinking big time. He is so skilled though Calgary might consider rolling the dice with him, but I think he ends up joining Semin on Carolina.

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#49 please cancel acct
May 27 2013, 08:37PM
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@the-wolf

Noticed that Erne,s value is dropping on draft sites.I would also be estatic with Erne Zykov Hartman.Rychel after those 3.Bowey after that.

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#50 Dave
May 27 2013, 08:43PM
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I think I'm switching to the monahan camp. You guys are making good points. I was firm on lindholm cause I value skating skill very high but there are so many good things about Monahan.

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