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2010/2011 Prospects Thread
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09-06-2009, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Sweden won the tournament by defeating Finland 5-3. Erixon had no points.
Notes on Erixon from two games I saw.
- First and most important comment on his play is how smart he is. From first shift to the end of game he shows smart positioning, smart passing and the whole way he read the game was top notch. There's players who might look good and make smart moves in single shifts but cause terrible giveaway in the next but Erixon isn't that way. He was very consistent from shift to shift and never seemed to get into big trouble (wasn't flashy either though).
- Sometimes perfect positioning isn't enough if opponent is better skater and just flies by and forces slower skater to take hooking penalty. Erixon is a very good skater and not single time opponent beat him in skating race. Many small and speedy opponent's tried it but Erixon never fell behind. And to add Erixon's good size and long reach he was able to pokecheck the puck away and he often got the loose puck by using his frame as a screen to block opponent from getting the puck again.
- Pokechecking was big part of Erixon's defensive play.
- But physical play was not. We know that Lidström rarely hits or uses physical play as a factor but IMO Erixon could play little more physically, at least hit when he has good chance, now he little bit shied away from boards and rather kept himself close to net just using his stick as weapon to get the puck. Dunno if I go too far here but maybe he was too nice as he wasn't aggressive at all. Positiong and skating are the biggest parts of defensive play and physical presence is small factor compared to those two but once he comes over to North America he needs to learn how to use body contact as part of defensive play. Erixon is granted by big body and after he bulks up a little bit he should be capable of handling big powerforwards in the NHL.
Lack of physical play and aggressiveness is propably his biggest weakness. Someone needs to send him compilation of Regehr's biggest hits!!111
- In previous post I mentioned his will to jump into rush but he didn't do it as much against Finland, he did it few times but didn't get scoring chances. Sweden pretty much dominated against Czech and they almost did anything they wanted but todays game was different. Erixon is defence-first guy and maybe he didn't want to take risk as Finland is good in counter-attacks. Can't blame him for thinking defence first but so does Lidström. Believe it or not that (former) 80 point d-man is defence-first guy.
- But. We are expecting him to put up points too. I have read ppl to expect Erixon to score around 35-40 points in his prime and that's somewhat lot of offence. So, I was little disappointed on his offensive play. It's not his play on powerplay, he did well on powerplay. It's not his jumps into rush to the second wave, he did that and had scoring chances too. But it's his passing. Don't get me wrong, he did pass tape to tape and those passes were hard. But those passes were easy ones and he often passed to Rundblad to his side instead of forwards who were leaning into forward. Again, maybe he was thinking safer option instead of taking risk. But because Erixon is so smart and good passer he's capable of giving breakout passes or at least quicker passes which cause always-dangerous counter-attacks.
That was my another issue with him. Playing safe game without risks although he's able to give more challenging passes which would bring bigger reward.
- From passing to shooting. Nothing to complain here. On powerplay he did more passing but had few hard shots. Just few so I can't judge his shot further. It's positive though that his shots didn't end up to first blocking player. Dion, I'm looking at you.
- Another plus comes from on ice leadership. He talked with his teammates a lot and give them instructions, both before faceoffs and during play.
To sum it up, it's looking very good for Erixon and for the Flames for picking him. I won't comment his potential, two games isn't enough for creating strong enough conclusion for his future. But I can tell you he was at the same level with Rundblad and Ekman-Larsson in this tournament.
Ortio was in the net for Finland but he had poor game and Silfverberg's GWG was totally his mistake. It was failed shot from nearly right after blue line and it slipped through Ortio's five hole. Maybe he didn't expect it to come along the ice as he didn't get quick enough in butterfly. He showed good athleticism and quick glove hand but that time he wasn't quick enough and it cost Finland tournament victory (it was shorthanded goal too). Rebound control is his weakness and maybe blocker hand too, I'm not good at analyzing goalies.
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