Linus Lindstrom wants to earn a bigger role in the SHL

You could be forgiven if you forgot that Linus Lindstrom was still in the Calgary Flames system. The club’s fourth round selection back in the 2016 NHL Draft, the two-way center has been plying his trade in his native Sweden since his selection. But while he’s been focused on rounding out his game, he’s got an eye on the NHL.

The 21-year-old product of Skelleftea, Sweden has spent the bulk of his hockey-playing life playing for his hometown team. The upside is he’s played three full seasons since being drafted with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League. The downside is his offensive production has been six, four and six points in those seasons.

“I know I’ve got it defensively,” said Lindstrom. “So I’ve got to improve my offensive game so I can play more and get bigger role on my team.”

Lindstrom’s light offensive output has seen him play a bit of everything during his time in the SHL.

“At first i played top six,” said Lindstrom. “Then it got a little bit rough and I played fourth line and penalty killing and stuff like that. Both ways.”

A stretch of rough play saw him loaned to BIK Karlskroga in the secondary HockeyAllsvenskan league to get playing time and build up his offensive swagger. He came back to the SHL for the home stretch and finished season strong. Headed into final year of current deal in the SHL, he’s got some clear goals for what could be his final season in Europe for awhile.

“I want to get a bigger role, play more,” said Lindstrom. “I had a good off-season now, get some more weight, get stronger. That’s my biggest thing. I’ve got to get stronger and faster so I can get more time on the ice and make plays.”

The Flames hold Lindstrom’s NHL rights until June 1, 2020 – four years after his selection. Lindstrom is hopeful that a strong 2019-20 SHL season can give him some momentum as he hopes to make the jump to North America.

“Hopefully next year,” said Lindstrom. “I’m going to make a good year back in Sweden and hopefully gonna come here next year.”

  • Jobu

    People say this kid is good, but the numbers just don’t show it. Jobu has serious doubts “LL Häftigt J” can make enough of an offensive jump to get a contract next year.

  • canadian1967

    If any Backlund lovers have access to The Athletic, they shouldn’t read todays article about Contract Efficiencies because according to the author; Backlunds contract is the second worst value on The Flames.

    Worse than Michael Stone!!!

    Uses the term “Fancy stats Darling”!

    Everyone else looks about right according to the model used, including most of the other NHL teams in the article.

    Maybe Flamesnation should write a rebuttal or sue in order to reclaim the honor of “Lord Mikael of Corsi” ©
    (That’s mine, I own it! but feel free to use it)

    • HarveysFleaCollar

      Haha..good name. I used to be a big Backlund supporter..but have slowly been swayed to the other side. He is a fancy stat darling…and those nerdy stats are for guys who didnt play or understand the intangibles. I’m not sure I’d have him as the second worse value contract, but he is in the top 4 or 5 with Neal, Stone, Frolik

        • Man yells at cloud

          I get that Backlund is a nice guy. I get that he is an NHL player, but in reality he is an overpaid 3rd line center. If this team ever has any hope of winning Lord Stanley it will not happen with a player of Backlunds skill set on the 2nd line. WW has been right all along and it took some time but finally people are starting to realize Backlund is NOT what most think he is.
          Now get off my lawn!

    • oilcanboyd

      What an airy, fairy analysis. Not worth the time it takes to read it. Analysis based solely on age, contract size and years remaining. The 3M line led by Backs have always had the largest % of D-zone starts on the team and are on the ice against the top lines of every team.

      On a positive note Flames ranked higher than the Oilers!

      • Albertabeef

        And that’s why I won’t pay for the Athletic subscription, and disapprove of people promoting it on here. I don’t know why anyone would pay for that site.

        • HOCKEY83

          Why would anyone pay for the athletic. Free sports news is very abundant on the net you can even get the Athletic articles without paying and their writers have enormous egos…so much so that they think you should have to pay to read their garbage.

          • Albertabeef

            And I bet it’s still full of ads lol. Seriously advertising is the way to make money on the net. Paying for someone’s opinion about a pro sports team on the internet just sounds wrong to me. At least back in the day the “Calgary SUN” on Tuesday’s had more than just NHL stats. The good old days when you had to wait for Tuesdays to see the full league’s stats. The “Sunshine Girl” was always worth the quarter(dime) spent for a young male lol.

          • HOCKEY83

            Ya i have been running the same hockey pool for 35 years and i used to have to update it by going over the calgary sun stats on a nightly basis and then FAXING it out to everyone. It was quite a lengthy process. Very thankful for Officepools

      • BendingCorners

        It doesn’t actually say that. A player’s $ over/under takes into account term and forecast WAR over that term, and compares it to average $ / WAR. Neal grades out as barely above replacement level, Backlund as “not generating enough extra wins to cover his contract” but still being a decent forward. The analysis makes more sense at the team level – any particular player can be used in a way that reduces his apparent WAR, the argument often used in favor of Backlund. In aggregate the team’ usage of all players should average out, to allow a ranking of cap efficiency per team – which is what the article attempted.
        And yes, for the record, I think Backlund is a bit overpaid now and it will get worse, but he is a good player.

