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Player Profiles: Lindholm, Vatanen

Monday, 08.12.2013 / 4:19 PM / News
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Player Profiles: Lindholm, Vatanen
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com


With the 2013-14 season only a few months away, AnaheimDucks.com takes a look at some of the younger Ducks who will likely have expanded roles and responsibilities
.

Next up are defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen.

Rookie Rewind
For Lindholm and Vatanen, the 2012-13 season began in the American Hockey League, where the two defensemen began the year playing for Anaheim’s affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. It was the first time both played professionally in North America, with Lindholm coming from Sweden’s Division 2, and Vatanen from the Finnish Elite League.

Lindholm

Though injuries limited him to only 44 games in the AHL, Lindholm finished his rookie season with 11 points (1g/10a) and a +5 rating with the Admirals. The 19-year-old ranked tied for third on Norfolk and second among team defensemen in plus/minus, and recorded his first career AHL multi-point game (0-2=2), Mar. 8 vs. Hershey. The 2012 first-round pick (sixth overall) scored his first career AHL goal on Nov. 3 vs. Binghamton, and debuted on Oct. 12 vs. Worcester, becoming the youngest player in AHL Admirals history at 18 years, eight months and 23 days.

Vatanen

Vatanen, the elder of the two at 22 years of age, appeared in 62 contests with the Admirals, earning 45 points (9g/36a) with five power-play goals and 44 penalty minutes. In addition, the 5-foot-10 defenseman was selected to the 2012-13 AHL All-Rookie Team. Vatanen led the Admirals in assists and ranked second overall in scoring, and, among AHL leaders, ranked tied for fourth among all defensemen in scoring. Vatanen also ranked tied for 10th in rookie scoring. Among his accomplishments were nine multiple point games (eight multi-assist).

Vatanen made his NHL debut with Anaheim, appearing in eight contests, scoring two goals (2-0=2) with a +3 rating. His first goal was scored on the power play in a 3-2 OT loss, Apr. 17 vs. Columbus, and his second tally came in Anaheim’s 3-0 shutout, Apr. 22 at Edmonton. Vatanen appeared in his first NHL game on Feb. 1 vs. Minnesota (21 years, 7 months, 29 days), going scoreless on one shot with 13:52 TOI and a +1 rating.

Emerging Stars
Though both are young and coming off rookie seasons, Lindholm and Vatanen impressed the Ducks brass, including Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray.

“I’m going to force the issue on Sami Vatanen,” Murray said in a July conference call. “I wanted him to play more last year. I want to give him a good, hard look. Lindholm, he’s only going to be 19 years old, but he was really coming gangbusters.”

By the Numbers
13
, the age of Lindholm when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007.

5, the age when Vatanen started playing hockey in his native Finland.

Looking Forward
For Ducks fans, there is a lot to be excited about with Lindholm and Vatanen. Both have proven themselves at the AHL level, and Vatanen held his own with the big boys in his eight-game stint in the NHL. Though the Ducks are deep on defense, you can expect Lindholm and Vatanen to battle hard during training camp in hopes of making the opening night roster. Or, if injuries occur on the blueline, you’ll more than likely see either of the two (or both) inserted into the lineup.

Personal
Though the majority of his tweets are in Swedish, you can follow Lindholm’s Twitter account here: @HampeLindholm

Vatanen’s favorite NHL team growing up was the Ducks, and his favorite player was Scott Niedermayer.

He Said It
“It was a good experience with North American hockey, with the smaller rinks, and how everything goes off ice and on ice. I got to taste everything. It was a good experience for me to come over.” – Lindholm, on playing professionally in North America

“I trust myself on the ice. It’s like, ‘It’s just hockey,’ and you do your best, and after that, you can [look at yourself] in the mirror and say you did what you had to do. I don’t think I’m ever too nervous on the ice. Just enjoy the time and try to get better.” – Vatanen

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48
 

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