Nick Goss

Bruins, Elias Lindholm agree to seven-year contract in free agency

The Bruins have made a splash in NHL free agency by acquiring one of the top centers available.

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The Boston Bruins have acquired a top-six center on the first day of NHL free agency by agreeing to a seven-year, $54.25 million contract with Elias Lindholm, per The Athletic's Chris Johnston.

The contract has a salary cap hit of $7.75 million.

Lindholm was one of the top free agent forwards on the market.

The 29-year-old veteran tallied 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 75 games between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks last season. He was more impactful in the Canucks' playoff run, posting 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 13 games.

Here's a look at Lindholm's offensive production over the last six seasons:

Lindholm is more of a No. 2 center than a No. 1, but he has the potential to be a very good player in Boston because of his impressive two-way skill set. Not only should Lindholm be able to provide around 50-70 points per season, he can also be relied on to play Selke Trophy-caliber defense and excel on faceoffs.

The Bruins ranked 21st in faceoff win percentage last season -- a steep drop-off from their No. 2 ranking during Patrice Bergeron's and David Krejci's final season in 2022-23. Lindholm won 56.4 percent of his faceoffs last season, which ranked ninth in the league among players who took 1,000-plus draws. He also won around 56 percent of his defensive-zone faceoffs.

With Lindholm in the fold, the Bruins can make him and Charlie Coyle the top-six centers and move Pavel Zacha to the wing. They could also have Lindholm and Zacha fill the top-six center roles and move Coyle back to the third-line center spot. Basically, there are a lot of different combinations head coach Jim Montgomery can now ponder.

Overall, the Bruins have added another very good center to the mix -- one who can contribute at a high level in all three zones and on both special teams units.

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