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2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Albin Eriksson combines size with one-on-one ability

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Eriksson packs size, skill, and good skating ability. A good option for teams looking to add pure offensive abilities.

Skellefteå AIK

Albin Eriksson is big. That is what everyone seems to agree upon. The left-winger stands at 6’4” and weighs in at 209.5 pounds, according to Skellefteå AIK. The fact that he is born in July, almost a year later than the earliest possible date for the draft, makes him an interesting target to say the least.

Birthplace: Bollnäs, Sweden
Shoots: Right
Position: LW
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 210 lbs.
Youth team: Bollnäs IS, Sweden
Pro team: Skellefteå AIK, SHL

Image credit: EliteProspects

Eriksson has very good hands, and his technical ability stands out, be it with a deke or with a fast snapshot when pouncing on a rebound. Using his handling abilities, he can get himself out of tight situations and create a lane to the net where one wasn’t available.

Albin Eriksson wears #37 with the Skellefteå under-20 team.

His stature also makes it hard to take possession away from him, as he can use his body effectively to create a wall between his opponent and the puck.

Eriksson's skating is one of his strengths, and it is especially impressive for his size. He has good balance, can accelerate out of a dangle, race for loose pucks, and also compete with most peers in top speed. His edge work is also good, but could improve to make his stickhandling moves even deadlier.

That being said, those qualities also make Eriksson prone to trying too much versus opposing defences, something that doesn't always work out for him.

His ability to use others, especially off the rush, needs to be better developed. By continuously attacking the middle of the ice, Eriksson attracts a lot of attention from defenders. He could use this to spring teammates coming in the offensive zone from the outside lanes, instead of trying to go through multiple sticks.

In general, Eriksson would gain to use his vision of the ice in conjunction with his individual abilities. He showcases that he can be a good playmaker at times, freeing others for passes to the slot and creating scoring chances. Eliminating the one-too-many move that places him in situations where he loses possession instead of advancing the play for his team, or prevents him from getting a shot on net, would go a long way into making him an ever-dangerous player; something he has the potential to become.

Added to that, Eriksson uses his size in many good ways, but one thing that stands out is his many penalty minutes: 86 in 38 games. In the Under-18 World Championship, Eriksson also had 27 penalty minutes in his five games with Team Sweden leading up to the WU18 Tournament. It seems that the big Swede is a bit unpolished with the use of his body, especially in regards to the international stage. The physical play needs to be tweaked, but that is something that many NHL GM’s will like too.

Eriksson has played 17 games in the SHL and has an assist to show for the experience gained. He did produce at a high pace with Skellefteå AIK U20’s team, finishing with 40 points (22G, 18A) and a 1.05 points-per-game average. He ramped things up in the playoffs, scoring six assists in the three games he played as part of the U20 team.

Rankings (not all rankings are final)

Future Considerations: #79
The Hockey News: #56
NHL Central Scouting: #22 (European skaters)

Thoughts

With Eriksson, the positives far outweigh the negatives. He has shown that he can produce, be a physical presence, and that he has a heavy shot, which is of a different calibre to many players in his age group.

Add to this elite shot his great hands and the fact that he isn't afraid to try his dangles, plus his relentless forecheck and his good skating ability, and it’s easy to imagine more than a few NHL general managers wanting take a chance on the big winger, especially considering that he already has pro experience.

Eriksson should be selected somewhere in the second round, probably in its latter half. He represents a good option for teams looking to add pure offensive skill.