Coyotes 2022 Offseason Player Reviews: Loui Eriksson

In this week’s edition of the Arizona Coyotes 2021-22 offseason player reviews, we’ll take a look at veteran forward Loui Eriksson. After being acquired during the offseason from the Vancouver Canucks along with teammates Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel for Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Swede suited up for 73 games with the Coyotes this past season.

Loui Eriksson Arizona Coyotes
Loui Eriksson, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This past season was just average for Eriksson, as he set his highest career point total since the 2018-19 season but ultimately did not earn himself a contract extension with the Coyotes. Nevertheless, he provided a veteran presence and contributed at points when the team needed it. Officially a free agent, the question remains whether the Swede will call it a career or find another NHL contract this summer.

Eriksson’s Season in Review

Eriksson’s past season with Arizona was nothing spectacular. He played the most games out of the trio acquired from Vancouver while managing to record three goals and 16 assists while adding six penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-18. Unlike his Vancouver teammates, he managed to stay in the lineup consistently, averaging almost 13 minutes a night of ice time.

Related: Coyotes 2022 Offseason Player Reviews: Jay Beagle

Despite not playing a huge role on the team compared to some, Eriksson completed a milestone this past year, playing 1,000 career games in the NHL. Regardless, he still proved at times to be an effective bottom-six forward registering 23 blocked shots. He also was a solid veteran to the team’s younger core, taking command and sticking up for his teammates. While he’s not a big offensive contributor at this point of his career anymore, he proved he could still command a one-year deal on some other team.

What Eriksson Can Improve On

While his NHL career seems to be coming to an end, Eriksson has areas to work on, especially if he’s looking for another NHL contract. In his case, he struggles to keep up with the pace of the game, getting caught flat-footed and was at times, careless with the puck. The bulk of his struggles primarily came on the team’s penalty-killing unit, one that killed off only 75 percent of its penalties.

Loui Eriksson Arizona Coyotes
Loui Eriksson, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Despite some struggles, Eriksson played as well as he could on a rebuilding team. In addition to 1,000 games, he hit some other milestones such as 350 assists and 600 career points. He also played a huge role in the team’s lackluster penalty-killing unit and even scored three short-handed goals. He was a leader in the locker room and a tough competitor, earning himself respect from his teammates, despite being a quiet guy most of the time. Without question, while he wasn’t great, he proved he could still play the game effectively.

Eriksson’s Next Move

This summer will determine Eriksson’s next move. Officially a free agent, general manager Bill Armstrong has the power to either bring him back or look to replace him. He’s currently 36 years old and has slowed down significantly. While a return to the team on a significant pay cut isn’t out of question, expect him to sign elsewhere, especially if he’s looking for a chance to capture that elusive Stanley Cup.

As much as ‘King Loui’ is loved by fans, his era in the desert seems to be over. The Coyotes are only going to get younger, and while they certainly plan to bring on more expiring contracts, Eriksson’s next home looks to be somewhere else.

What do you think of Eriksson? Let us know in the comments section below. Next week is defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok.

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