Colorado Avalanche: All About Anton Lindholm


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The Colorado Avalanche are refilling their AHL coffers. Defenseman Anton Lindholm has been signed to an entry-level contract by the team.

When the Colorado Avalanche announced that defenseman Anton Lindholm would be playing for Team Sweden at IIHF Worlds, the general consensus among Avs Nation was “Who?” We saw that he was an unsigned prospect and, for the most part, forgot.

I doubt a ton of us watched his action at IIHF Worlds. Since our controversial captain, Gabriel Landeskog, didn’t play for Team Sweden, a lot of us didn’t watch those games. We were too busy seeing the surprising sight of Norway’s Andreas Martinsen tear it up and the unsurprising sight of Team Canada marching toward gold. (Belated congratulations to Matt Duchene and Calvin Pickard.)

However, yesterday the Colorado Avalanche announced that they had signed defenseman Anton Lindholm to a three-year, entry level contract.

According to General Fanager, the contract holds a cap hit of $717, 500. However, that contract includes an annual signing bonus of $92,500. The first year’s performance bonus is $257,500 with the other two performance bonuses being $182,500.

Lindholm’s contract is a two-way one, so he’ll probably spend most of his time with the San Antonio Rampage. In case you’re wondering, his salary there will be $70,000.

So, let’s look a little more closely at Anton Lindholm.

Anton Lindholm Bio

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Anton Lindholm was born in Skellefteå, Sweden, which is a mid-sized town on the coast. For the most part, he played hockey locally in the various leagues growing up.

Lindholm began playing for the Skellefteå AIK when he was 15. He made his Elitserien debut in that league the following year. During the 2013-14 season, he made his SuperElit debut at the junior level.

Linholm just finished his second full season with the Skellefteå AIK at the professional level. He ended up missing some of the season with an injury. However, he averaged 16 minutes of ice time in the regular season and 18 minutes in the playoffs. Anton also led his team in hits (43) and blocked shots (27) during the playoffs.

The Colorado Avalanche drafted Anton Lindholm in the fifth round, 144th overall, in 2014. If the team hadn’t signed him before July 1st of this year, they’d have lost their rights to him.

Anton Lindholm’s statistics:

Anton Lindholm’s Playing Style

Position: Defenseman

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 192 pounds

Age: 21

Former Team: Skellefteå AIK

Draft: 2014, 144th overall (5th round), Colorado Avalanche

So, something you may notice about Lindholm right away is that he’s not very big. In fact, while talking to the Avalanche website about his prospect development camp experience, he laughed a little about his lack of size.

What’s interesting, though, Lindholm has a defense-first mindset with a touch of the physical:

"“I think it’s good for me to play against bigger guys. I’m not the biggest guy on the ice. So it’s a challenge for me to play my game as a physical defenseman against bigger bodies.”"

In other words, sounds like Lindholm is a scrappy guy. He’s not known for having the most complex of games.

Indeed, when Lindholm was named to the Swedish national team for this year’s IIHF Worlds, he told Hockey Sverige what he expected to contribute:

"“I’ll contribute a straightness and simplicity above all in the first passes. I’ll also take some initiative in putting pressure in our own zone and possibly explode into the corners.”"

That said, while Lindholm doesn’t have the most offense-minded of styles, he is an excellent skater. What’s more, playing in the men’s league, he’s developed an excellent hockey IQ.

Future with the Colorado Avalanche

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Like any player who’s been drafted, Anton Lindholm’s goal is to play in the NHL. Back in April, Lindholm talked to the Swedish periodical Norran. He acknowledged that, while the road to the NHL can be long and hard, “I feel that if the opportunity pops up I’ll probably take it.” He also knows that playing in the AHL is the gateway to the big league.

That’s good because Anton Lindholm is certain to be San Antoinio bound. Head coach Patrick Roy likes his players to get some seasoning in the AHL, especially when they’re coming from Europe. (With former Rampage coach Dean Chynoweth gone, it’s highly likely the Avalanche will be taking an even keener interest in their AHL affiliate.)

Lindholm has already participated in two prospect development camps. It’s likely he’ll see his third this July. However, he’s almost certain to be invited to the rookie camp in September, transitioning into training camp proper.

To be honest, though, Anton Lindholm better get used to Texas. Unless he suddenly becomes a Tasmanian devil, leaving bodies in his wake, I just don’t see how he fits in with the Colorado Avalanche. It’s more likely he’ll get called up in case of an injury — and I don’t see why he’d be the first call up.

Let’s finish off with some video.

Anton Lindholm Videos

Here’s the video of Anton Lindholm talking about his second prospect development camp last summer:

He sounds like a pretty humble guy with a good attitude.

In case you’d like to hear him talking in his native Swedish, here he is:

That’s a nice post-game video.

Speaking of games, though Lindholm isn’t known for his offense, here he is scoring a pretty sweet goal (#3 on the list):

It’d be nice to see him pot one or two in like that, eh?

This is just funny — Lindholm getting taken out by a referee:

I don’t know — maybe Lindholm indulged in the Swedish version of “Your mother” when talking to the referee.

Anton Lindholm was part of Team Gray for the Colorado Avalanche’s prospect scavenger hunt last summer:

Aw, he was teammates with fellow Scandanavian Mikko Rantanen. (Can we also celebrate how he has his last name stitched into the back of his cap? You have to pay extra for that.)

Next: Avs Cleaning House in San Antonio

So, while it’s not likely we’ll be seeing much of Anton Lindholm next year, it’s good to see the Colorado Avalanche refilling their coffers with signings.