Forslund: Lindholm is a great fit for Hurricanes
Posted July 1, 2013
Despite many reports Sunday that the Hurricanes were shopping their first-round pick, Carolina stayed pat and drafted center Elias Lindholm from Sweden with the No. 5 overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.
“Lindholm is going to be a very good player,” Hurricanes television play-by-play announcer John Forslund said while joining Mike and Mark on The World’s Strongest Morning Show on 620 the Buzz Monday morning. The Hurricanes tabbed Lindholm No.4 on their draft board.
“If you’re at No. 5, why not take the prime player,” Forslund said. “You can’t have enough down the middle. If you’re going to win, it’s not going to just be Eric and Jordan (Staal). It’s going to have to be another playing back there.”
The Hurricanes are unsure who will play center on the third and fourth lines as they enter the offseason. If the 18-year-old, 6-foot, Lindholm fails to make the Hurricanes roster, he will play the season for the professional Swedish hockey team Brynäs IF instead of the Charlotte Checkers. Last season, Lindholm recorded 11 goals and 19 assists in 48 games with Brynäs IF.
Forslund said the Hurricanes narrowed their choices for the fifth pick to Sean Monahan, Valeri Nichushkin and Elias Lindholm.
The Hurricanes were one pick shy of top defenseman Seth Jones, who fell to No. 4, but the Nashville Predators were reluctant to give up their No. 1 rated player. Forslund said hypothetically, if the Hurricanes wanted Jones, they would have had to trade Jeff Skinner and the fifth pick in exchange for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s third pick.
The Hurricanes dealt the 35th overall pick and Jamie McBain to the Buffalo Sabres for veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera. Sekera joins the Hurricanes with a two-year, $5.5 million contract.
The 6-foot defenseman has the opportunity to be a top-four defenseman and is projected to be paired with Tim Gleason. The 27-year-old recorded two goals, 10 assists and four penalty minutes in 37 games last season with the Sabres.
“Player-for-player, they improved,” said Forslund. “Sekera is an excellent skater. He can get the puck out of trouble on his own. He has excellent mobility and moves the puck well, at times.”
General Manager Jim Rutherford still has several question marks on defense, including Joni Pitkanen and Brett Bellemore. Pitkanen is recovering from a broken heel suffered in April against the Washington Capitals and is set to make $4.5 million this season. The team currently has spent around $60 of their $64,300,000 million for the 2013-14 season and still needs to add muscle to their blue line. The free agency period officially begins Friday, July 5.