Loui Eriksson’s first season in Boston did not go according to plan. At the beginning of the season, he struggled to develop chemistry with his new linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Shortly thereafter, Eriksson suffered a concussion, keeping the Swedish winger out of action for a month. Upon returning from that injury, Eriksson began to find his form, only to suffer a second concussion, resulting in another month lost. Eriksson returned just before the Olympic Break, showing glimpses of the All-Star forward the Bruins had targeted when they dealt Tyler Seguin. On the season, Eriksson posted 10 goals (second lowest total of his career) and 27 assists (fourth lowest total of his career).
Unfortunately for Eriksson, the top two lines had superb chemistry, leaving Eriksson relegated to third line duty. He made the most of the opportunity, forming a dynamic duo with fellow Swede Carl Soderberg. As well as these two performed on the third line, Eriksson’s aspirations remained far greater.
To make matters worse for the team, due to their use of the bonus cushion last season, the Bruins enter this season with dead cap space on the books. Youngsters Torey Krug and Reilly Smith are restricted free agents that are in line for raises, leaving Peter Chiarelli to search for cheaper alternatives to Jarome Iginla.
Do you think Eriksson can step up and be Boston’s new first line right winger? Will he be able to stay healthy for the season? Let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter, and be sure to check back throughout the summer as we gear up for the new season.