One of the newcomers to the Boston Bruins, Loui Eriksson, was formally introduced today in a conference call wherein he praised the team’s style, sounded very excited to join the team and revealed that a former fan-favorite Swedish Bruin got in touch with him not long after the trade. (Kind of like how Andrew Ference, a former fan-favorite himself although not Swedish in heritage, gave Jarome Iginla advice before he chose to sign with Boston.)
Eriksson talked up the idea of playing with Patrice Bergeron, which is probably exactly what he will do, replacing Tyler Seguin on the second line as Iginla goes up top. He’s watched the team he now joins, although due to the separate conferences he hasn’t played against the Bruins very much, though that doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm.
As for the contact he received, that was from none other than P.J. Axelsson, who said he was happy for his fellow countryman and that he’d enjoyed his time with Boston.
Now that Eriksson is in, and sounds so eager to get started, here’s a little more about his hockey career until now. A precocious talent, he was playing with a Swedish U-16 team when he was just 11 years old. Yes, 11. Later on in the Elitserien, he won their version of the Calder Trophy in 2004, at the age of 18, though he then followed that win up by being on a championship Frolunda team the following season. By the time he won Elitserien rookie of the year honors, he’d already been drafted, picked 33rd overall by the Dallas Stars in the excellent 2003 draft that also produced Bergeron.
After scoring his very first NHL goal in his very first NHL game, he was soon leading his team in goals scored, notching perfect attendance for all 82 games and going to the 2011 All-Star Game. At that event, he scored four points, the most among any player except Shea Weber, who also had four.
During the lockout, he played a short stint for Switzerland’s HC Davos, scoring three goals and three assists in just seven games played. But once the NHL was back on, he admitted that he had kind of an ‘off’ season. With 12 goals and 17 assists in 48 games, that doesn’t seem terribly off, although it should be compared to some of his other most recent campaigns to understand why he felt that way. In 2011-12, he put up 26 goals and 45 assists. In 2010-11, it was a 27-46 year. In 2009-10, he produced 29 goals and 42 helpers.
So, he likes to score and to help others score. Granted, Dallas’ and Boston’s systems do differ–the Stars, after all, turned Michael Ryder into what looked like a veritable goal-scoring machine–but even if he does cool down slightly, produce a little more like the 2013 season instead of 2011-12, his enthusiasm is noticeable and he fills a big gap in the Bruins’ depth chart.
Though he hasn’t had any playoff experience since 2008, he has represented Sweden at many international levels, including the 2010 Olympics. He also has one of each color medal from World Championships: gold in 2013, silver in 2011 and bronze in 2009.
Here’s to seeing what Eriksson has in store while wearing Black and Gold.