Grading how the Calgary Flames did with the Elias Lindholm trade

The Flames got it right with the Elias Lindholm trade
Calgary Flames, Elias Lindholm
Calgary Flames, Elias Lindholm / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The final remaining piece of the explosive 301-point line has left as the Calgary Flames announced that forward Elias Lindholm has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks. 

The Swedish Center was the final part of the Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau line that saw them tear up the league two seasons ago scoring 301 points on the Flames top line and leading the team to first in the Pacific division.

The Flames acquired forward Andrei Kuzmenko, a 2024 first-round pick, a conditional 2024 fourth-round decisive prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo and from the Canucks in exchange for Elias Lindholm. 

Lindholm, who is in the final year of his six-year $4.85M per season contract was fourth on the Flames scoring nine goals and 32 points, and was in the market for a payday north of nine million as there was talk he declined a seven to eight-year nine million a year extension from the Flames.

Grading the Elias Lindholm Trade

Calgary Flames: A-

I was leaning toward giving the Flames an A on this trade, but the one thing holding me back is the deal was made with a long-time division rival.  As much as I wish future success to Lindholm, it will be hard seeing him do it with the Canucks.

But otherwise, I like the return the Flames received for their top center on an expiring deal, with the main part of the deal being the return of Andrei Kuzmenko and the 2024 first-round pick.

Forward Kuzmenko, had eight goals and 13 assists for a total of 21 points this season and was in his second season with Vancouver after signing as a free agent on July 13, 2022.  Last season, the left-winger posted 74 points from 39 goals and 35 assists in 81 games

The Russian may look to be having a down season after an amazing first season but let me remind you of another player whom the Flames acquired this past summer who is having a bounce-back season on a new team, Yegor Sharangovich

The Flames also picked up two defensive prospects in Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo. 

Brzustewicz is a right-shot defenseman from Michigan and is currently playing in his second season with the OHL’s  Kitchener Rangers. Placed third in OHL scoring, the 19-year-old has eight goals and 61 assists for 69 points. Brzustewicz was the Canucks third-round draft pick in 2023.

The second defensive prospect is the tall 6'5" Joni Jurmo, another third-round pick from the Canucks from the 2020 NHL Draft is currently in his fourth season in his home countries league, SM-Liiga.

This season the 21-year-old has spent time with Ilves and KooKoo, has one goal and three assists for four points in 35 games.

The Final piece of the trade is the conditional fourth-round pick, which turns into a third-rounder if the Canucks make the Western Conference Finals.

Vancouver Canucks: B

As for the Canucks side of things, I'm grading them a B on the deal as they sent a haul for a player who may only turn out to be a playoff rental.

Overall not a bad grade for the Canucks as they add to an already great team who is not just first in the division but also a tie for first in the entire league with the Boston Bruins.

The main reason I'm not giving the Canucks a higher grade is due to the fact Vancouver will have some work to do in the offseason.

Vancouver has about 36 Million in cap space to work with this summer and will give priority to signing expiring RFA Elias Pettersson.

Between both Petterson and Lindholm, that could be well over half of the remaining cap space along with needing to fill in potential 8-10 more roster spots as Tyler Meyers, Filip Hronek and backup Casey DeSmith are among those who are set to expire.

My grade for the Canucks could fly out the window and my reasoning be completely wrong if the Canucks go on a run and Lindholm adds to the success en route to the Canucks first Stanley Cup.