Anaheim DucksArizona CoyotesBoston BruinsBuffalo SabresCalgary FlamesCarolina HurricanesChicago BlackhawksColorado AvalancheColumbus Blue JacketsDallas StarsDetroit Red WingsEdmonton OilersFlorida PanthersLos Angeles KingsMinnesota WildMontréal CanadiensNashville PredatorsNew Jersey DevilsNew York IslandersNew York RangersOttawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt Louis BluesSan Jose SharksSeattle KrakenTampa Bay LightningToronto Maple LeafsVancouver CanucksVegas Golden KnightsWashington CapitalsWinnipeg Jets

2024 NHL SCOUTING REPORT (VIDEO + GRADES): Cayden Lindstrom, C, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

Cayden Lindstrom - photo Brian Liesse
Cayden Lindstrom
C - #28 Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
6’3, 214 lbs, Shoots: L
DOB: 03.02.2006 - Chetwynd, British Columbia

Every few seasons in the WHL a player comes along who is an undeniable force in all aspects of the game. A player who has the tools to become a game changer at the NHL level with their skill and their physical play. A player that gives everyone who watches his games something to talk about the next day. That player is Cayden Lindstrom.

Playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers, Lindstrom brings size, speed, and skill to each and every game. Hailing from Chetwynd, BC, he was selected in the 3rd round of the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft and made his full-time debut for the Tigers in the 22-23 season. He played well, scoring 19 goals and 42 points in 61 games (0.69 pts/game) in his rookie season. He was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2023 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup last August. His play reached another level in the WHL this season but he suffered from injuries which limited the number of games he was able to dress for. Lindstrom scored 27 goals and 46 points but was only able to play in 32 games due to back and hand injuries. Despite this, his points per game jumped up to 1.44, good for third amongst NHL Draft-eligible players in the WHL this season. He returned to play in the WHL playoffs but struggled to elevate his game to the same level after missing so much time.

Lindstrom’s profile fits that of a power forward who uses his size and strength to overpower opposing players. He’s a big player in the WHL already and will add more muscle to his frame as he matures. He plays with a mean streak and will dish out hits to opposing players with regularity. Even with his size, Lindstrom is a good skater, capable of sprinting past defenders as well as holding them off when he has the puck. He is a very good shooter and can get his shot off at multiple levels in the offensive zone. His passing is improving and he is becoming a multi-dimensional offensive player as a result. His hockey sense is a plus trait as well.

As with most prospects, there are areas of Lindstrom’s game that will need to continue to improve before he reaches the NHL. His defensive awareness is good but he doesn’t always put forth his best effort in his own zone. His passing will need to continue to improve so that teams don’t key in on his shot.

At the end of the day, the team that drafts Lindstrom should feel very comfortable that they’re getting a top-line power forward who will excel in all aspects of the game as he matures.


Lindstrom is a strong skater with speed not found very often for a player of his size. His acceleration is deceivingly quick and he is able to puck handle while at speed. He pushes defenders back into their zone with his pace as they have to respect his ability to skate past them if they aren’t careful. This creates openings for himself and his teammates. Lindstrom can also turn a defender and protect the puck as he crashes the crease. He has good balance on his skates which allows him to weave through defenders while puck handling or stay on his feet when being checked by the opposition.

This first clip shows some of Lindstrom’s (#28 in black) acceleration with the puck. Starting from below his team’s goal line, he skates towards a forecheck that tries to front him. Lindstrom uses good edge work to change direction on the checker and is past him quickly. The defencemen see Lindstrom building speed through the neutral zone and have to back off in order to not get turned wide. This allows Lindstrom to pass to his teammate at the blue line, who then enters the zone with room to shoot or pass.

This next video starts with Lindstrom (#28 in white) leading a breakout of the Tigers' defensive zone. The defender does a good job of keeping up with Lindstrom and not allowing him to go to the slot. Due to the speed of the breakout, the Tigers outnumber the defenders and they can’t get back in time to prevent Lindstrom from scoring off of a nice passing sequence.

This clip shows Lindstrom’s foot speed as he picks up the puck at his own net while in a glide. He utilizes crossovers to accelerate through his turn to exit the zone. He continues to move his feet through center ice and only goes into his glide as he enters the offensive zone. This creates a momentary odd-man rush and scoring chance for the Tigers.

