Ryan Lindgren comes from a family of goalies. His father was a goalie, his two older brothers play goalie, including eldest brother Charlie, who made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens late this season. But Ryan mans the blue line, and has always been somewhat of a prodigy. After moving to Florida as a youngster to play for the Florida Everblades AAA program, Lindgren starred for Shattuck-St. Mary's, making the school's top team as a 10th grader.
After two years with the US National Team Development Program, Lindgren appears to be a high draft pick in this year's NHL Draft.
Player: Ryan Lindgren
Team: US National Development Program U18
Height: 6'0" Weight: 196 lbs.
Stats: 61 games, 6 goals, 19 assists, 25 points
Final NHL Central Scouting rank: 49th among North American skaters
What I Like:
Lindgren has always had a very strong lower body, which has made him a powerful and smooth four-direction skater. He skates with a wide base which makes him difficult to knock off the puck. He pivots smoothly and his feet are quick enough to keep up with most forwards.
Lindgren plays his position well and rarely makes the big mistake on defense. He's quietly efficient; the type of player that you don't really notice unless you're really watching, but does a lot of smart, little things well.
Lindgren uses his muscle effectively and to his advantage. He's good at winning one-on-one battles along the boards. He clears out the front of the net effectively, and on occasion, can step up and throw a big hit.
Lindgren served as captain for the U18 this past season and was a respected leader. Character will be a positive when teams are judging him.
What I Don't Like:
Lindgren is a player that has been on the radar for a while, committing to the University of Minnesota as a 14-year-old. He's still been good since then, but his progression as a player has flattened out a bit. He's still a very nice player, but it's hard to foresee him taking a big jump in development in the next few years. What you see is likely close to what you'll get.
-Lack of Offensive Upside
Lindgren plays a pretty responsible game and doesn't push the puck up the ice too often. He can move the puck around by making the safe play, but rarely is he creating offensive opportunities on his own out of nothing. He's unlikely to be much of a scoring threat at the next level.
NHL Central Scouting places Lindgren in the mid-to-late second round, while I have him towards the beginning of the second round. Central Scouting is probably closer to the consensus on this one. Lindgren is a very solid player, but the lack of exciting upside probably pushes him into the 45-60 range. He's one of the safer picks in the Draft though, especially outside of the first round.
Lindgren won't be the type of player you build a defense around, but should be a very nice, and extremely valuable complementary player that can eat a lot of minutes as a second pairing defenseman. His skating ability and defensive awareness should make him a reliable defender that can help out on the penalty kill.