Friday, February 26, 2016

Loui Eriksson - A highly speculated trade from Boston by deadline

Loui Eriksson is a 30 year old Right Winger currently with the Boston Bruins.  He started out his Pro Hockey career with the Swedish league playing alongside Carl Soderberg.  In 2013 he was drafted by the Dallas Stars and played with their AHL affiliate the Iowa Stars until 2006.  In the 2008-2009 season Eriksson had his first phenomenal year where he scored 36 goals for the Dallas Stars.  He attended his first All Star Game in 2011 where he had two assists and the game winning goal.  Eriksson was traded to the Boston Bruins in July of 2013.  As of 2/24/2016 he has 23 goals and 25 assists in 61 games so far this season.  Eriksson has had a 20+ goal yeas in 3 of the last 5 seasons including so far this season.

With Loui Eriksson having one of the highest point totals for impending UFA players this season he is in a great position for trade to anyone looking to add strength to their offence during post season.  Eriksson is coming off of a 6 year $25.5 million dollar contract at the end of this year and might be able to be traded without a huge raise in pay expected.  Also as he is having one of his best seasons in the last few years it is a great time for the Bruins to trade him.  There seems to be quite a bit of interest in acquiring Eriksson by several teams who are looking for offencive help in the upcoming post season.

For the Pacific Division the two teams showing the most interest are not surprisingly the Anaheim Ducks and the L.A. Kings.  Of those two possibilities I think the Ducks are a more likely trade and also a better fit for Eriksson.

The Anaheim Ducks after having clawed their way back from a rocky first part of the season which landed them near the bottom of the Pacific Division are now in a very strong playoff position heading into post season.  One of the things they are most in need of is added offencive power and goal scoring ability down in the front of the net.  Loui Eriksson is a great choice for that especially with the season he has been having recently.  As I mention in a previous article here on The Hockey Agenda, Frederik Anderssen - A Likely Trade Option from the Ducks, there have been rumors of a potential three way trade between the Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins, and Anaheim Ducks.  This trade would end up with Frederik Andersen in Calgary, Kris Russell in Boston, and Loui Eriksson in Anaheim.  The Ducks however could also arrange for a straight trade with the Bruins offering up Sami Vatanen and or Hampus Lindholm in exchange for Loui Eriksson.

The L.A. Kings have also made some quiet rumblings about adding Eriksson to their line.  The advantages for the Kings would be found in the versatility of Loui Eriksson, he can play effectively on either the right or left wing.  Additionally he has taken only 4 penalties in 61 games and averaged nearly 20 minutes on the ice per game.  Eriksson could bring some valuable added strength to the King's penalty kill unit.  He would also make a fairly comparable replacement for the injured Marion Gaborik, who is still questionable for return by post season.  The biggest question for the Kings is what would they be able to offer Boston in exchange for Eriksson.  The possibilities would be a 1st round draft pick in 2017 plus one or more of their better prospective players like Nic Dowd, Adrian Kemper and or Valentin Zykov.  This I see as being  a realistic possibility.  Their other option would be to trade Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin or Brayden McNabb.  I do not see the Kings being willing to part with either Martinez or Muzzin in any potential trade by Monday's 2/29 deadline.  Brayden McNabb is more reasonable for trade, but still I believe highly unlikely prior to post season.  The other reason I feel that the Kings are not as likely a landing place for Loui Eriksson is that I just don't think they would be able to match his current salary.

The pacific Division is by no means the only possible trade destination for Loui Eriksson.  There are several other teams reportedly interested in him.  The Saint Louis Blues are in need of healthy power on the ice due to recent injuries.  There is a possibility that could work out if the Blues could offer up a comparable trade.   Also rumored to be in the running to offer a trade for Eriksson are the Nashville Predators.  The Predators are also looking to beef up their offencive strength going into the playoffs.  Eriksson could be a great fit there since he has experience playing with both Neal and Ribeiro from their time in Dallas together.

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