UPDATE (Saturday): The Bruins have acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm from the Ducks. Click here to read more about the trade.
The Anaheim Ducks are resting one of their top-4 defensemen, and a possible Bruins trade target, as they prep for a potential move ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
Hampus Lindholm is sitting for Anaheim’s game on Friday night against the Florida Panthers as the Ducks “focus on a trade for him,” according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. Lindholm, 28, is in the final year of his deal with the Ducks.
LeBrun said on TSN’s “Insider Trading” this week that “there’s been no progress” on an extension with the Ducks and Lindholm, and noted the Bruins and Blues as potential fits. Lindholm is a 6-foot-4, left-shot defenseman who is averaging 22:32 of ice time this season for the Ducks, and is squarely in his prime physical years.
That means he will come at a hefty price. According to Darren Dreger, the ask for Lindholm is a “top prospect” plus first- and third-round picks. Dreger noted that “there’s always wiggle room,” and perhaps the Bruins could find that in the prospect department. Otherwise, they could be looking at moving 21-year-old right-shot defenseman Mason Lohrei, a 2020 second-round pick.
Urho Vaakanainen, a 2017 first-round pick who has played a career-best 15 games so far in the 2021-22 season, seems like a fit for the Ducks in that he’s a left shot with a similar playing style.
Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks checks Pierre-Luc Dubois #80 of the Winnipeg Jets in the third period at Honda Center on October 13, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the New York Islanders at the UBS Arena on March 13, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks reacts to his power-play goal with Kevin Bieksa #2 to take a 4-1 lead over the Los Angeles Kings during the second period at Staples Center on February 4, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Lindholm will never be an offensive force, but he’s scored between 20 and 34 points in all but one of his nine NHL seasons. His strength is more at the defensive end of the ice, where the Bruins could certainly use his 6-foot-4 frame in the top-4 mix.
He ranks middle-of-the-pack in some advanced defensive metrics, but he’s done it for a Ducks team that’s allowed the 10th-most goals (201) in the league. Anaheim is allowing 57 five-on-five shot attempts per 60 minutes with Lindholm on the ice, which ranks him 13th among 20 blue liners with at least 1,100 minutes in that situation. Lindholm is also an effective penalty killer; he’s allowed 4.4 power play goals per 60 minutes, which is fourth-best among all left-shot defensemen with at least 120 shorthanded minutes.
Lindholm seems like a solid complement for No. 1 right-shot defenseman Charlie McAvoy, but can also slide right in next to Brandon Carlo to form a possible shutdown pairing. Carlo could use a boost in what’s been a down year for him defensively.
The 2022 NHL trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 21. Keep reading below for more possible targets for the Bruins.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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