At just 18-years-old, Elias Lindholm, ranked third out of all European skaters by Central Scouting, has earned comparisons to Peter Forsberg.
The son of Mikael Lindholm who played 18 games for the Los Angeles Kings back in 1989-90, Elias scored 11 goals and 30 points in 48-games with Brynas this past season. The 6"0, 192 lb. forward saw his production increase when he began playing with his cousin and Detroit Red Wings prospect Calle Jarnkrok, who scored 13 goals and 42 points in 53 games with Brynas last season.
Although Lindholm is several years younger than his cousin, who was selected in the second round by the Wings back in 2010, he has been called "advanced" for his age, often playing over 20 minutes per game for his SHL team.
From Hockey Prospectus:
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...In his own zone, he makes good reads, and he commits to staying with his assignments...He is fairly firm on the puck, and he can muscle players off of it defensively as well...A tad undersized, and that is his one notable weakness.
Pronman ranks Lindholm 6th overall, above Sean Monahan, because of what he describes as Monahan's lack of "multiple top-end skills" that Lindholm possesses. His size, however, is the main reason I tend to believe the Flames might lean towards Monahan instead, but the fact that he is also described as a good two-way forward whose skating seems to be better than the Ottawa 67s co-captain could make the Flames' decision a little tougher.
From Last Word on Sports:
...Lindholm seems to have a very wide skating stride, that seems awkward at times. However this gives him tremendous balance, and allows him to be very strong on the puck...It really doesn’t diminish his skating too much either, as he has good top end speed and acceleration. His agility and edgework are strong and combined with his soft hands allow him to make precise dekes around defenders.
Lindholm has an effective defensive game, as his willingness to throw his weight around extends to the defensive zone. He works hard on the back check and understands his defensive responsibilities down low. He works hard on the backcheck, reads the play well, and effectively handles his responsibilities...
Lindholm has been described as "more of a playmaker than a scorer," and actually played more on the wing than he did at centre in the SEL this past season, which is another reason the Flames may choose to go in another direction.
From the Copper & Blue:
...Lindholm might be nicked because he played mostly on the wing in Sweden this year, taking just 67 faceoffs (and winning 58%). Taking into consideration that centers are generally more impactful than wingers, that might function as a tiebreaker between Lindholm and Barkov.
The Flames need a centre, and badly. While Lindholm's many well-rounded and well-developed skills are alluring, John Weisbrod and Co. will want to make sure they've done their homework (i.e. that he is comfortable playing centre) before they make a decision. Youth also works to Lindholm's advantage here; with a December 1994 birthday, Lindholm turned 18 six months ago, and still has time on his side to develop further and grow into his frame. But the downside to that is that he may not be ready to step into NHL action right away--especially since he has a contract with his SEL team that extends through the 2013-14 season.
That may not be the worst thing for the Flames, however; unless they manage to trade up (which rumour has it, they've been attempting to do), they're likely looking a prospect that will not be playing for them in the upcoming NHL season.
Here's Lindholm at this year's World Junior tournament: