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Dallas Stars Select D Esa Lindell In the Third Round Of The 2012 NHL Draft

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Esa Lindell is a big defender from Finland playing for Finnish Powerhouse Jokerit. He joins Jyrki Jokipakka as another Dallas Stars prospect from Finland. He is a bit raw but at 6"2 192lbs he has the potential to become a solid middle pairing defenseman in the NHL. He helps bolster an increasingly strong Dallas blueline.

Esa Lindell

Defence / Jokerit




Hometown: Helsinki, Finland

Shoots: Left

GP G A P +/- PIM
Jokerit U20 2011-12 48 21 30 51 +24 16
Finland U18 (WJC-18) 7 0 6 6 +3 18
Finland U18 (International Junior) 15 2 7 9 +3 18

Esa Lindell is a big but raw defender from Finland. He has the potential to be an offensive force, as he was the highest scoring defenseman in the U20 league. He needs to work on his skating which is weak, something that needs to be improved if he wants to become an effective defenseman in North America. However several years of refinement in Finland will help improve this.

He has an excellent shot and likes to jump infront of the net in order to help produce goals for his team. He occasionally appears as a fourth forward for Jokerit U20. He will need a lot of time to refine his game in the Finnish leagues and will hopefully play some good minutes for Jokerit of the SM-Liiga. He does need to work on his defensive game, like all offensive defenseman they often focus on the offensive effort rather than their own zone.

Esa Lindell will need some time but he could be a real diamond in the rough. All it takes will be refining and developing his significant raw potential. If the Stars are willing to wait for him he could potentially become a good player at the NHL level.


Scouting Report:
Another big but very raw Finnish defender, something that continues to be a bit of a growing trend in the past few years, Lindell has some intriguing potential. Lindell's appeal comes mostly from his offensive production ability. He's not a great skater by any means but always seems to make something happen with the puck. He has a great shot, reacts quickly to pressure and loves to jump in from the weakside to the net front area. He will need some serious focus on improving his skating ability but the fact that he has been so successful with such a technical weakness almost helps his value. With proper development he could be a diamond in the rough.

Hockey Prospect

Esa is a big D-man who can lug the puck. Lindell's skating has progressed this season. By years end he even showed the odd burst pulling away from defenders on the rush. He seems confident with the puck and shows good vision moving the puck to good options. If he isn't lugging the puck up ice, he does a pretty good job of moving it and then joining the rush as an extra attacker. He did a good job of this versus Canada in the recent U18 tourney in the Czech Republic. He shows a good catch and re- lease on his point shots and also showed us he can one-time the puck. He has a quick release and looks dangerous jumping into the play.
Esa can play some high risk shifts but he is a talented offensive player. He jumps into the slot from the blueline anticipating his forwards finding him as an option. He shows a very quick burst when he thinks he might be able to score. His defense and overall decision making game in his own half of the rink are where he is not quite as high end. He loses position on players and struggles with losing his man at times.
His feet are quite good for a big kid. He keeps them moving and is good on his edges. He does need to get better in his lateral movement. His north south speed is quite good. He used head-fakes to look off passes and help him gain the far blueline. Esa needs to bring his energy level he shows in the offensive zone to the defensive zone. He can look a bit slower in his own zone and we would like to see his com- pete level raised from shift to shift.

Future Considerations:

SCOUTING REPORT: A big body two-way defenseman who has some good pro-potential. His game is still very raw and has loads of room to grow. Has a decent enough straight line speed but his lateral mobility and first few steps off the mark are lacking. For a pinching defender you want him to be able to recover with his feet and Lindell, as of right now, does not show the ability to do so. Defensively he has some deficiencies with regards to how he approaches defending. His positioning is poor as are
his reads. He gets beat by speed and the slick skaters because of his mobility issues and he does not utilize his impressive size enough to box out attackers. With that said, he has very intriguing smarts in regard to what to do with the puck. He sees lanes opening up and can get his forwards the puck ef- fectively. He is not afraid to rush the puck himself and his shot from the point is another positive as he gets it on net consistently. He is at his best when he is playing physical, not over handling the puck but instead dishing it off to a forward entering the offensive zone and being more conservative defensively. His offensive numbers this year are more being a product of a high scoring environment and big ice time. Lindell has some intriguing upside but still needs loads of time to reach his upside.