From now until the beginning of training camp, Boston Hockey Now is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2022-23 Boston Bruins. Today’s player: Hampus Lindholm.
Social Media Handles: Intsagram – @hampuslindholm27
What Happened Last Year:
The Boston Bruins swung big at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline when they acquired Hampus Lindholm and defenseman Kodie Curran from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, defenseman John Moore, a 2022 first-round draft pick, a 2023 second-round draft pick and a 2024 second-round draft pick. The Ducks retained 50% of Lindholm’s salary that was left at the time and then the Bruins promptly signed Lindholm to an eight-year, $52 million contract extension that will begin this season and carry a $6.5M AAV.
Unfortunately, Lindholm was plagued by injuries as the season wound down and into the first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series with the Carolina Hurricanes. He had five assists in ten regular season games with the Boston Bruins after scoring five goals and notching 17 assists in 61 games with the Ducks. Lindholm was then limited to four games in the seven-game series loss to the Hurricanes thanks to an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion from a devastating hit from Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov in Game 2.
Hampus Lindholm needs help getting off the ice after this hit from Andrei Svechnikov. pic.twitter.com/kiHjVBTym6
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 5, 2022
He finished the series with no points but when healthy, he was a minutes-eater and defensive force on the backend with Charlie McAvoy.
Questions To Be Answered This Season: First and foremost, will Lindholm be entering the season fully healthy and secondly how will he handle not having McAvoy by his side until likely December?
So far, through two captain’s practices this week there seems to be no lingering effects on the ice from whatever was nagging him. Of course, he still needs to pass the required pre-training camp physical but all signs point towards that happening. As for how he’ll fare without McAvoy, the 28-year-old Lindholm now has ten NHL seasons under his belt, so having a new defensive partner likely won’t be an issue. Like the rest of his teammates, the biggest issue early on, will be adjusting to the system of new Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery.
In Their Words:
“It’s going to be great. That’s something that I missed in California. Get to see the leaves fall off the trees. “Have myself a few lobster rolls, maybe.” – Lindholm on adjusting to life on the east coast after sending the first nine-plus seasons of his career in Southern California.
While many, this puck scribe included, don’t exactly have high hopes for the Boston Bruins this season, the read here is that Lindholm will instantly become a key cog on that Bruins blue line. He will be depended on heavily to lead the way until McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk return and the feel here is that he can deliver what the Bruins saw in him when they traded for and then signed him to that mega-deal. If him and McAvoy can remain healthy together from December on, maybe the low expectations for this team as a Stanley cup contender change. They could easily become one of the most dynamic and productive defensive pairings in the NHL this season.