Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Canucks acquire Elias Lindholm from Flames for Andrei Kuzmenko, prospects Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, and draft picks
19 days ago
Jim Rutherford is continuing to get his work done early.
Earlier tonight, news broke courtesy of Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that talks between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames were “intensifying” when it came to an Elias Lindholm trade. Shortly after, both CanucksArmy and Rick Dhaliwal reported that Andrei Kuzmenko would be going back the other way to Calgary. Later, Dhaliwal reported that Calgary is on Kuzmenko’s 12-team no-trade list, meaning Kuzmenko had to approve the deal.
And now, the deal has become official. The Canucks will acquire Lindholm from the Flames in exchange for forward Andrei Kuzmenko, prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo, a 2024 first-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick.
Lindholm, 29, has been the subject of trade speculation linking him to the Vancouver Canucks for months. A right-shot centre hailing from Boden, Sweden, Lindholm certainly fits a need for the Canucks’ current lineup.
Lindholm has ties back to the Canucks’ management group, as Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford was the General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes club that drafted Lindholm fifth overall in the 2013 NHL draft. Although drafted as a centre, Lindholm spent the majority of his time on the wing while with the Hurricanes. It wasn’t until he was packaged in a trade with Noah Hanifin that sent him to the Calgary Flames that he got a more dominant run as a centreman.
With Calgary, Lindholm centred one of the most dominant lines in the NHL between Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau during the 2021-22 season. In that season, Lindholm tallied 42 goals and 40 assists while providing high-calibre defence.
While his offensive numbers have taken a bit of a dip this season — he’s on pace for 15 goals & 54 points, the lowest mark of his Flames career — Lindholm’s defensive game is legit, and he’s long been a part of the Selke Trophy conversation as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
The Canucks are certainly going to be hoping that Lindholm can rediscover the offensive side of his game by playing with players such as Elias Pettersson or JT Miller.
Lindholm gives the Canucks plenty of versatility and is a high-upside trade target for the Canucks.
Vancouver, meanwhile, moves on from Kuzmenko, who has disappointed this season with just eight goals and 21 points in 43 games, well off the pace he set in his rookie season. The Canucks, too, give up some recent draft picks.
Brzustewicz, 19, was drafted by the Canucks in the third round of the 2023 draft, and has scored eight goals and 69 points in 47 games from the blueline with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. Jurmo, meanwhile, was selected by the club in the third round of the 2020 draft. He’s spent the last number of years playing in Finland, and has split this season between Ilves and KooKoo in the Finnish Elite League, scoring one goal and four points in 35 games.
– With files by Zach Laing.
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