Hampus Lindholm has been spectacular to start the season as he stepped up in a big way for the Bruins while star defenseman Charlie McAvoy was sidelined. The Bruins acquired him at last year’s trade deadline, and he has been a steal ever since. General manager Don Sweeney was able to lock Lindholm up on an eight-year $52 million extension which continues to look more like a bargain with every game he plays.
Through 17 games so far, the 28-year-old has four goals and 14 assists for 18 points and sits tied for fourth amongst defensemen in points as he makes a case for his first Norris Trophy. Lindholm is already more than halfway to his career-high point total for a single season which was 34 points in 78 games which he set back in 2014-15 with the Anaheim Ducks.
Thanks to his hot start, he is also close to catching Bruins legend Ray Bourque for a franchise record. As per NHL Public Relations:
Hampus Lindholm (0-3—3) recorded his second three-assist game of the season (1-3—4 on Nov. 1), tied with Adam Fox and Brandon Montour for the most among all defensemen. The last Bruins blueliner to record more than two three-assist games in an entire campaign was Ray Bourque (4 GP) in 1995-96.
When it rains, it pours, and the same can be said for Lindholm when he is dishing out assists in a game. Thanks to head coach Jim Montgomery’s new scheme of having the defensemen more involved on offense, Lindholm has been able to showcase his skills, especially his ability to create for teammates. The change in the scheme has been a breath of fresh air compared to the old system that was in place under Bruce Cassidy. Fans and the organization have seen a significant uptick in secondary scoring from the bottom six and the defense, which has helped the Bruins jump out to an NHL-best record of 15-2-0.
If the Bruins and Lindholm can continue the tear they are on, he won’t be the only player on the roster that has a chance to break or tie long-standing franchise records. The Bruins enter by far their toughest stretch of the season so far, as they have two weeks of games against playoff contenders that will show just how good this team really is.