Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect of Interest: Tobias Lindberg

Sep 21, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul (19) collides with Ottawa Senators right wing Tobias Lindberg (23) in the second period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 21, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul (19) collides with Ottawa Senators right wing Tobias Lindberg (23) in the second period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Toronto Maple Leafs making a blockbuster trade that sent captain Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators, we take a look at prospect Tobias Lindberg, who was sent to Toronto as part of the deal.

Wow. That was my exact reaction this morning following the blockbuster trade between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. I have honestly only been more stunned by one other trade in my lifetime, and that was the David Clarkson trade. For the Maple Leafs to be able to trade Dion Phaneuf for tangible assets is arguably the best bit of business this organization has seen in a long time.

In essence this trade breaks down to Tobias Lindberg and a second-round pick for Dion Phaneuf, which is a fantastic return for a soon to be 31-year-old defenseman who will be making $7 million a year for the next five seasons.

To be able to get a high draft pick and a good prospect while also not retaining any salary is an incredible deal for the Leafs moving forward. With this trade, the rebuilding Maple Leafs now have (as it stands today) six total picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts. Looking ahead, let’s take a look at the prospect the Leafs got in the deal, Tobias Lindberg.

Tobias Lindberg: Binghamton Senators (AHL) – Right Wing – 6’3″, 215 Pounds

2014-2015 Statistics: Oshawa Generals (OHL)

92 Games Played – 42 Goals – 60 Assists – 102 Points – +37 – 22 Penalty Minutes

2015-2016 Statistics: Binghamton Senators (AHL)

34 Games Played – 5 Goals – 17 Assists – 22 Points – +10 – 8 Penalty Minutes

Scouting report:

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Size: Excellent. The most exciting part about acquiring Lindberg in this deal is that he is a big winger, and while the Leafs have plenty of highly skilled wingers already, one thing they did not have a lot of within their organization is size, and Lindberg has the size that the Leafs have coveted.

He is the type of winger you want playing with the likes of Mitch Marner, Dmytro Timashov, Jeremy Bracco, or William Nylander, a skilled winger with good size who can keep up with them, while also serving as a player who cannot be intimidated physically. Although Lindberg is not overly physical, he will use his size to his advantage when he has the puck on his stick.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Hands/Shot: For me, the most underrated aspect of Lindberg’s game is his shot. Lindberg possesses a really good and heavy wrist shot that allows for him to be useful on the power play, and allows for him to move up and down the lineup. While I cannot see him as a top line or even top six winger, I think if necessary he is skilled enough to play with high-end players like a William Nylander or a Mitch Marner, because of his hands and his shot.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Toronto Maple Leafs
Sep 23, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators right wing Tobias Lindberg (23) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Skating: From a quick glance, probably the weakest part of his game. While he is by no means a slow player, he doesn’t possess elite foot speed either. I actually think this is the biggest issue holding him back from being a top six forward and it is something he really does have to work on in order to become a better player moving forward. Luckily for him, he landed with the perfect organization as the Leafs employ arguably the best skating coach in the NHL in Barbara Underhill, and here is to hoping that he works with her a boatload this summer in order to improve his overall game.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Competitiveness: Another weak aspect of Lindberg’s game is his compete level. When I think of competitiveness, I think of Jonathan Toews or Drew Doughty, players who will literally do anything it takes to win, and hate losing more than they love winning. While I’m not saying Lindberg is like Alexander Radulov, he isn’t a guy who is going to win every battle in the corner or run through a guy in order to get the puck either. I think this is a very average aspect of his game that you can live with considering he isn’t an elite prospect.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Hockey IQ: Above average. When watching Lindberg, he is a player who knows what is happening on the ice, has above average vision, and knows where others are on the ice. He is defensively responsible as well, something that is very important in Mike Babcock’s system. Lindberg is a type of player who knows when to pick his spots, but also is aware of his responsibilities on the defensive end. I would describe him as a 200-foot player. I think an added wrinkle to this is that his former coach DJ Smith ran a similar system to Babcock’s in Oshawa, and he definitely gave his input on the type of player Lindberg was and could be in his system moving forward.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Final Verdict: The only time I actually got an opportunity to watch Lindberg play was last season with Oshawa in the OHL Championship vs. the Erie Otters, and in the Memorial Cup, and that was where he really did impress me. Lindberg played a highly skilled game, with good hands, good vision, and a very underrated wrist shot.

I think adding those aspects of his game to his impressive frame makes him an extremely intriguing prospect for the future. While he does have his flaws (foot speed and not overly physical), I would not be shocked at all to see Lindberg end up as a top nine forward in the NHL. He reminds me a lot of a Viktor Stalberg, a fellow Swede who has a big body and an impressive shot. I think his ceiling will be as a 40-point player, but I believe he will be an effective NHLer moving forward.

Player Comparable: Viktor Stalberg

I am personally really excited to see how Lindberg plays with the Marlies after starring for the last place Binghamton Senators in the AHL. Lindberg played in both power play and penalty kill situations for Binghamton, and it will be interesting to see where he slots in on the league leading Marlies.

Next: Leafs: Morgan Rielly Poised to Enter His Prime

My guess would be taking over Matt Frattin’s position on the top two lines and adding some size to the Marlies small group of forwards. As for where I would rank Lindberg in terms of the organizations top prospects, he would be a top 10 forward prospect without question.