( Above Photo Credit: Rena Laverty / Photographer )
By: Aaron Chisling Follow Me On Twitter @achisling
Ryan Lindgren was selected by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft 49th overall in the second round. He has been flying under the radar. Defensemen are a great strength in the Bruins pipeline with flashy names such as Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, and everyone’s favorite stallion Charlie McAvoy who officially graduated this year. With these promising blueline futures attracting the majority of the attention, Lindgren can be easy to overlook. He shouldn’t be.
Ryan Lindgren is a 19-year-old logging big minutes with the University of Minnesota and was named to the team’s leadership team as an alternate captain with the Golden Gophers. He’s a defensive defenseman that has strong, confident strides and great lateral movement. He protects the net well, intercepting cross-crease passes and clearing out traffic from around the crease. He’s a bull on the boards, winning more than his fair share of puck battles.
USA Hockey hasn’t overlooked what Ryan, brother of the Montreal Canadiens upcoming goaltender Charlie Lindgren, can bring to the table. Ryan is a member of the 2017/2018 Team USA World Juniors team and one of the returning players in the American’s quest to repeat as Gold Medal winners and champions of this illustrious tournament. Lindgren is tasked with the difficult defensive assignments and flourishes, allowing his counterparts to face lesser competition and use their offensive creativity against lines they match up well against.
“Lindgren, the U18 team captain, is an interesting prospect because he plays with such self-assurance, presence and physical edge. He skates with a wide base and is tough to knock off the puck. He has a very strong stride and gets up to speed quickly. He also moves well lat- erally and excels at slowing attackers down. Lindgren plays with an intimidating intensity. He throws his weight around like a wrecking ball and shows no hesitation when attacking loose pucks.”
Lindgren doesn’t project to be an offensive dynamo on the blue line, but he could very well develop into a strong two-way defender at the NHL level. Lindgren could be a very reliable second pairing defenseman for the Bruins in the future or could be flipped as part of a package in a trade for an asset that could help the Bruins now as the black and gold are quickly finding themselves in an enviable position in the standings. No matter which avenue Don Sweeney and the Bruins elect to pursue in regards to Ryan Lindgren, he’s got the defensive talent to make at the NHL level, whether it is in Boston or not. Keep an eye on this kid, he won’t go under the radar forever.