26Axel Andersson
Photo Credit: Johan Sahlen

Flames fourth round targets: Axel Andersson

It’s not terribly difficult to understand why the Calgary Flames keep drafting players from Sweden. Because of the way Swedish hockey organizations are structured, players get a chance to play in different levels of hockey – U18, U20 and pros – and teams can chart their progress. And rather than dominate a level they’ve out-grown, Swedes can be tried out at higher levels and challenged. In recent years, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Linus Lindstrom and Filip Sveningsson have joined a long tradition of Flames picks from Sweden.

While the Flames don’t have a ton of draft choices this year, they may have a chance to add to their long list of promising Swedish players with Djurgardens product Axel Andersson.

Background

A product of Jarna, Sweden – 30 minutes outside of Stockholm – Andersson has one of the best names in the entire draft class. (I think Jett Woo is cooler, but it’s very close.) A 6’0″, 180 pound right shot defender, he’s played in the Djurgardens organization for four seasons.

  • In 2014-15, as a 14-year-old, he had 26 points in 24 games in the U16 league
  • In 2015-16, as a 15-year-old, he had 15 points in 39 games split between the two divisions of the U18 league
  • In 2016-17, as a 16-year-old, he had 11 points in 29 games in the U20 league

He represented Sweden at the Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2016-17, capturing a gold medal.

2017-18 story

Andersson spent his entire 17-year-old season in the U20 SuperElit league. He had 31 points in 42 games, which represented his best offensive performance to-date and the most time he’s spent on a single team as a teenager. He also suited up for Sweden at two major international events: the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the Under-18 Worlds, where he captured bronze.

Our pals at Canucks Army profiled Andersson as part of their draft countdown:

Andersson is a smooth skating defenceman who is skilled with the puck. He makes a good first pass, can skate with speed and precision and very smart with the puck. He allows forecheckers to commit and then will just go the other direction and carry the puck out. He plays the game the way that many teams are building their defence in the sense that he is extremely mobile with the puck, smart with his reads and movements and makes a crisp first pass.

Andersson’s a bit of a gambler, but he was one of the few offense creators on a team that played a fairly low-event style.

The numbers

GP G A P Primary points 5v5 Points 5v5 Primary points NHLe
SuperElit 42 6 25 31 n/a n/a n/a 12.1

Andersson was third in SuperElit in scoring by a blueliner, behind teammate Simon Johansson (who’s 19) and Axel Bergkvist (who’s the same age, but is also 5’8″ and hasn’t made much of an impact on the draft rankings). Despite his offensive success he didn’t get a sniff at the SHL level, but he was 17 for the majority of the season and the big club didn’t have any teenagers on it at all. (They had one 20 year old, everyone else was older and it seems to have been a conscious decision by Djurgardens brass.)

Fit and availability

Andersson fits the Flames’ needs and habits like a glove. A puck-moving, right shot Swedish defender? The Flames scout Sweden endlessly and have a lot of success in that realm, so it’s likely that they’d feel comfortable with the intel they can gather on the player and feel they can help develop him into a well-rounded pro.

Of course, that’s dependent on him being available. Canucks Army has him ranked at 75th and Future Considerations has him at 98th (ISS Hockey has him 107th), so he might be gone by the time the Flames pick. But if he’s available, he’s an offensive-minded Swede with a cool name and would slot right into the organization.

2018 fourth round targets

Axel Andersson | Merrick Rippon | Riley Stotts


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  • The GREAT WW

    I stand by my brilliant trade proposal:
    Brouwer ($1 retained) for Kassian.

    The Oilers need leadership and have probably already inquired (GG) about Brouwer. Maybe just waiting for Brouwer’s list on July 1…..

    They get a cost controlled Brouwer for 2 years at $3.5, and rid themselves of almost $2 for Kassian.

    The Flames get what they need…..

    WW

  • Off the wall

    The Swedes seem to pump out promising defence men.

    He does have a cool name. Axel Andersson. We could use a smooth skating , puck wielding defence. Let’s add to our cupboards another D-man.
    We’ll be known as the defence hoarders!

    • TheDallyLama

      Happy birthday friend. I hear ya about news ? when the Domi for Galchenyuk news broke I was so excited, and that’s regarding two teams I don’t particularly follow lol. When Flames make a trade it’s gona go crazy on FN ?

    • freethe flames

      Happy Birthday Day, yesterdays trade suggests that at least some GM’s are open to make a hockey trade and that’s what the Flames need to do. Someone out there needs d like Brodie and has a RW that would help our team. But both sides need to see it.

    • Kevin R

      Happy Birthday Bro! Ole Eklund site has Flames close on a deal for Skinner with Carolina, who knows, not sure why we would need another LW & Peters pushed him down the lineup. Eklund is right about .0001% of the time anyway. lol

        • Kevin R

          Yeah I dont see the logic in that rumour. Skinner can certainly score.
          I think the focus should be a top 6 RW or Centre. One thing about Tre, expect something no one would have even come close to expecting.

      • Baalzamon

        I really like Skinner for the speed and scoring ability, but you have to wonder (as free mentioned) if he’d even want to come to Calgary. Maybe the relationship with Peters was better than indicated? Another factor in there? Who knows.

        As far as the left shot thing goes, I don’t care all that much in this case. He’s a good player and there’s always room for good players.

        The real question is, though, (you know, other than the NMC) does Calgary even have anything Carolina would want?

      • Off the wall

        Thanks fellas!
        My wife bought me a frying pan for my birthday. It’s a very nice frying pan (mind you) and I do like cooking, but I was feeling morose about it.
        I didn’t want to look disappointed, so I faked being pleased about it. Am I bad?

        At least my step- son got me something manly. A mini keg of imported beer.

        I think I’ll buy my wife a vacuum cleaner for her birthday. We don’t have any carpets though!

        I’ll think of all you fine FN members when I open the keg.
        Cheers!!

        • freethe flames

          Depends if the beer is any good. Some of the imported stuff I have had is great some other is really bad.(Avoid a beer called Berliner at all costs even as a young man me and my group of beer drinking buddies could not finish a 6 pack; it was vile)

  • Baalzamon

    Oh and uh on topic: This guy seems cool. The Flames have two fourth rounders so trading up (if needed) shouldn’t be impossible.

    And I’m not just saying this because I want to type out Axel. Axel.