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Cayden Lindstrom is a very interesting hockey prospect albeit a divisive one. He has a power forward style to his game and had a dominant start to his junior season, but was derailed by two injuries that may cause some teams to hesitate to draft him very high. Lindstrom’s size and skill make him a likely top candidate in this draft. It would be a huge benefit to the Canadiens should he go undrafted by the first four NHL teams ahead of Montreal.


Shoots: Left
DOB: Feb 3, 2006
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 213 lbs


Elite Prospects: 3
Future Considerations: 8
Daily Faceoff: 8
The Hockey News (Ferrari): 4
The Hockey News (Kennedy): 6
TSN (Bob McKenzie): 5
TSN (Craig Button): 10
NHL Central Scouting (N.American): 3
Sportsnet (Cosentino): 11
Sportsnet (Bukala): 9
Recruit Scouting: 6
Dobber Prospects: 4
Draft Prospects Hockey: 9
Smaht Scouting: 4
FloHockey: 3
McKeens Hockey: 4


Scouting Report

Cayden is very much a north-south type of player, preferring to use his size advantage to drive straight for the net. His skating is very good, but his mechanics prevent him from making it better. That can still be improved with the right skating coach and some effort from Cayden. As such, he’s typically not the forward on his line to lead the rush from his own zone; given that his talented linemates are Andrew Basha (ranked high in the 2024 draft) and Gavin McKenna (early #1 ranking in 2026 draft), he can afford that luxury. Inside the offensive zone is where he can utilize his excellent shot to score or set up a teammate with an accurate pass. His size also allows him a great chance to score on rebounds.

Along with that size, Cayden willingly plays a gritty game. He is often successful creating turnovers on the forecheck due to his size and speed. Lindstrom is an excellent athlete who played multiple sports before focusing only on hockey in his early teens. He made a very positive impression on many teams that interviewed him at the NHL Combine, where he also scored well on several of the physical tests.

Lindstrom recovered from surgery on his fractured hand suffered during a hockey practice after Christmas. He later suffered a back injury which kept him out of the rest of the regular season but he did return to the ice for the playoffs. In those four postseason games he scored two points, so it’s likely the back injury was making him a less effective player. During The Athletic podcast, Corey Pronman revealed that the back injury was a herniated disc. His agency made his health records available to all teams during the NHL Combine event to be transparent. That type of injury could cause some teams to not select Cayden in this draft due to the health risk.


It’s true that Cayden has the physical tools to jump into the NHL right away, even if he may not excel immediately. Some teams prefer the baptism-by-fire approach, and Montreal’s management has taken that approach once with Juraj Slavkovsky but did not with David Reinbacher. A recent example of a similarly styled player who started in the NHL right after being drafted is Quinton Byfield for Los Angeles; he took until his fourth season to blossom with a 20-goal, 55-point campaign and spent time in the AHL and his junior team after being drafted. Another example is Adam Fantilli, who was drafted high in the last draft and made Columbus’ team right away, but struggled at times and was a healthy scratch sometimes. It’s difficult to predict if Lindstrom is NHL-ready now, but it’s safe to say he would benefit from one more season of junior hockey before getting ready to break through the following season.