Geek of the Week – Elias Lindholm

by Terry Campkin on December 13, 2015

Elias Lindholm might not be a must-own now, but that could change soon.

I often write in this space about players who can contribute a lot to your fantasy hockey team but are undervalued by the general public. Another thing that I like to do on a regular basis is try to find that next breakout player – a player who is widely unowned today but who might be appear regularly on draft boards next season. Today I think I have found just such a player in Elias Lindholm.

A former fifth overall pick, Elias Lindholm has always had the good pedigree and potential to be an impact fantasy player. Last season he started to show some of that potential with 17 goals and 15 power-play points in 81 games, making him worth rostering in keeper leagues. My personal keeper league doesn’t have a farm system, so finding prospects who can contribute while they develop is key. That was the case with Lindholm last season and it is increasingly becoming the case for him as we approach 2016…a year that I think could be a breakout for Lindholm.

I discovered the potential breakout while running a report of recent weeks on Fantasy Hockey Geek. I arbitrarily picked the dates of November 20 – December 10 to see who has been providing some good value lately. Here is a sample of what came up:

(12 team Yahoo! league 3C, 3LW, 3RW, 6D)

Rank

Player

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

28

Elias Lindholm

1

5

28

1

21

29

Drew Doughty

2

3

17

3

13

30

Max Pacioretty

3

3

38

4

5

 

Over the short period of time, Lindholm’s contributions have increased significantly. In fact, FHG calculates him as the 28th most valuable player in my keeper league over that time frame. His recent production (six points in eight games) has been above his career pace, but what’s really causing his value to spike is his incredible peripherals. He has been playing at a pace that would see him amass 287 shots and 215 hits when extrapolated to 82 games. Those are Evander Kane/Dustin Byfuglien type numbers. You add that to the 62-point pace he has played at over that span, and you can understand why FHG calculates his value so high.

I find it very doubtful that Lindholm will be able to maintain a value that high for the remainder of the season, but this recent performance does give me reason to believe that Lindholm is going to be a factor in fantasy hockey for the coming years.

Anybody can get hot over an eight-game stretch, and six points is hardly earth shattering. So it is important to look a little deeper into the numbers before assuming that a breakout is imminent. I already alluded to Lindholm’s increasing shot rate, which is a huge indicator of growth. Lindholm’s shot total since November 20 is actually the 12th highest in the entire league and actually indicates that if anything, Lindholm probably should have scored MORE over that time frame than he did.

Another thing I always check now is the player profile on the Dobber Hockey site. A quick glance at Lindholm’s profile shows that his shooting percentage is very low as is his PDO (both of which are indicators that his production is due to improve).  Another thing that becomes evident when looking at his profile is that Lindholm has been moved up to the first line, and more importantly, the first power play. This deployment certainly helps to explain his increase in production.

The final thing that I considered with Lindholm is the possibility of Eric Staal getting traded. While this isn’t a certainty, if it did happen Lindholm would be sure continue getting top deployment in Carolina.

The best thing with Lindholm is that his season totals (nine points in 28 games) is very modest, so not many people have caught on yet. In fact, he is only 5 percent owned currently. The beauty of the FHG tool is that it allows you to run data for certain timeframes with just a few keystrokes and by focusing in on recent production, I was able to identify a potential breakout very easily, and now I am ahead of the curve on Lindholm. If his production continues, then guys in my league will be looking to add him in about three or four weeks. When they do, they will see him on my roster.

Lindholm’s production spike makes him valuable in fantasy hockey leagues now, so he is an ideal player to hold onto in a keeper. FHG shows that he is already providing some great value while we await the breakout. There are also some reasons to believe that the we may very well be on the precipice of that breakout. Considering he is only 5 percent owned, you can likely add Lindholm in your league now.

If you aren’t a believer yet, then just stash him on your bench and wait to see if the production jump continues. If Lindholm continues on this path then you will have found yourself a great contributor, but if not, then at least he didn’t cost you anything. Lindholm is a great example of a player who is providing some value now with the potential to explode in the very near future. To find more players like Lindholm, enter your league into Fantasy Hockey Geek today!