The Anaheim Ducks first-round, sixth-overall pick at the 2012 draft, defenseman Hampus Lindholm, signed a three-year entry-level with the club today. It's a two-way deal and he will receive $925,000 in the NHL or $70,000 in the AHL.
Here's the thing, Lindholm has one-year left on his contract with his team back in Sweden. By signing this deal, it doesn't automatically mean that he's now with the Ducks either in Anaheim or Norfolk. That's a decision to be made later, and by later, I mean at Training Camp. Bruce and Bob will evaluate Hampus at camp and during the pre-season, and then determine what to do with him. Don't quote me on this but I think it's like a junior deal - 10 NHL games played and a year is burned-off of his ELC. I'm inclined to believe that the team wouldn't go to the effort to sign him if they didn't think he had a good shot here.
When the kid was drafted, 98% of us said, "What the [expletive]?" Looking back, how dare us to doubt the amateur scouting prowess of Martin Madden and his team! I drooled over this guy at the two scrimmages during Conditioning Camp, just look at my notes:
-- Hampus Lindholm (D): Ok, I can see why they went after this guy. He was completely calm on the ice. He look like he was in complete control. Remember when Scott Niedermayer would get the puck and just slow everything down, he was like that. He was completely aware of all his teammates and his opponents. Very impressive.
-- Hampus Lindholm (D): I won't lie to you, I'm starting to develop a major hockey-crush on this kid. I take back all my 'WTF's' and Ikea jokes from draft day. We are lucky. He is an excellent skater. He skates like Cam Fowler and Scott Niedermayer, but faster. At full speed, he had complete control of the puck. He's fully aware of where everyone is and that allows him to intercept a lot of passes in the defensive zone. If he's protecting his goalie from a screen, he simply overpowers his opponent by shoving him out of the way or laying a really nice open-ice hip check. I really hope that he gets a good look at Training Camp and Bruce is able to talk him out of going back to Sweden for the final year of his contract
I can't wait to see how he does against seasoned NHL players in camp.