Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
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KHL.ru continues its ’Man of the Week’ column with Anton Lindholm. The Swedish defenseman missed a few weeks of action in September, but now he’s back and is delivering for Minsk. Last week, he was awarded Best defenseman honors.

It didn’t take much for Lindholm to get to his first multi-point games. After a couple of games, an injury forced the Swedish defenseman to watch the game from outside, but when he returned, he started delivering. Last week, Lindholm produced four points in three games for the Bisons and was handed Best defenseman honors. Minsk is having another strong season, and a postseason qualification doesn’t look out of reach for the Belarusian franchise. Just a look at the figures is enough to see that Dinamo has one of the best defenses in the West, and they score an average of more than three per night. The Minsk side signed several new players this offseason, including Lindholm and several other Swedes, and the strategy is paying off.

Early years

Anton Lindholm was born on Nov 29, 1994, in Skelleftea. The city lies in Northern Sweden and is a historically industrial city, especially for gold — hence its nickname “Gold Town”. Skelleftea is a well-known hockey town, with its leading team playing in the Swedish top-flight division: the SHL, which they have won on several occasions, the latest being in 2014 with Lindholm already in the team’s lineup.

The Swedish defenseman had his debut with Skelleftea in the 2011-2012 season, then played another couple of games one year later. However, his first meaningful contribution to Skelleftea was in 2013-2014. Lindholm appeared in 14 postseason games and helped the team to claim the SHL title. With a sound defensive presence and excellent skating, Lindholm led Skelleftea to two consecutive SHL finals in 2015 and 2016. In the meantime, the Swedish defenseman was drafted in the NHL by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round of the 2014 entry draft. The Avalanche then signed Lindholm to an entry-level contract in 2016, after he had his debut at the IIHF World Championship level in Russia.

Move to North America

After five seasons with Skelleftea, Lindholm had a chance to further progress in North America. He spent most of his debut season overseas in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage, but he also lined up for 12 NHL games with the Avalanche. In the 2017-2018 season, he played another 48 games for Colorado, but for the next year, he was again sent down to the AHL and only played two matches with the big boys.

As a restricted free agent, Lindholm signed a two-year extension in the 2019 offseason but was then traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in the final term of his contract. The Swede defenseman was limited to only 16 games in 2020-2021 with the Rockford Ice Hogs. As a free agent from the Chicago-based franchise, Lindholm inked a one-year deal with the KHL franchise Dinamo Minsk.

Move to the KHL

Lindholm joined the Bisons in late August, but quickly adapted to his new reality, participating in Dinamo Minsk’s first two games with more than sixteen minutes of ice-time. However, he was once again forced out of the lineup, and his return had to wait until Sept 25, when he logged almost eighteen minutes on the ice as the Bisons lost to SKA 1:2 OT.

After the baffling loss to SKA, Lindholm helped Dinamo Minsk winning four in a row. Known for his physical, air-tight defensive game, Lindholm became front-page news when he had two consecutive multi-point games. The Swedish defenseman posted a pair of assists in each of Dinamo Minsk’s over Amur (3:1) and HC Sochi (7-3), posting a cumulative plus-5 differential, and was awarded Defenseman of the Week honors.

“Minsk is a fantastic city, I love it here,” Lindholm told the press after the home win over Amur. “I can’t wait to get on my top shape and play even better. I feel good, I am fully healed, and I’m ready to help the team reaching new heights.”

Being part of a six-men Swedish contingent most likely helped his adaptation. “It’s great to have so many Swedish players in the locker room. However, we are all equal, and your passport doesn’t matter.” 

Most recently, Dinamo Minsk defeated Ak Bars in Kazan with Lindholm logging 20:45 of ice time, trailing only his fellow Swedish countrymate Lukas Bengtsson. With the two points collected in Kazan, the Bisons are currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
exclusive for khl.ru

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