Hampus Lindholm will play his first full season with the Bruins this year after getting traded to Boston by the Anaheim Ducks ahead of last year’s NHL trade deadline.
And he will be called upon to skate extra minutes.
The Bruins defenseman likely will see his ice time increased with both Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk sidelined to start the 2022-23 campaign after undergoing shoulder surgeries in the offseason.
“It’s a position I’ve been in my whole career. I’ve been fortunate to play big minutes in Anaheim and take responsibility. It’s nothing I’m new to,” Lindholm told reporters this week at captains’ practice, per the Bruins. “When we can have Charlie in the lineup, we’re a better team. Hopefully he can get back here soon. We’ve got a lot of good guys in this locker room that can step it up.
“If you want to be a winning team, you need everybody to contribute. I think that’s something that comes easily. I think I’m a guy that leads more with the way I’m playing. Just excited about playing the season.”
It’s a bit of a fresh start for Lindholm, who was limited to just 10 games in the regular season due to a lower-body injury before suffering another injury in the Stanley Cup playoffs that forced him to miss three games. The D-man, who spent his first eight NHL seasons on the West Coast, thinks the Bruins represent a style of hockey that fits him better.
“It’s always nice to start from the ground here, some new pieces in here, coaches, I think it’s going to be a nice start for everyone to get a little fresh air in here,” Lindholm told reporters. “Just coming over here, east coast hockey is a little different. Personally, I think it fits me. I’m really excited about the next coming years here. I’m really going to be able to show my true self and what kind of player I can be.”
There are quite a few questions facing the Bruins this season, but Lindholm has all the confidence in his team.
“I think the team we have this year, it’s gonna be an exciting year. We’ve got some really good players here,” Lindholm said. “I think you can learn a lot from other players in this locker room. With a new coach, I think it’s just excitement all over the team.”
New head coach Jim Montgomery has his work cut out for him with the Bruins being down Brad Marchand, Grzelcyk and McAvoy to begin the season, but with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci back in the fold, and Lindholm ready to take on a bigger role, Boston will be in good shape come October.