The last clip of this section shows Lindstrom starting with the puck at center ice. As he enters the offensive zone he uses a slight hesitation to set up his next move. The defender thinks they have a chance at a poke check but Lindstrom is able to use good edge work to spin away from the defender’s stick to create a scoring chance. The goal is just icing on the cake at that point.

Grade: 60


Lindstrom has a great, pro-ready wrist shot. He uses a drag and release to get the shot off quickly and pick corners of the net consistently. He also possesses a very good one-timer and sets himself up to use it on a regular basis. The Tigers use a five-forward group on their first power-play unit and have Lindstrom set up as the net-front presence. His ability to tip shots in that role improved over the course of his season.

This first clip is from last summer’s Hlinka/Gretzky Cup while Lindstrom was playing for Team Canada. The combination of speed and shot accuracy as he goes backhand to forehand makes it difficult for the goaltender to know what Lindstrom is going to do at that moment, and as such is unprepared to stop the shot.

This video is a perfect example of how Lindstrom’s size/speed combo along with his wrist shot accuracy make him a deadly goal scorer. The defenceman is not prepared to stop Lindstrom from entering the zone, and Lindstrom takes advantage, going to the slot with the puck. The defenceman tries to use body position and his stick to stop Lindstrom but he’s too strong. He loads up on his wrist shot and easily beats the goaltender high on his glove side.

Lindstrom is the beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time on this goal, but it’s not all luck. Once he sees the puck has been turned over, he quickly gets himself into a position to be a passing option. His teammate passes him the puck and he one-times it past the goaltender. The key to this goal is how he’s able to create velocity with the shot despite the awkward position by transferring his weight as he goes to one knee. If he tries to puck handle into a better shooting position, the goaltender will have time to set up for the shot and a goal is less likely.

This is a good old-fashioned goal scorer's goal. Lindstrom manipulates the defender into screening the goaltender with his puck handling, loads up on a hard wrist shot and puts the puck into the high glove-side corner.

The last clip for this section comes from a Medicine Hat power play. Lindstrom is playing the net front but slides over to the side to make himself a passing option for the puck carrier. Lindstrom is already turning his feet towards the net as he receives the pass. This move allows him to set up for a quick shot into the short-side top corner of the net. It’s a very accurate shot with excellent placement that’s nearly unstoppable.

Grade: 60


Lindstrom’s skill set matches his power forward profile but he has softer hands than expected for a player his size. His ability to handle and protect the puck, which along with his size and reach, make him difficult to check. His passing ability is underrated and improving quickly. This is an area of his game that projects well as he continues to mature.

Lindstrom’s ability to handle the pass coming off the boards and then protect the puck from the defender are key pieces of this goal and he looks very much the part of a power forward as he crashes down towards the net with the puck. The puck handling as the defender tries to close down on him creates space for Lindstrom and allows him to settle the puck for his next move.

This next play shows Lindstrom’s puck-handling ability and confidence to try things that other players wouldn’t. After receiving the pass, Lindstrom tries to angle himself past the defender, but the defender makes a good read and closes the space down. Instead of shooting the puck towards the near-side boards and trying to chase it down, Lindstrom attempts to put the puck through the defender’s feet. It’s not the cleanest play but it works, and Lindstrom is able to regain control of the puck as he enters the offensive zone. At this point, his space has become limited by a closing defender, but he is able to keep the puck with a stop-and-go move, handling the puck the whole time until he can pass it to an open teammate.

As mentioned, Lindstrom’s passing is improving and opening up more opportunities for scoring chances. This play is a very nice back door pass with Lindstrom able to get the puck to his teammate in perfect position while avoiding the sticks of two defenders. It’s one of Lindstrom’s prettier assists this season.

Lindstrom’s backhand pass at center ice in this clip is not ideal, both in the situational read and the execution. It would’ve been better to skate back toward his own blue line and reload through the neutral zone. After the failed pass, he puts himself in a good position for a takeaway in the neutral zone and ends up with the puck. From there he handles the puck around three defenders in rapid succession before pushing the puck into the offensive zone.

The last play in this clip demonstrates Lindstrom’s vision and good touch with the puck. As he receives the pass, he sees that he has an open teammate behind the closing defender. A nice little one-touch pass around the defender turns a potential neutral zone turnover into a good offensive zone entry.

