Stars Bringing Esa Lindell to America


Esa Lindell, the Dallas Stars 74th overall pick (third round) from the 2012 NHL draft, is coming to America according to a Finnish news source called MTV.

Lindell, who is from Finland, has been playing in 2014-2015 with a team called Assat and will join the Dallas American Hockey League affiliate the Texas Stars for the remainder of their season.

Recently it was announced that former Boston Bruins second round pick Linus Arnesson of Sweden will be joining the Providence Bruins for their stretch run, so we might see a trend in the next week or so of European players joining minor league teams.

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This isn’t even the first prospect the Stars have brought over from Europe this season. Former second round pick (43rd overall) Ludwig Bystrom from 2012 was brought to the Texas Stars just last week. The Stars have been bringing over European players for a while now, with John Klingberg as one of the latest, who is on pace to be a rookie of the year candidate this season.

Lindell is what would be described as a puck moving defenseman who has loads of potential. The 20 year old has 35 points in 57 games this season. He was also a part of the Finnish team that won the gold medal in the World Junior Championships in 2014.

At 6’2 the left handed shooting defenseman is very quick for his size and moves the puck well along with solid defense as well. He isn’t very physical but his puck moving skills should fit right in with a Stars team that likes to have their defenseman join the rush.

Dallas does have a lot of defense prospects, including Bystrom among others, so it seems unlikely that Lindell would be on the roster in the near future. However, they are a team that is on the upswing and they want to insert young players, so if he performs they could give him a shot when they are in need of NHL depth.

While he does have solid defensive skills, Lindell’s offense is ahead in development so playing the North American style game in the AHL can only help when it comes to defensive development. As a young team, what the Stars need is an offensive styled D-man like they like, but also with discipline on the backend. If Lindell can develop the needed defensive abilities, he might be up by 2016-2017.

The Stars are in last place in their division and will not make the playoffs. They’re youth-based team has shown promise, and bringing over these players can only help in the future.