Prospect Profiles – Tim Erixon

 

The Flames more recent first round pick spent the entire season in the Swedish Elite League, playing for Skelleftea HC. It was Erixon’s second season playing pro hockey for the club, despite only recent turing 19 in February. He was a depth player for the team as a 17/18 year old, but managed to play a more prominent role in his sophomore season (45 games, 7 goals, 13 points).

Playing pro as a teenager can be a mixed blessing for young players. On the one hand, playing against grown men means competition which is far more analogous to the NHL than, say, junior. On the other hand, they are often the youngest players on the team and, as a result, can be limited in their exposure/role/minutes. The latter issue befell Mikael Backlund when he played for Vasteras IK in the second tier (but still professional) SWE-1 league. His role and minutes were limited in his second season and a rift developed between him and his coach as a result. Fortunately for Backlund, he was drafted by the Kelowna Rockets previously and was able to skip out on Vasteras when it seemed clear that his development was stalling.

Luckily that doesn’t seem to be the case with Erixon. Following is some first hand observations from Adam Savonen, a Swedish sports writer who has been kind enough to share his thoughts on the player before.  

 1.) How good was Skellefteå this year?

Skelleftea progressed for the forth year in a row, since the team came back to the swedish eliteleauge. Skelleftea finished top four and that is the best result in over 25 years. In the playoffs Skellefteå beat Farjestad, but choked in the semifinal against the winner, HV 71. But Skellefteå forced HV 71 to play at their peak.

2.) What role did Erixon play on the team?
 
Erixon has progressed to be a great two-way player. At first, Erixon mainly had defensive tasks, but the coach started to play Erixon on the powerplay more during the season. Erixon showed that he is strong both in the offensive and the defensive game. Erixon made the goal of the year in SEL this season, when he took the puck from own zone and took it all over the field and scored. (shown above)
 
3.) How much ice time did he usually get in a game
 
Erixon played around 20 minutes a game.
 
4.) Did he play on the power play and penalty kill?
 
Erixon played on both special teams on a regular basis.
 
5.) What will his role be on the team next year?
 
Erixon will have a big role next year and will play both powerplay and boxplay.
 
6.) Did you see any improvement in his game this season?
 
Erixon has good level in every game and didn’t make  too many mistakes, even when he did have a bad day. Erixons shot is one of the details he has improved best.
 
Adam also noted that Erixon has committed to returning to Skelleftea, so don’t expect him in Abbotsford or to compete for a spot with the Flames this year. Given the fact that he’s playing a prominent role in a very good league already, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, should Erixon take another step forward in the Elitersen this coming year, he may be able to challenge for a spot on the big club directly in 2011.