Yes, it's that time of year where we all get really excited about WJC rosters. I'm going to look at the various Flames prospects that make the teams (or come close to it) over the next week or so, break down their playing styles, and what this WJC time can mean for their development and the Flames.
Hey look- another Flames D prospect! Seriously- do we have any forward prospects in junior still besides Ryan Howse (who has since been cut from the Canadian WJC team)? Anyways, Tim Erixon made the preliminary roster for the Swedish team, and is nearly a lock for the final roster (it's really really hard to find roster cuts for foreign teams. TSN only has the preliminary rosters). How's his season going- and how does he look to do in the WJC? Read on, dear reader, read on.
Drafted 23rd overall just a couple years ago, Tim Erixon is filling out and learning a solid role on the blueline. He nows weighs in at 205 pounds, which isn't bad for a 6'1" frame. He's a very solid two-way defender. He might not hit fifty points in a season or shut down Sidney Crosby completely in a game, but he'll do a pretty good job on both ends of the ice, and won't quit.
This year, in the SEL, Erixon is on pace for a career high in points, with three goals and twelve assists. He's averaging 19:52 of ice time a game, a career high, and plays on the top pairing for Skellefteå AIK alongside the awesomely named David Round Leaf (I think- I had trouble finding this, so that pairing may just be wishful thinking on my part).
To make a point- that's two more minutes a game than projected top 3 NHL draft pick Adam Larsson.
Erixon is a type of player I'd like to compare to everyone's favorite Flame, Mark Giordano. He competes every shift, blocks shots, makes good defensive poke checks, but he's just as dangerous in the offensive zone.
So what's he won? Well, not a whole lot. He was on the silver medal WJC team in 2009, but that's really about it. SAIK, however, is on pace for the #2 seed in the league, giving him a shot at some post-season glory.
His previous WJC have definitely shown a progression in playing capability. His first year he earned a grand total of zero points in 6 games. Last he put up a goal and two assists as well as ten penalty minutes. This year? Expect to see him on the top pairing next to Oliver Ekman-Larson and grab more than a couple assists. It's hard to say if he'll make it to the Flames at some point, especially given their defensive depth, but he's absolutely growing as a player, and this is a great chance to see how much.