Jesper Lindgren

Hometown:

Umea Sweden

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1997-05-19

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

4th round (95th overall), 2015

Weight:

161 lbs.

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History

2012-13: Jesper Lindgren played for the Bjorkloven U18 team in his hometown of Umea in northeast Sweden and skated for Vasterbotten in the TV-Pucken tournament for high school players. In 35 regular season games for Bjorkloven he scored 1 goal with 15 assists and was +3 with 8 penalty minutes. Lindgren skated in three games with the Bjorkloven U16 team, recording 6 assists and 10 penalty minutes. In eight games for Vasterbotten at the TV-Pucken tournament he had 5 assists and was +5 with 4 penalty minutes. 

2013-14: Lindgren moved from Bjorkloven to MODO in Ornskoldsvik, playing eight games with the club’s U20 team in the Super Elit league and serving as an assistant captain for the MODO U18 team. He represented Sweden in international play for the first time, skating for the U17 squad. Lindgren scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +4 with 2 penalty minutes in SuperElit play. He scored 7 goals with 25 assists and was +54 with 34 penalty minutes in 35 regular season games for the MODO U18 team. After finishing second to Djurgardens in the North Division, MODO captured the Swedish championship, defeating Linkopings, 4-3, in the final. Lindgren was -4 with no points nor penalties in five playoff games.   

2014-15:  Lindgren made his debut in Sweden’s SHL —  playing four games for the MODO men’s team — and was one of the top offensive defensemen in the SuperElit U20 league. He played for the Sweden U18 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship. He had 1 assist and an even plus/minus, averaging 3 minutes of ice time, in SHL action. MODO finished last in the 12-team league. Lindgren scored 6 goals with 27 assists and was +11 with 39 penalty minutes in 39 regular season games for the MODO U20 team and was -4 with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in four playoff games. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -2 in five games for Sweden at the WJC. Sweden finished eighth, falling to Canada, 5-3, in the quarterfinals. Lindgren was ranked 19th amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Toronto in the fourth round (95th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

2015-16: Lindgren played in 26 SHL games with MODO as an 18-year-old and appeared in four Alsvenskan games with IF Bjorkloven. He also played for the MODO U20 team and played for Sweden’s U19 team.  Lindgren scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -8 with 4 penalty minutes, averaging 11 minutes of ice time in the SHL regular season but did not play in the Kval series. MODO finished 13th in the 14-team league and was relegated to Allsvenskan, falling to Leksands in overtime in the decisive seventh game in the Kval series. Lindgren had 2 assists in four games with Bjorkloven. He scored 4 goals with 10 assists and was +3 with 22 penalty minutes in 20 SuperElit games for the MODO U20 team. Lindgren score 1 goal with 2 assists in four games for the Sweden U19 team. 

Talent Analysis
Lindgren is a very clever, right-shooting defenseman who has a keen eye for pass stations, particularly in the offensive zone. Excellent at giving a deadly first pass and skating the puck out of his own zone, his desire to control things with the puck on his stick can get him into trouble. Giving the impression of being a bit on the small size, he does actually have average size, but will need to bulk up in the years to come to withstand the checking pressure an offensive-oriented game like his will incur. Lindgren still needs to show that he can display his considerable stick-handling skills and attention to detail when facing upbeat, equal competition. A slick skater moving forward, and adequate in his lateral movement, there are a number of people who feel Lindgren does much like Erik Karlsson did at that age. The two share oddly similar styles and look on the ice.
Future

Lindgren skated in 26 games for MODO in the SHL in 2015-16 as an 18-year-old. He is signed with the club for next season but with MODO relegated to Allsvenskan he could be loaned to an SHL club or possibly skate in the CHL if he is selected in the upcoming Import Draft. He is also a candidate to play for Sweden in the 2017 World Juniors. Still fairly raw in terms of his overall defensive game and physical development (despite his height and reach), Lindgren remains a long-range project. His offensive skill set and creativity will likely be his calling card.

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