Young Lindholm Reflects on His NHL Debut Last Sunday

Wednesday, 10.09.2013 / 4:52 PM / News
"That’s just how I am as a person. I never get that nervous playing hockey. I would get more nervous if the guys told me to go up on stage and sing a song. But I’ve been playing hockey for a while. You know what you can do out there, and you know your limits. Of course you get butterflies before the game, but I mostly play better when it’s a big game, so I just enjoy it."
By Adam Brady

Sunday night in Winnipeg was all about Teemu Selanne, as the Ducks legend made a celebrated final visit to the city where his NHL career began 21 years ago.

But what might have been lost in the hubbub of one of many milestone moments that will come with Selanne’s farewell season was the career birth of a Ducks teammate who is 24 years younger than Selanne.

Defenseman Hampus Lindholm, whom the Ducks took with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft, made his debut that night against the Jets. And he hardly looked like a player who won’t turn 20 until next January.

“Hampus did really good,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “We were a little nervous for him but I thought he handled it like a pro. He can skate. He was making the right plays. I was really happy with his game.”

In his relatively short time in Anaheim, Lindholm appears just as composed outside the rink as he does in it. The native of Helsingborg, Sweden is soft-spoken but sharp, and remained that way after a Wednesday practice in which he reflected on his NHL debut.

Were you nervous at all playing that game?
I really wasn’t. That’s just how I am as a person. I never get that nervous playing hockey. I would get more nervous if the guys told me to go up on stage and sing a song. But I’ve been playing hockey for a while. You know what you can do out there, and you know your limits. Of course you get butterflies before the game, but I mostly play better when it’s a big game, so I just enjoy it. I just go out there and have fun, play my game and play as hard as I can. I can’t do much more than that.

Why do you think you play better in games like that?
I would say every player would like big situations more. If you have a full crowd and they scream loudly and cheer for you, it’s a fun time to play. The game is on the line. That’s the game you want to play. It’s such a special feeling that you can’t really describe it. You just get into the game much easier

"I don’t take anything for granted though. I know I have to work my [rear] off to stay here. These guys are such great athletes on ice and great guys off ice, and I’m just trying to do my best to show that I want to stay here."
What makes you more nervous, playing in your first NHL game or hitting a tee shot yesterday at the Ducks golf tournament?
The tee shot, for sure [laughs].

Does it blow your mind at all that you’re a 19-year-old playing hockey at this level?
Of course. I don’t take anything for granted though. I know I have to work my [rear] off to stay here. These guys are such great athletes on ice and great guys off ice, and I’m just trying to do my best to show that I want to stay here.

Who did you hear from after the game?
I talk to my parents every day, I would say. Or at least my dad. He and my mom are always watching my games back home in Sweden. I sent a text to my dad to tell him I was playing, and they were up at around 4 a.m. watching the game. My dad told me in the third period his eyes started to close a little bit.

You’ve been paired with Francois Beauchemin on defense. Has that helped you?
I couldn’t ask for a better partner. He’s so solid, so smart out there, always in the right spots. If you make a small mistake, he’s going to be in the right position. He’s always there helping you and talking and stuff. He’s making it easier for me out there, and I’m trying to make it easy for him.



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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
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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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