At the beginning of the summer, it appeared Elias Lindholm would be the third-line center for the Carolina Hurricanes, but after an injury in rookie camp, Lindholm was held to just one exhibition game and practice.
It started to look like Lindholm would not be ready for the NHL and could return to Sweden, but GM Jim Rutherford has announced what he will do with the Swede for the time being:
Rutherford said Elias Lindholm (hand injury) would be on the opening night roster. Then decision to be made if he needs games in Charlotte.
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) September 29, 2013
Lindholm has made the team, but whether or not he sticks will remain to be seen.
I like this idea. Lindholm may be ready for the NHL and deserves a chance to show what he can do in a few regular season games. If things don’t work out, the Canes can return the 18-year-old to the Charlotte Checkers to develop and learn some more.
As for where Lindholm will play in the lineup, that has not been announced.
Riley Nash has impressed in preseason and the team has hinted at him being the third-line center with Lindholm moved to wing. This would open up some more depth, but I would not want Jeff Skinner as the other winger, as the line will be more defensive.
Moving Lindholm to the wing would also make the transition easier for the rookie, as center is one of the tougher spots in hockey.
However, Lindholm is a natural center and has the potential to be a great two-way pivot, so it would be nice to see what Lindholm can do in that position.
But either way, Lindholm will be in the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, which is the right move.