2020-21 Team: Djurgardens IF J20
Date of Birth: May 20, 2003
Place of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 179 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 5th (amongst EU goaltenders)
Nowhere will the difficulties of the last year around the hockey world have a greater impact than with goaltenders heading into the 2021 NHL Draft. Goaltending is the hardest position to scout in hockey, after all, so having more than a year where great young goalies sit on the bench makes this difficult process all the more impossible.
A perfect example of this in action is Carl Lindbom, a Swedish goaltending prospect who should be, by all accounts, a lock to get selected in 2021. With a 6-foot-1 frame and great hockey instincts, he has the toolkit to be a mid to late-round pick that will be stashed and developed in an organization for a few years before getting a chance to prove himself in the AHL.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
However, in 2020-21, he only has eight starts to his name with his primary team in Sweden, Djurgardens IF J20. In these eight eight starts, the 17-year-old Lindbom has looked a bit shaky, but this is understandable given how inconsistently he has seen the ice and the fact that he is playing against older opponents.
For Lindbom, the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship offered a chance to really showcase why he should be selected in the first half of the Draft. While things started off catastrophically as Sweden got demolished by Canada, he has since rebounded, posting a .914 save percentage and a 2.70 goals-against average. Considering that he gave up four goals on the first 14 shots he faced in the tournament, those numbers look significantly better for the young Swedish goalie.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Carl Lindbom – NHL Draft Projection
When you look at Lindbom on paper, you see a classic third to fifth-round goalie pick at the draft. He has shown flashes of greatness while playing against opponents his own age, both locally and internationally, and has the fundamentals to build and develop into a starter.
However, due to the lack of playing time in his draft year, it’s difficult to project just where Lindblom could land. Teams can be wary of drafting goalies even in the best of times, so while he may have the statistics and pedigree to be a late third or fourth-round pick, he could just as easily slip to the sixth or seventh round. Looking at where he is at right now, though, it would be a surprise to see him slip past Round 5.
Carl is a quick, athletic goalie, quick on his feet, and ultra-competitive, too.Jimmy Hamrin – eprinkside.com
Lindbom can read a pass correctly and therefore make a calm change in positioning. But he can also track the puck well when there was traffic in front of him, thus helped him to see passes and shots, which contributed to his strong positional play.Viktor Bergman – FC Hockey
My pick for the starting goaltender is 17-year-old Carl Lindbom… (Who) is coming off a hot WHC-U17 tournament in 2019-20, and at one point, he made 50 saves against Team Canada Red to help secure his country the 4-2 win.C.R. Davies – THW.com
- Fast in the net while playing the posts
- Tracks the puck at an elite level
- Great reflexes allow him to make quick saves
- Strong general fundamentals
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
Rebound control has been an issue for Lindbom, as he can consistently put himself in the right position to make the save, but he isn’t always able to wrangle the puck. When this happens, it can allow from a prime rebound and goal against. Also, his lack of ice-time during the 2020-21 season made it difficult for him to develop his game, which could stunt a 17-year-old goalie.
If you believe Lindbom will make an impact on the franchise that drafts him in the near term, then expect to be disappointed. He is a project goalie that will need years to develop his game. He does have the toolkit to become an AHL starter with NHL potential, though, which makes him a very appealing prospect to have in your system, especially if he can be nabbed later in the draft.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 3/5
If Lindbom is selected above the fourth-round, then his level of risk increases significantly. He is a good prospect by all accounts, but he lacks the body of work to be a safe pick. However, if he is selected later in the draft, then he could be a solid value add for a franchise that is willing to give him the time to develop his game.
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.