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Prospect Spotlight Series: Cayden Lindstrom

May 14, 2024, 12:04 AM ET [183 Comments]
Zach Jarom
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It's been one week since we learned where the Hawks would be drafting second this June for the 2024 Entry Level Draft, and now that we know where the team is drafting, it's time to take a look at possible options. This team is at a big moment in their rebuild, and fingers crossed that this will be the last time they get the chance to select this low pick in the draft. The team will need to really take their time, make sure they are knocking this pick out of the park, and hope that whoever they select becomes the final piece of the young future core.

Cayden Lindstrom Center Medicine-Hat Tigers

Highlights


Background
Lindstrom is a 6’4 210-pound center currently playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. This past season, he played in only 32 games as he missed the last three months of the season thanks to a broken hand that required surgery, and despite the lack of games this season, it hasn’t seemed to affect his ranking among scouts as he is considered to be the number three prospect out of North America. While having his season cut short, he still put up impressive numbers, as he was over a point per game player with 46 points (27-19). This was a great follow-up to his rookie season, where he put up 42 points (19-23) in 61 games.
 
Positive Scouting Report
Watching some of Cayden's highlights, the first word that comes to mind is freak. It is hard to believe that someone as big as Cayden is able to move the way he does. When you think of big power forwards, you don’t typically think of great skating or puck handling skills, yet Cayden seems to be one of the better players in that category. The center also has great sense when it is time to step up the physical part of his game and mix his speed with this ability to take his opponents off the puck. He is the type of player guys hate to play against but love to have on their team.
 
Once he gets the puck away from his opponent, he starts to show off his excellent puck-handling skills. He is able to control the puck well in tight spots on the ice and make things happen. The Tigers used him a lot on the power play as the front-of-the-net player and in the goal line release role. Being able to use his size to protect the puck, his good hockey IQ to find teammates in those “there's no way he’s getting that through” situations, and his scoring ability make him an absolute nightmare for the other team trying to decide how to cover him.
 
Negative Scouting Report
It was hard to find some flaws in Cayden's game, but when looking at some highlights and reading scouting reports, the things that seemed to stand out were the same things that he excels at. While he does have great puck handling skills, he tends to try and make one too many dekes or tries to do the highlight reel dangle when all he needs to do is use his speed and power. He also will need to work on his discipline a bit, as he finished last season with 66 minutes in 32 games. Now, this could be an issue that gets solved once he makes the jump, as his size could have played a major factor in a lot of those calls. The last negative or downside to Cayden is his health. As I mentioned earlier, he missed the last three months of the season with a broken hand, and when he came back for the playoffs, he did have that same step in his game. It could be rink rust, or it could be a case of coming back sooner than he should have. Now, I don’t think that will affect him as much going forward, but it could have some minor effect on his final draft ranking.

Final Thoughts
Cayden Lindstrom is going to be a great pick in this year's draft. He is the perfect combination of everything you are looking for in a power forward. Could he fit with the Hawks? Of course, the one thing this Chicago forward group lacks is size, and to add a player that has size and skill is almost unthinkable. With that being said, had the Hawks fallen to fourth during the draft lottery, I could see him being more in play for Kyle Davidson. There are options at two that I don’t think you can pass up, but I have no doubts that he will have a successful career wherever he ends up.

Prospect Spotlight Series
May 13th Cayden Lindstorm
May 20th Anton Silayev
May 28th Zeev Buium
June 3rd Konsta Helenius
June 10th Ivan Demidov
June 17th Artyom Levshunov
June 24 Final Draft Thoughts
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