        • canadian1967

          I am also not saying that he is a bad player. As a matter of fact, he IS a good player, but he’s not the god that some on here make him out to be, just as he’s not the waste of Skin that Walter maintains he is.

    • Baalzamon

      It seems like it’s the term that hurts his value, not the cap hit. Which I mean… we all knew that already, didn’t we? He’s 30 now and the contract takes him to 35.

      Their model puts his surplus value at 10.4million… which basically means that his contract is about two years too long.

      I defy anyone to disagree.

  • Brian McGrattan's Salute

    I don’t kno wwhere to post this, but it has been rumoured that the flames and oilers are thinking of making a Lucic + Kris Russell trade for Neal and Frolik. I know these rumours are usually bunk, but MY GOOD LORD that would be quite possibly the worst trade I’ve EVER heard of

      • Brian McGrattan's Salute

        I am thinking of that scene in the Simpsons, where sideshow bob keeps stepping on rakes and shuddering. That’s how this makes me feel. I trust Tre more than this, but my goodness

        • Kevin R

          The Oiler masses are desperate for something to change & what they have done really hasnt addressed anything. In fact some of them are questioning why the bought out Sekera now that he is healthy as he was a 2nd pairing & now Russell inherits that. They have no cap space to do anything significant anyway.
          Honestly, if were were to take on Lucic for Neal, I would want Pulji as the sweetener & the most I would send back would be Czarnik, who may be a fit for the Oilers in their top 6. But I probably would still want a 2nd or 3rd from them added in there in a deal like that. Perhaps Oilers let Tre approach Lucic & ask him if he would be willing to waive his NMC like Fleury did for the expansion draft. If that were to happen, I dont think this would be such a bad deal for the Flames &Lucic can play in the bottom 6 & maybe some 2nd PP time to stand in front of the net. His placing in the lineup would be way better identified than Neal in my opinion, who was signed as a top 6 forward but even in better shape, may not be anyway. He certainly wasnt last year. Some of our smaller skilled guys certainly would feel a lot more comfortable knowing we have a Guido watching their backs in the lineup & hold the opposition accountable. If you dont believe me on that, just ask the players.

          • drogon

            I must admit that Jesse Puljujärvi is intriguing… What happened to all of this?… Puljujärvi is a big winger who combines size, skating and skill. A strong skater who can blast past the opposition in full speed. Able to use his size, reach and stickhandling skills to retain the puck in speed. A smart player at both ends of the ice, both on and off the puck. Great work ethic and positive attitude. More of a playmaker than a scorer and could improve his shooting skills, although already equipped with an accurate release. Doesn’t shy away from physical play, but could use his size more to his benefit.

          • Baalzamon


            From what I’ve heard from Oil fans, this is the problem right here: “A smart player at both ends of the ice”

            He’s… not that smart. All tools, no toolbox. And no instruction manual either.

    • Speed Kills

      I hear its going to be ~> Lucic( 2 – Mill retained) + Puljujärvi + Nurse + 2020 2nd round… for Neal + Frolík + Stone + Ruzicka + 2020 5th round (or Czarnik) …

  • oilcanboyd

    Speaking of trade rumours:
    Pulju and Draisaitl for Tkachuk and Benny!

    Both Pulju and Drai were picked ahead of our picks and boy did they turn out differently than expected!

    Tkachuk has benefitted from the Backlund bump, not the other way around!
    Drai has benefitted from the McD bump….

  • everton fc

    Sometime, I, myself, forget about all these prospects. Like Lindstrom. If even a few of these guys materialize into an everyday NHL player, that would be great. Our problem, as an organization, is we have no potential elite forwards in the pipeline, at any level. That’s our biggest area of opportunity, going forward, and one that can only be resolved, through the draft. And we’ve squandered a lot of picks, the past few years (ex. a 2nd for Lazar – that still stings).

    • Albertabeef

      However “elite forwards” tend to go straight to the show and don’t stay in the pipeline. We do have a few “quality prospects” in the pipeline though.

        • Albertabeef

          No we don’t have any “Marios” but we may have a few “Theos” and maybe a “Roberts” or two. I still like to compare Benny to Roberts. Gary took a few years to catch fire, but they play a similar(ish) game. You just can’t crash the net “Robert’s” style anymore, you end up with a penalty lol.