Ryan Dadoun

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 07: Anton Lindholm #5 of Team Sweden skates against Team USA during the 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 7, 2013 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Colorado inks defensive prospect Anton Lindholm

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After establishing himself in the Swedish league, Anton Lindholm will head to North America.

The Colorado Avalanche announced that they have signed the 21-year-old defenseman to a three-year, entry-level contract. They selected Lindholm in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

More of a defensive defenseman, Lindholm only registered four assists in 30 Swedish league games with Skelleftea AIK in 2015-16, but he also had a team-high 85 hits despite missing a chunk of the season due to injury. During the playoffs he helped his team reach the SHL Finals by leading them in both hits and blocked shots.

That was his second full campaign with Skelleftea AIK. The next step for Lindholm will likely be for him to continue his development in the AHL.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

Stanley Cup

Pittsburgh holds a 2-1 series edge over Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Final after earning a 4-2 victory on Wednesday. Now the Penguins have a chance to push the Lightning to the brink tonight. You’ll be able to catch the game on the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. To stream the contest using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

In the meantime, here are some relevant links:

Penguins’ HBK Line has ‘given us a lot of momentum,’ says Crosby

The Penguins are playing Schultz to his strengths

Rutherford says Fleury’s ‘absolutely not’ done in Pittsburgh, but logic suggests otherwise

Stamkos skates, but ‘still a real possibility’ he won’t play in playoffs

Larkin earns high praise from Wings alumni

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 09:  Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2016 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Red Wings 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It’s rare for teenagers to stick with the Red Wings given the franchise’s history of developing their players through the AHL first, but Dylan Larkin was the exception in 2015-16 as his strong play kept him with Detroit.

Now Larkin’s earning high praise from Red Wings alumni as a result of his efforts.

“What you’ve had here is an anomaly, like it was with Steve Yzerman, where you have a guy that can come in (and contribute),” Darren McCarty told the Detroit Free Press. “Dylan Larkin, obviously, he has comparables to Steve Yzerman, but he’s going to set his own legacy, and it’s great to see.”

John Ogrodnick, who scored 402 goals during his NHL career, compared Larkin to Wayne Gretzky for having “eyes in the back of his head.”

Ogrodnick and McCarty talked about Larkin in greater detail and you can read those quotes in the Detroit Free Press article, but you can see that they both think very highly of the 19-year-old forward. The question now is how much upside Larkin has. To be clear, while Larkin’s rookie campaign provided grounds for hope, it’s not as if he set the world on fire. With 23 goals and 45 points in 80 contests, he wasn’t included in this year’s list of Calder Trophy finalists and fell just outside of the top-five in terms of rookie scoring.

That said, two of the players that finished above him (Artemi Panarin and Shayne Gostisbehere) were significantly older so it all has to be taken into context.

Ultimately we’re going to have to wait and see if Larkin will develop into a top-end talent, but what can be said with a greater degree of certainty is that Detroit needs someone to develop into that kind of player in the near future. Pavel Datsyuk might not return next season and Henrik Zetterberg will turn 36 in October. Their decline and eventual departure (be it this year or down the road) is leaving a big hole in Detroit’s lineup and while Larkin can’t hope to fill it alone, in a best case scenario Larkin would be a significant piece of Detroit’s new core.

Related: Let’s read the tea leaves from Detroit

PHT Morning Skate: Shawn Michaels, aka Heartbreak Kid (HBK), will see new HBK

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08:  WWE personality Shawn Michaels appears at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on January 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The network will launch on February 24, 2014 as the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, offering both scheduled programs and video on demand. The USD 9.99 per month subscription will include access to all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events each year. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Shawn Michaels, a former WWE wrestler who had the nickname Heartbreak Kid (shortened to HBK) will attend a Pittsburgh Penguins game to see the new HBK. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Bruce Boudreau threw out the first pitch at the Twins game. The new Minnesota Wild head coach described it as “more nerve racking than coaching a Game 7.” (StarTribune)

The Boston Bruins seem interested in re-signing Loui Eriksson, but is that the right move? Michael Felger argues they should part ways with him. (CSN New England)

Jeremy Roenick believes that the San Jose Sharks are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. (San Jose Mercury News)

Would the Washington Capitals be interested in signing Vadim Shipachyov? The 29-year-old forward is a star in the KHL and a free agent. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

Wayne Simmonds helped out a little boy who was the victim of racism. (Broad Street Hockey)

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

Stanley Cup
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After splitting the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final in Pittsburgh, the Penguins and Lightning will resume their series in Tampa Bay tonight. You’ll be able to catch the game on the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the contest using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

In the meantime, here’s some related reading material:

Cooper optimistic Bishop will play again in series

Murray says Stralman shot didn’t go through glove, questions Internet’s credibility

Caps GM: Penguins’ speed ‘took over’ at times

Vasilevskiy was ‘outstanding’ last night — not bad for the youngest goalie in the NHL