With training camp just a matter of weeks away now, the new arrivals to the Boston Bruins will step onto the stage at the TD Garden. One of those players is Loui Eriksson, who is probably the best player nobody has heard of before. Brought to Boston in the Tyler Seguin trade, Eriksson will have the opportunity to prove Seguin fans wrong about the trade, while notching up a few goals along the way.
Eriksson, a 28-year-old Swedish-born player, has spent all seven of his NHL seasons in obscurity with the Dallas Stars. It is not surprising that many average hockey fans have not heard of him before since the Stars have not been in the playoffs for some number of years and Eriksson has not won any big individual awards, apart from being selected to the 2010-11 NHL All-Star team. However, he is exactly the type of player the Bruins were looking for. He has the grit and toughness Seguin never had, while possessing a knack for scoring. His best attribute is his two-way play that is similar to Patrice Bergeron. Talent combined with work ethic is the recipe for the Bruins’ style of hockey.
It is expected that he will be playing on Bergeron’s second line, as Jerome Iginla takes a spot on the first-line wing. After a difficult season last year for the Stars, expect Eriksson to come out on fire. There will be little need for an adjustment period since his style fits into the Bruins’ system so well. Do not be surprised to see his tally of 12 goals and 17 assists increase next season given the increased talent around him combined with his desire to redeem himself after a disappointing season.
So, if you have heard of Eriksson before, then you know what he is capable of. But for those who do not, be prepared to be surprised. At the very least, Eriksson should have no trouble picking up where Seguin left off. He will likely be able to do even better than Seguin, especially defensively and in terms of physical strength. His two-way play is exactly what the Bruins needed, and time will show that he is the right man for the job.
Tim Nikolouzos is a Boston Bruins writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @timnikolou