Linus Hultstrom

Hometown:

Vimmerby Sweden

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1992-12-09

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

Signed as free agent, 2016

Weight:

180 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Linus Hultstrom was a team captain skating for Linkoping in the U20 SuperElit league and played for the Sweden U19 team. He scored 11 goals with 10 assists and 55 penalty minutes in 41 regular season games and scored 1 goal with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes in three SuperElit playoff games for Linkoping. Hultstrom scored 1 goal with 1 assist and 6 penalty minutes in four games with the Sweden U19 team. Hultstrom was ranked 78th amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings prior to the 2011 NHL Draft but was not selected. 

2011-12: Hultstrom made his Elitserien debut — appearing in five games with the Linkoping men’s team — and played in Allsvenskan on loan to Oskarshamn, joining the Linkoping U20 team for their gold medal playoff run in the SuperElit playoffs. He was -1 with no points and 4 penalties in SHL play. Hultstrom scored 5 goals with 12 assists and had an even plus/minus with 26 penalty minutes in 47 regular season games for Oskarshamn. He had 1 assist and was -1 in six games as Oskarshamn finished third in the four-team qualifying playoff series. Hultstrom scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was +4 with 4 penalty minutes in six games during the SuperElit playoffs for Linkoping. 

2012-13: Hultstrom was one of six players to skate in all 55 regular season games for Linkoping in his first Elitserien season. He scored 5 goals with 3 assists and was -6 with 30 penalty minutes, averaging 13:19 minutes of ice time. Linkoping finished fifth in the regular season, reaching the playoff semifinals before falling to eventual champion Skelleftea. Hultstrom had 2 assists and was -5 with 2 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.  

2013-14: Hultstrom shuttled between Linkoping in the re-christened SHL and Allsvenskan club Oskarshamn in his third pro season. In 31 regular season games with ninth-place Linkoping he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -6 with 8 penalty minutes. Linkoping swept MODO in a play-in series and defeated Frolunda in seven games before falling to eventual champion Skelleftea. Hultstrom had an even plus/minus with 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. He scored 2 goals with 9 assists and was -5 with 6 penalty minutes in 23 Allsvenskan games. 

2014-15: Hultstrom had a breakout season after going from Linkoping to Leksands. Scoreless and seeing limited ice time in five games with Linkoping, he ended the year as the SHL’s third-leading scorer amongst defensemen after joining Leksands, trailing only Cory Murphy and Tim Heed. Hultstrom scored 10 goals with 23 assists in 48 regular season games and was -11 with 20 penalty minutes, averaging 21:48 minutes of ice time. Leksands finished 11th, missing the playoffs; defeating MODO in seven games to retain a spot in the SHL. Hultstrom scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was -1 with 8 penalty minutes in the series. He signed a contract to play for Djurgardens in 2015-16 in April 2015.   

2015-16: Hultstrom led all SHL defensemen with 12 goals and tied Linkoping’s Chad Billins for the league scoring lead with 31 points in his first season with Djurgardens. He had 19 assists and was a career best +17 with 16 penalty minutes, averaging 20 minutes of ice time in 52 regular season games. Djurgardens finished seventh in the regular season, defeating Brynas in a first-round series before falling to eventual champion Frolunda in the quarterfinals. Hultstrom scored 3 goals with 9 assists and had an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes in eight playoff games. He signed a two-year entry-level contract with Florida in May 2016.

Talent Analysis

Hultstrom is a mobile, durable defenseman who can log a lot of ice time. He is a bit short for a prototypical NHL defenseman but makes up for his lack of height with his skating and hockey intellect. He is offensively-inclined and has worked to develop his defensive game.

Future

Hultstrom skated for Djurgardens in the SHL in 2015-16, providing a "veteran" presence on a young defense corps as a 22-year-old. Signed to a two-year entry-level contract by the Panthers in May 2016, he will push for a spot with the Panthers in training camp but could begin the year in the AHL. He projects as a puck-moving defenseman who is valuable on the power play.

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