According to Uffe Bodin of hockeysvergie.se, Swedish center Par Lindholm will be signing with the Leafs for the 2018-19 season.
The 5’11” forward will be 27-years-old at the start of next season and is coming off an excellent season with Skellefteå AIK of the SHL. Scoring 18 goals and 47 points in 49 games for his club.
Centering the top line with former-Leaf Joakim Lindstrom, and Oscar Möller on his wings, his team was able to reach the finals, but lost against Elias Pettersson and the Vaxjo Lakers. The left-handed center had 6 goals and 11 points in 16 playoff games.
He is coming off the best season of his career, so he is certainly a late-bloomer, but any player that is able to put up close to a point-per-game in the SHL is one to take a chance on. He is still under contract in Sweden for the 2018-19 season, but those contracts usually have North American out clauses.
Multiple rumours have come out saying that the Vancouver Canucks were also on the hunt for Lindholm, but eventually it fell through and it looks like Lindholm will be calling Toronto home come September.
With three of the Leafs’ centers coming off the books this offseason, it looks like management has taken no time off in getting a potential replacement. With Miro Aaltonen also in the mix for next year, and the potential for William Nylander to move down the middle, the Leafs will have varying options at the start of next season.
The Leafs have been successful multiple times attracting Swedish free agents to come over to Toronto. Both Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen were signed as free agents from the SHL and have both been contributing to a point for either the Leafs or the Marlies this season.
No matter where Lindholm ends up playing next year, it’s a sign that the front office is not wasting any time looking for valuable assets to improve on the already impressive season they just finished.