Thanks to a Helpful tip from Joe Fischer from In Lou We Trust, I learned that Hockey Writer and blogger Adam Savonen of Norren.se followed Skellefeftea and SEL last year and had some first hand knowledge of Flames first rounder Tim Erixon as a result. Adam was kind enough to answer some questions I sent his way recently:
1.) What are Erixon's strengths?
Erixon has many skills and stengths. The skating and the playmaking is very good. And he is a very smart player that can adjust his game and take the right decision in every situation. He rarly makes big mistakes. He can handle both the offense and defense.
2.) What are his weaknesses?
He really hasn´t any big weakness, but he could improve his physical game. He could also improve his shot.
3.) I see he played 45 games in the SEL for Skelleftea HC. What was his role as such a young player in a professional league? Did he play a lot or very little? Did he get special teams time (power play or penalty kill)?
He is the one of the youngest player to debut for Skelleftea AIK for many decades. And he
was coached pretty carefully this season. But he had periods of the season when he had a lot of time on ice and even played in the first powerplay line. His role last season was to see and learn, but he got good confidence already the first season. In the playoffs Erixon was out of the team many games, but when we know more, Erixon would have played more.
4.) How would you compare him to David Rundblad
, who was picked slightly earlier in the draft?
David Rundblad is a more offensive player and is a righter. Tim Erixon is a two-way defender with stronger positioning and a stronger defensive side than Rundblad. At the same time Rundblad has stronger offensive and a takes bigger chances in the passing game. Rundblad is already a top player in the elitserien one on one. Erixon is a better skater than Rundblad.
5.) What NHL player would you compare Erixon to?
I see a young Niklas Lidstrom in Tim Erixon.
6.) How do you expect him to do in Sweden this year?
Last year Erixon was the defender 7-9. This year Erixon will have much more responsibility and will be one of the six defenders that plays every game. Skelleftea still have to sign at least two more defenders, but Erixon will play more on special teams this year. In first hand he will play in powerplay, but it is possible that he will play in boxplay (penalty kill, I assume - ed.) also.
Thanks to Adam for his insight. I'll endeavor to keep up with him during the season so we can get updates on Erixon's progress. Those of you who can read Swedish can visit him at his own blog here