Mr. Monday: Loui Eriksson

by Chelsea

He’s got points in 8 out of 17 games this season. He’s had two 2-goal nights and three 2-point games. His was the game winning goal in the most recent game. He’s scored in 6 different games, and had a shooting % of 100% in 4 of those. He leads the Stars in goals, with 8. He regularly puts in 15-20 minutes of ice time. He’s worked lines with Richards, Modano, Ribeiro, and Petersen. He’s already beat his own rookie season goal tally, and is over halfway to beating his second season’s.

I did something with Ribeiro once, calculating where he’d be if he played with unfaltering consistency all year. Doing the same for Eriksson, we can widely assume he’ll end the season like so:

Projected Season Previous Best
82 games played 69 games played
38 goals 14 goals
19 assists 17 assists
57 points 31 points
10 PIM 18 PIM
5 GW 0 GW
178 shots on goal 120 shots on goal

These are all very valid reasons to be at the top of our SHR +/-, but they aren’t the main ones. If you watch Eriksson in any given game of late, he’s doing things our big-money players aren’t; he’s pushing to the net. It sounds obvious, but it really is impressive. He challenges opponents for the puck when everyone else is backing out to center ice. He fights for it along the boards (and wins). He carries it into the offensive zone instead of dumping it. Whenever he is on the ice, he’s focused in a way we’ve sorely missed. His many of self-made opportunities are why he’s so high on the list for us.

In case it slipped your attention, I’m going to go ahead and point out that Eriksson is only in his third full season in the NHL. He was Dallas’ second round draft pick in 2003, and played in Sweden (his country of origin) until 2005. He won Rookie of the Year honors his first year in the Swedish Elite League (2004) and later helped his team win the Swedish ice hockey championship (2005).

His debut in North America came with the Iowa Stars, the then-affiliate of the Dallas Stars. After putting up an impressive 60 points that season, he was voted Rookie of the Year for the Iowa Stars and RBK AHL Rookie of the Month for that March. He didn’t debut in the NHL until fall of 2006, where he became one of a small group of Stars to score in their NHL debuts.

Since debuting, he’s played in 145 games, gotten 28 goals and 34 assists, and only 45 PIM.

Even Tampa Bay superstar turned Dallas Star Brad Richards recognizes Eriksson for his talent.

“If there’s anyone I’ve felt comfortable with since I got here, it’s Loui,” Richards said. “He’s a very smart player and does so much defensively, which helps me a lot. He’s very talented.”

Eriksson has a contract with the Stars until 2009-2010, having gotten a 2-year extension last year worth $3.2 million total.

Eriksson is a versatile player. Though he seems to prefer playing with Richards, he has, as mentioned, played with just about every line you can think of. He’s said that he doesn’t mind being either a LW or a RW. He’s also said his strengths as a player are his skating speed, good shot, and going to the goal. Loui’s been a bit of a Stars brass project, given time and space to develop into the player they felt he could be. Meanwhile, he’s done his part by working hard to meet those expectations.

Last year’s playoff run seems to have given Eriksson the burst of confidence he needed to prove his place among our top six forwards, securing himself a starting roster spot this year without any real debate over whether or not he deserved it. And, if there had been debate, he’s surely shushed nonbelievers now.

We at SHR! like to call him Louibot, an affectionate term stemming from this picture:

He’s got a little bit of an evil robot stare, but I greatly prefer it over his french facial hair catastrophe from last postseason.

There’s really not much dirt to dig up on Loui Eriksson. He’s relatively new to the game, and the only dust he stirs up is on the ice. He’s been compared to Jere Lehtinen for his play on the ice, but I’ve got to commend him for his Lehtinen-like ability to keep his private life absolutely private. What we know about Loui is what he wants us to know – that he likes steak, Braveheart, Friends, and Forsberg.

Something he may not want everyone getting a good look at, though:

Few things are as priceless as draft pics.

Ones on couches with dogs (named Bella) aren’t too bad either, though.


One Comment to “Mr. Monday: Loui Eriksson”

  1. I thought he was awsome the first time he came up from IA.

    It was just a feeling, but now my dad thinks I’m a genius. Ha, ha, ha.

    He’s such a sweetheart, though, too.

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