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Toronto Maple Leafs to sign Pär Lindholm per report

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The Skellefteå forward had an outstanding year, as the 1C on a top SHL team and made the Olympic team as well.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 6 - Norway v Sweden
Pär Lindholm scoring Sweden’s first goal at the Olympics this year.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A report described as from “sure sources” in the Swedish press has Pär Lindholm, breakout SHL star and subject of many rumours, choosing to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Update: Uffe Bodin has an English report up at Elite Prospects.

Hockeysverige.se says they have tried to get a comment from his agent, but they haven’t responded. However, they are firm in their claim that the Skellefteå star centre will sign with Toronto after being pursued by several teams. There was a report out of the draft lottery day interview with Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning that they had decided not to sign the 26-year-old forward.

You will recall that last year the Leafs were rumoured to be signing Philip Holm, who ended up on the Canucks until he was traded mid-way through the season. The Leaf opted instead for Calle Rosén, Andreas Borgman and Miro Aaltonen.

If this signing comes to pass, the Leafs will acquire a centre, their weakest position, who has just finished his best-ever professional season with 18 goals and 29 assists in 49 regular-season games. He also had 11 points in 16 playoff games.

Lindholm began to be noticed in 2016-2017 by the Swedish National team, and he played eight games that season in international competition. This year, he played 11 games, including four Olympic games where he had one goal.

He is under contract to Skellefteå next season, but those deals often have NHL out-clauses. He has played his entire career for that club, barring a trip through the Allsvenskan and Division 1 for three years as he went from junior to the senior team. His professional career has not been a perfect straight line, and he is definitely a late-bloomer.

UPDATE: While Elite Prospects lists him as under contract to Skellefteå, their website does not have him on the roster, and he’s listed in one spot as no longer active. I think they know something for sure we don’t yet.

He is listed at 5’11” and 187 lbs, and he shoots left. (As mentioned in the comments, HockeyDB has some likely incorrect information that contradicts his height.)

While his last two seasons have been good, and he has absolutely held down the top job on one of the best teams in Sweden — they lost in the final to the champion Växjö — he also plays with Oscar Möller, one of the best scorers in the SHL, and Joakim Lindström a veteran with NHL and KHL experience. That helps the points totals. Lindström played 19 games in Toronto after coming over as part of the Olli Jokinen trade.

On paper Lindholm looks very good at first glance, a little less good the deeper you look, but may well be approximately equal to Miro Aaltonen. He’s a free spin of the wheel of fortune, so if he wants to take a chance on the Leafs, why not take a chance on him?