Getting to Know New Boston Bruin Elias Lindholm

The Boston Bruins had an obvious hole last season. After the departure of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, the team had no true number-one center. Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha stepped up admirably throughout the season, but the absence of their two legends was felt. They knew this was a need to address through free agency, and that they did, signing Elias Lindholm to a seven-year contract worth $7.75 million annually. Bruins fans should be excited about this acquisition: Lindholm should make an immediate impact at both ends of the ice right off the bat this season. Let’s take a look at his career thus far. 

Early Years

The sport of hockey is in Lindholm’s blood. His father, Mikael Lindholm, was a professional himself, playing in 18 games for the Los Angeles Kings in the 1989-90 season. The junior of the two began playing the sport from an early age, growing up in the town of Gävle, Sweden, also the hometown of fellow NHLer and Lindholm’s cousin Calle Jarnkrok. At the age of 15, he joined the U18 club of Brynas IF, a member of the Swedish Hockey League. He dominated in his first full season with the team in 2010-11 despite being younger than many of the other players, putting up 61 points in 40 games. He moved up to the U20 club the following season and did not slow down, recording 49 points in 36 games despite being just 16 years old to start the season. He played the entirety of the following season with the professional club and again held his own despite his young age, scoring 30 points in 48 games to go with 11 goals.

NHL Career

Lindholm was a highly-touted prospect heading into the 2013 NHL Draft, and the Carolina Hurricanes ended up selecting him with the fifth overall pick. He had a brief six-game stint in the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2013-14 with the Charlotte Checkers but played 58 games at the NHL level. He was a steady presence in his five years with the Hurricanes. The Swede developed a solid 200-foot game and consistently put up something in the ballpark of 40 points each year, spending most of his time in the team’s bottom-six. After the 2017-18 season, the Hurricanes dealt him to the Calgary Flames along with Noah Hanifin in a trade that brought them Dougie Hamilton.

Elias Lindholm Calgary Flames
Elias Lindholm, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lindholm’s career took off as a member of the Flames; in his first season in Calgary, he put up 78 points, scoring 10 more goals and racking up 17 more assists than he ever had in Carolina. He had the third-most points on the team and was a key reason they made it to the playoffs that season. He remained a consistent presence in the Flames lineup over the following years. He had arguably his best NHL season in 2021-22, scoring 42 goals and 40 assists in a season where he played every game. Lindholm’s numbers regressed slightly for the remainder of his time in Calgary. However, that coincided with his entire team taking a step back after the trade of Matthew Tkachuk.

Related: Canucks Could Be Haunted by Lindholm Trade for Years

Ahead of the 2024 Trade Deadline, the Flames dealt Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, and two draft picks. He started his stint in Vancouver hot, scoring two goals in his first game with his new team, however, he cooled off down the stretch, putting up just two goals in the team’s final 18 games. Lindholm turned it on in the playoffs, however, posting 10 points in the Canucks’ 13 playoff games.

Joining the Bruins

Lindholm will look to be a true top-line center for the Bruins in 2024-25 and beyond. At just 29 years old he should be in the prime of his career, and fans should be hopeful that his best hockey is still to come. Although signing anyone for seven years at a high price carries an inherent risk, Lindholm has had a solid NHL career thus far, and there is no glaring reason to believe this contract will age poorly. Bruins fans should be excited to have him in Boston for the coming years.

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