On Friday afternoon, the Detroit Red Wings announced they have signed Swedish defenseman Gustav Lindstrom to an entry-level contract.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) May 25, 2018
The 2nd-round pick from last year’s draft, Lindstrom has been playing for Almtuna IS in the Allsvenskan the past season and managed to put up fairly decent numbers playing against respectable competition. The Allsvenskan is the second-highest pro league in Sweden, similar to the level of the AHL over in North America. This past year was his second year playing for the club.
Among all Under-20 defenseman, Lindstrom was able to place second in points, with 14 in just 39 games – remembering that this is a league where there is not much scoring. If you increase the range of age to Under-24, Lindstrom still remains in the top ten, certainly a respectable position for a young defenseman just one year removed from being drafted.
Lindstrom also represented his country with the Tre Kroner at the World Juniors this past January – playing in all seven games and earning one assist.
Back in March, the 6’2″ defenseman signed with Frolunda HC of the SHL. Meaning he would hopefully be able to play one full year at the highest level of Swedish hockey for the most respected club in the nation. The Red Wings signing him to his ELC, does not negate this but it raises some questions to where he will be playing his hockey next season.
There is always the possibility of loaning him to Frolunda for the SHL season, this signing just gives the Red Wings more control where he goes.
He can always forget Froluna and play his D+2 season in North America for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, unless of course he impresses in Red Wings camp and somehow leaps up the depth chart in just a few showings – highly unlikely but not impossible.
He will be turning 20-years-old on October, so he won’t technically be a teenager in the AHL, but he can still impress and hopefully earn some ice-time on that right side. Especially with fellow right-handed blueliner Filip Hronek almost guaranteeing himself a roster spot on the Red Wings with his play this past season on the Griffins.
Lindstrom will be a prospect to keep your eyes on as the Red Wings will be selling off pieces in the next few years. Reported as a sturdy force in his own zone, he might just be the type of young defenseman that Holland can bring up and perform higher than his paygrade.