Grade: 55


Lindstrom’s hockey sense and decision-making is another rapidly improving area of his game. His awareness of passing options in the offensive zone has greatly improved year over year and has seen his assists per game rate nearly double from 0.38 last season to 0.59 this season. His defensive game continues to improve as well though it lags behind his offensive zone awareness, which is typical of most young players. His ability to read plays and anticipate where the puck will be is also improving.

This first clip is a really nice pass from Lindstrom to create a goal on a 2-on-0. Most skaters would shoot in Lindstrom’s position, but he reads the goaltender so well that he knows his teammate is wide open for an easy tap-in goal.

Another nice pass from Lindstrom in this clip. The Tigers are on the powerplay and Lindstrom is positioned at the net front. He sees Andrew Basha continuing to skate into the penalty kill box after losing the puck and one touch passes the puck over to him. Basha is essentially wide open in the slot and scores.

This clip contains a nice pass from Lindstrom after the Tigers enter the offensive zone, but it’s his positioning throughout the clip that is a bit of a mixed bag. As the puck enters the neutral zone, Lindstrom is skating through the center ice faceoff circle. Just before the puck enters his defensive zone, he does a shoulder check on the weak side winger who is wide open. At this point, Lindstrom should cover that player so they aren’t alone in front of the net, but he drifts towards the puck looking to help instead. Luckily, his team recovers the puck and once in the offensive zone, he is able to support the sustained pressure in the zone with good reads and decisions.

This play shows Lindstrom’s improving defensive anticipation. He continues to skate through the middle of the ice to his own net in support of his defencemen and is in a position to lift the opposing forward’s stick in time to prevent a shot on the open net. He then uses body position to ensure his check can’t get to the puck and Medicine Hat is able to skate the puck out of the zone.

This last clip is a good example of Lindstrom’s overall improving ability to read the play on the ice. From being a passing option as the Tigers enter the offensive zone, to reading the goaltender’s errant pass to create pressure, to being a good defensive support piece in his own zone, Lindstrom is reading the play well in every zone.

Grade: 55


Being a bigger player has its advantages, combine that with a bit of meanness and a desire for hitting, and you get a physical power forward who can be a chaos-causing wrecking ball. Lindstrom is those things, but he also has a competitiveness to his game that makes him good as a forechecker and board battler. He can go overboard at times and he’ll need to work on picking his spots better as his penalty minutes nearly doubled in far fewer games this season.

This video shows the kind of power forward that Lindstrom is turning into and it starts right at the faceoff with a sneaky mean cross-check to Kai Uchacz. As the puck enters the defensive zone, Lindstrom uses body position and strength to lean on Uchacz to prevent him from skating to the puck. Lindstrom gains control of the puck and skates into the offensive zone. As he enters the zone, he reads the defender is out of position and too slow, so he uses a hesitation move to turn the defender fully and makes a prototypical power forward move to the slot, complete with one hand on the stick while the other protects himself from the defender.

This clip demonstrates Lindstrom’s competitiveness and desire for the puck. He makes a good read here and is able to turn the puck over in the offensive zone. It’s a decent scoring chance that otherwise wouldn’t have happened had he backed off into the neutral zone.

In this clip, Lindstrom is being physical and using strong play along the boards to give the opposing players very little time or room to be effective. The result is an exit out of the defensive zone.

This clip shows Lindstrom’s ability to be an effective forechecker with his reads and physicality. He’s able to get two hits in on opposing players and takes up enough space along the boards that his teammate is able to come away with the puck.

Lindstrom’s ability to forecheck comes as much from his ability to read the defenders as his physical play. In this clip, he’s able to contain the initial zone exit attempt by the defender with his positioning. As he circles back into the neutral zone he closes in on the puck carrier, forcing them to dump the puck in. Once in the defensive zone, he’s able to be a good support for his defencemen and initiates a board battle for the puck with his hit on the puck carrier.

This last clip speaks to Lindstrom’s need to rein in his more aggressive play. The initial body check on the puck carrier at the boards is good, but the cross-check afterwards is what draws the referee’s attention, and the resulting penalty.

Grade: 60

OFP: 58.75

A note on the 20-80 scale used above. We look at five attributes (skating, shooting, puck skills, hockey IQ and physicality) for skaters and six for goalies (athleticism/quickness, compete/temperament, vision/play reading, technique/style, rebound control and puck handling). Each individual attribute is graded along the 20-80 scales, which includes half-grades. The idea is that a projection of 50 in a given attribute meant that our observer believed that the player could get to roughly NHL average at that attribute at maturity.