Joel Ek Eriksson THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 1/29/1997
Place of birth: Karlstad, Sweden
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2015
THW The Next Ones Rankings (February): not ranked
THW War Room Rankings (March): 29
Future Considerations: not ranked
HockeyProspect.com (February): not ranked
Last Word On Sports (February): not ranked
Craig Button (March): not ranked
CS Final Rankings for European skaters (March): 4
A relative unknown before this season, Joel Ek Eriksson has come on strong and his name has been bantered about as a possible 1st round selection. An intriguing prospect with size, he’s had the benefit of playing in the SHL this season for 34 games. While his scoring wasn’t as prolific as many had hoped, he still gained valuable experience against better competition.
Ek Eriksson won’t be the most gifted or skilled player on your hockey team night in and night out. That’s not a knock on him. That’s just not his style of play. He will, however, be your hardest working player that manages to come out with the puck in a scrum and turn it into an offensive opportunity where there was none before. For as big as he is, Ek Eriksson displays a wide stance when skating and his powerful lower body gives him great balance.
Without the puck he’s just as dangerous. You’d think for a bigger player he’d be easy to spot, yet he finds ways to get into open areas with no one around him to snap a shot past the goalie. With the puck he carries the puck into the high traffic areas and powers his way to the net. It’s difficult to be an effective center in the NHL without the ability to win faceoffs. Luckily for Ek Eriksson, he does just that.
I’ve been most impressed with his mind for the game, especially in the defensive end. Ek Eriksson seems to know where to be at all times to get in front of the puck or break up a play. Scoring and playing in the offensive zone is fun, but that little attention to detail for Joel will go far in his development into the NHL.
Where Will He End Up In June:
There is a slight possibility that Ek Eriksson gets scooped up in the late part of the 1st round, but I feel he’ll get selected in the early 2nd round.
“Another player who has really blossomed into a permanent SHL player during the past few months. What I like most about Eriksson Ek is his attitude and hard work. He might not be a finesse player, but he drives hard to the net and is very physical. Reimnds me somewhat of a young Nino Niederreiter when it comes to his determination.”
Uffe Bodin – hockeysverige.se
“Strong competing centre who plays solid in all zones. A player who at an earlier juncture projected as a low-end roster player who is strong in the dot and very responsible defensively. He is smart and comes to win every night. It isn’t like he is a deft speedster;but he most certainly continues to improve his feet and continue on the uptick as a smart strong-on-the-puck player who reads the situations and knows when to continue carrying and when to find the teammate with a pass. He needs more strength but is strong in traffic and creates space on the attack. He supports well defensively and always instinctively position himself well. He will continue to fill his gangly body out and get even stronger than he already is. There are glimpses of strong offensive instincts that may flourish as he fills out physically. Already creates space and excels in the dot.A long term player who some team will take a chance on.“
Bill Placzek – DraftSite.com
Ek Eriksson has played for Team Sweden five times. In 37 games he’s scored 29 points.
Risk: 1/5 Reward: 4/5
Middle-six center that is defensively responsible, but will be a workhorse in the offensive zone.
Positioning in the offensive zone
Patience with the puck
Plays equally well in all three zones.
Powerful skating stride
Crashes the net
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 6.5/10 Defensive: 5.5/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Nino Niederreiter
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph