August 26 2011 12:00PM
Sebastian Erixon is a late-bloomer. An offensive defenseman who shoots left, but plays the right side, he has spent the last three seasons with Timra of the SEL. Last year he brokeout offensively, scoring five goals and adding fifteen assists in forty-four games to lead all Timra defenseman in scoring. His breakout season clearly impressed the Canucks, who signed the twenty-one year old (he'll turn twenty-two on September 12th) to an entry-level deal last April. Based on my google searches, he's a very intriguing pick up.
Though he wasn't drafted, Sebastian Erixon has played against men in the third toughest league in the world on a full-time basis since he was eighteen. He hasn't always been an excellent offensive producer though, and I wish I could tell you definitively that last season wasn't a fluke, but I can't. He's been in Timra's top six for three seasons, and in their top four for two. In fact, he played less minutes this season than last, yet scored thirteen more points in two fewer matches. Certainly it's possible that his production spike last season was a blip. But last season's production was really impressive - so I'm still convinced that Erixon is worth taking a flier on.
How impressive was Erixon's offensive production last season? Very. Lets look at his production last season using Gabe Desjardin's league translation numbers because these AHLE/NHLE numbers, make me salivate:
|GP||G||A||Pts||AHLE G||AHLE A||AHLE Pts||NHLE G||NHLE A||NHLE Pts|
Heady stuff. If Erixon's production last season was a new norm for him based on an actual improvement in his offensive ability, and not just a fluke - we can expect Erixon to become a legitimate offensive producer as a North American pro.
The concern about Erixon at the next level will be how he matches up physically against North American pros. Though multiple sources corroborate his strong positional play - there are concerns about his size. He's likely to get abused in the slot by larger players, in much the same way that Ehrhoff was. I'm also concerned about Erixon's height, which is listed differently depending on where you look. Based on his eliteprospects profile - he's listed as 183 cm (or 5,11). Hockeys future describes him as a "generous" 5,11. The Eliteserien website, however, lists him as standing 170cm (or 5,7). If Erixon is actually 5,7 - then that clearly changes whether or not we'd be willing to project him as an NHL regular in the future.
Going into camp, Erixon will be hard-pressed to make the Canucks roster but based on his skillset I'd think it's pretty likely that he becomes a mainstay on the Wolves blueline next season. His puck-handling ability, solid shooting and two-way play make him an intriguing prospect (despite his relatively advanced age), and his ability to play the right-side gives him an inside track on potentially providing the Canucks with some injury relief, and cracking the main roster for a few games later on this season. I smell some Tanev/Lack sleeper potential when I look at Erixon's numbers, highlights and profiles - so I'd keep him in mind as one to watch at camp and in the pre-season this September.
To end this profile, here's a sneaky goal Erixon scored last season: