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NHL Anaheim Ducks

Rant Sports Top 100 Players in the NHL: No. 76 Loui Eriksson

Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

This past season, Loui Eriksson had one of his most productive campaigns to date as part of, and alternate captain for, the Dallas Stars. He was one of three Stars (alongside Michael Ryder and Vern Fiddler) to play all 82 games and he scored 71 points–26 goals and 45 assists. That production was just two points away from his best season to date, a 73-point 2010-11 campaign, and was the third season in a row where Eriksson put up at least 71 points.

However, those past three campaigns weren’t flukes at all. Eriksson has been impressing people with his skills since he was just 11 years old and playing on a U-16 team in his native Sweden. He ascended to the junior-level club of Frolunda HC and then to the senior-level Frolunda team in Sweden’s Elitserien. (Recently, it has been rumored that Eriksson is considering a return to Frolunda during the NHL lockout.) His rookie year in Frolunda ended with his winning the Elitserien’s Rookie of the Year award, but he did one better in his sophomore year as Frolunda won the Swedish championship.

In 2003, just before Eriksson set off on his award-winning rookie campaign, Dallas drafted him 33rd. Following the Swedish championship victory, Eriksson headed to America, spending the 2005-06 season with the AHL Iowa Stars aside from preseason appearances with the big Stars. In his debut game with Iowa, he put up his first assist of the season. Then, a year later, when he debuted with Dallas, he scored his first goal of that season.

So, Eriksson has been precocious a few different times in his career to date.

His sophomore season in Dallas was a big one: he led the team in scoring with 36 goals, a tally that put him fifth in the Western Conference and 12th overall for goals. He had perfect attendance that season as well. Since that campaign, he has always scored at least 71 points a season and made his first All-Star Game appearance in 2011. In that All-Star Game, he led all players with four points (two goals, two assists, matched only by Shea Weber‘s four helpers), too.

Plus, Dallas has secured Eriksson’s services for a long time. He’s on a six-year deal that is valid through 2015-16 with a no-trade clause that becomes active in 2013-14. If he continues to produce at the clip he’s produced at, he could potentially help Dallas taste the postseason again, which they haven’t done since 2008.

Highlight Reel:

http://youtu.be/BEFkcURJ9N4

Eriksson cleans up his own rebound and slings the puck through traffic to put Dallas on the board against Detroit.

http://youtu.be/ezZ6drNeHkE

Eriksson makes quick work of a Calgary defenseman for his 22nd goal of the 2011-12 season.

http://youtu.be/LkSohGfIkw0

While the Stars are shorthanded, Eriksson blasts through the neutral zone on a breakaway and puts away the goal.

Fun Facts:

  • Aside from 2010-11, when he played 79 games, Eriksson has been present for all 82 games of a regular season since 2008-09.
  • He represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics, but did not medal.
  • He did, however, medal at the 2009 (bronze) and 2011 (silver) World Championships.