Bruins Player Preview: Loui Eriksson’s Expected Role, Projected Season Stats

by abournenesn

Sep 28, 2014

Editor’s note: will preview every NHL-level Bruins player over the next few weeks, leading to the Oct. 8 season opener. Click here for the full schedule and to read other player profiles.

Loui Eriksson was the best player Boston acquired in the Tyler Seguin trade in July of 2013, but he wasn’t able to play at a top-six level last season because of two concussions.

It was the first time Eriksson had played in fewer than 70 games since his second NHL season. In fact, the 29-year-old winger missed just three regular-season games over a five-year span from 2008-09 through 2012-13.

Expectations are high for Eriksson entering his second campaign in Boston. He’s expected to play a top-six role, and is the most likely candidate to replace Jarome Iginla at right wing on the first line alongside David Krejci and Jarome Iginla. If he stays healthy, the Swedish forward will show Bruins fans why the team wanted him in the Seguin deal.

Player Vitals
Age: 29
Position: Right Wing
2013-14 Stats: 10 goals, 27 assists, 37 points in 61 games
Contract: Two more years, with a $4.25 million salary-cap hit

What He Will Bring The Team

Eriksson is a quality goal scorer. He averaged 29.5 goals over his last four seasons with the Dallas Stars, and he should approach that number in 2014-15 if he plays alongside a talented center such as Krejci.

Eriksson also creates scoring chances for teammates because of his high hockey IQ and impressive playmaking skills. “(Lucic and I) played a couple of games with Loui last year, and I like playing with him,” Krejci said on Sept. 8. He’s a great player, he can pass the puck, and I feel if I play with him, I’ll have even more goals because he’s a great passer.

Eriksson is a solid special teams player, too. His excellent defensive skills and good positioning makes him an above-average penalty killer, and he averaged 1:25 of short-handed ice time per game last season. Eriksson played on the second power-play unit when he was healthy, averaging 1:57 per game and tallying 11 points (two goals, nine assists) with the man advantage.

Eriksson has a well-rounded skill set and is able to be put on the ice in nearly any situation. This kind of versatility is quite valuable.

Weakness That Must Be Improved

If Eriksson is going to be a top-six forward this season, he must produce offensively on a consistent basis. The veteran winger had three goal-scoring droughts of nine games or longer last season, including a season-high 11-game goalless drought from Nov. 27 through Jan. 25.

To be fair to Eriksson, suffering two concussions in one season makes establishing some consistency a difficult task.

Expected Role For 2014-15

Replacing Iginla’s goals will be a collective effort, but the majority of those tallies should come from Eriksson. He’s talented enough to score 25 goals this season, especially if he receives first-line minutes next to Krejci and Lucic. In addition to helping drive puck-possession at even strength as a top-six forward, Eriksson also should play an important role on special teams.

Projected 2014-15 Stats: 27 goals, 40 assists in 80 games

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