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Andersson adding next dimension

Published Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 11:25 p.m. under 2011-12 RWC Reports
Joakim Andersson

Joakim Andersson (Credit: Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins)

Joakim Andersson has suddenly added an offensive dimension to the rock-solid defensive game the Detroit Red Wings were already extremely excited about.

The second-year American Hockey League forward has enjoyed a six-goal outburst over his past eight games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, just one goal shy of his 79-game rookie total. He also has an assist in that stretch and has 14 points through 22 games overall.

It’s a big step toward Andersson becoming a complete player.

“You can’t say enough good things about what this kid does for this hockey team,” Griffins head coach Curt Fraser told the Grand Rapids Press last week. “He plays against all the other teams’ best lines every night, he produces offense, he’s our best defensive player, penalty killer … He’s just a real solid player for us and it’s nice to see him get rewarded for that hard work.”

The Red Wings selected Andersson in the third round (88th overall) in 2007 and have been patient with his development. He spent one season in the Swedish Allsvenskan and two seasons in the Swedish Elite League before signing a three-year contract and coming to North America, but this is by far the best offensive stretch he has enjoyed — at any level — since being drafted.

The 22-year-old former Swedish world junior captain has been compared to Samuel Pahlsson. The biggest knock against him, his skating, has improved to the point where Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said in September 2010 that Andersson would “play in the league” because “he’s big, he’s heavy, and he knows how to play with and without the puck.”

If Andersson continues his strong play, he could push for a call-up later in the season and could challenge for a full-time job in Detroit as early as next season. He could be a good fourth-liner right away with room to develop into a quality third-liner in the future.

NOTES: Forward Philippe Hudon (Victoriaville, QMJHL) has abandoned his plan to play college hockey at Cornell and will play in the QMJHL. He had an assist in his first two games for high-powered Victoriaville last week … Defenseman Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, WHL) has returned back to earth after a hot start. He has just a goal and an assist in his past 18 games, a stark contrast to the 12 points he had in his first 13 games … Defenseman Ryan Sproul (Sault Ste-Marie, OHL) is tied for 11th in the league with a team-best plus-16 rating … Forward Louis-Marc Aubry (Grand Rapids, AHL) had a three-point game last week with a goal and two assists against Toronto.

Following is this week’s statistical report.


Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids PRO AHL 21 5 4 9 5 -3 54
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids PRO AHL 16 4 4 8 17 -1 20
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 7 17 24 6 +2 62
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 5 11 16 13 +1 72
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 6 8 14 16 +1 49
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids PRO AHL 16 3 2 5 8 -3 30
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids PRO AHL 13 1 0 1 48 -2 14
Ehrhardt, Travis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 3 0 0 0 9 -1 5
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 2 2 4 11 -8 25
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 3 8 11 4 -3 53
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids PRO AHL 14 0 1 1 0 0 22
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids PRO AHL 19 2 2 4 12 -3 19
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 16 2 8 10 28 +2 34
Piche, Sebastien Grand Rapids PRO AHL 10 0 2 2 7 -3 10
Pyett, Logan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 22 0 11 11 12 +5 56
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids PRO AHL 11 2 1 3 2 -1 17
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids PRO AHL 3 1 1 2 2 0 1
Fournier, Gleason Toledo PRO ECHL 17 1 8 9 12 -1 38
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo PRO ECHL 4 0 1 1 2 -3 5
Parkes, Trevor Toledo PRO ECHL 3 3 0 3 2 +1 11
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Boisbriand JR QMJHL 28 7 9 16 37 -13 83
Macek, Brooks Calgary JR WHL 27 6 12 18 11 +7 N/A
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current JR WHL 31 3 11 14 41 -16 N/A
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver JR WHL 30 14 22 36 16 +2 N/A
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie JR OHL 30 8 14 22 31 +16 N/A
Quine, Alan Peterborough JR OHL 29 11 20 31 2 -7 N/A
Jurco, Tomas Saint John JR QMJHL 27 19 20 39 21 +25 110
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville JR QMJHL 2 0 1 1 2 0 6
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State COL NCAA 18 1 10 11 2 +3 27
Nicastro, Max Boston U. COL NCAA 13 1 3 4 14 +1 17
Cayer, Julien Clarkson COL NCAA 14 5 2 7 8 -2 24
Marshall, Ben Minnesota COL NCAA 18 2 4 6 23 +10 41
Sheahan, Riley Notre Dame COL NCAA 16 5 12 17 12 +2 54
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit EUR FIN 29 9 19 18 4 -3 127
Almquist, Adam HV-71 EUR SEL 26 3 7 10 16 +14 N/A
Axelsson, Dick MoDo EUR SEL 15 5 4 9 37 -3 N/A
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 29 7 12 19 10 -8 N/A
Backman, Mattias Linkoping EUR SEL 24 1 5 6 10 +5 N/A
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 4 0 0 0 2 -3 2


Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 26 15 6 4 0 3.14 .907
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 9 1 5 0 1 3.81 .867
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 7 4 3 0 0 3.17 .896
McCollum, Thomas Toledo ECHL 5 1 3 0 0 2.57 .914
  1. motowndm says:

    With the Red Wings needing an infusion of young guys with size, looks like Andersson has an excellent chance to make the team next year. Should be at least 3 forward spots open as surely Holland does not re-sign Homer, Hudler, and Bertuzzi. Bring Joakim up later in the year when injuries start and give him a good look for 15 games or so.

  2. ScubaSteve says:

    I agree with you motowndm that the Wings are looking good for the future with size but I don’t think Andersson makes the team next year. Sure Hudler, Homer, and Bertuzzi are gone but the Wing’s have a deep bottom 6 with Cleary, Helm, Abdelkader, Miller, Mursak, and Eaves. I also expect that Holland will try to add another top 6 forward, or if possible two, to play with Dats, Z, Filps, and Franzen. I just don’t see were Andersson would fit into that picture. I think Nyquist and Tatar are far more likely to make the roster next season as they have top 6 potential whereas Andersson is expected to be a third liner at best. Not saying Andersson won’t turn out to be a great player for the Wings, I just find it hard to believe that it will happen next year as there is no need for him yet.

  3. Joakim says:

    With great probability, there will sometime in the season be a cluster of injuries in the bottom 6. If Andersson continues to work hard, I believe that his first NHL game shouldn’t be too distant.

    With respect to the future line-up, I think Holland’s job will be quite difficult. The Red Wings can’t just go and sign some random player, they need players who are ‘elite’. But they really can’t overpay either. So it basically has to be someone who is both elite and would sacrifice pay to play with the Red Wings. But then again, how many such players are there in the free market? Holland would likely have to trade, but then there is a whole other level of complexity in that the other GM gets a vote. In the end, I think it comes down to Holland keeping his eyes and ears open and seizing the opportunity when it shows up. I’m sure he’s looking at Parise and Weber, but how much should be given up in a trade – more desperate teams can always raise their bids in terms of prospects and draft-picks. All of a sudden, resigning Hudler doesn’t seem like such a bad move.

    Ultimately, the Red Wings are going to need organic growth within the organization, from players like Filppula, Helm, Abdelkader, and in the longer term they’ll need their prospects blossoming.

  4. motowndm says:

    You could be right Scubasteve about Andersson, but I don’t think Holland gives either Miller or Cleary another contract after next year. If they do get contracts it will be one yr durations as there are a slew of prospects (forwards) looking for spots in the next 2-3 yrs; Nyquist, Tatar, Jurco, Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen, and possibly a couple of sleepers. Holland will get a top 6 forward before trade deadline that he can re-sign, and hopefully swing a trade for another top 6’er. In 3 yrs time we will see an entirely new team save for 5-6 currently on roster. Love the change that’s coming.

  5. Mike Suggs says:

    Motown-Except that Miller just signed a 2 year deal during the offseason, so we’d have him for all of next season as well, unless we package him in a trade or send him to the minors (which I believe is highly unlikely). Holland will have a lot of decisions to make in the next 1-3 years about whether to give our prospects a shot or not. We are pretty top heavy with 3rd and 4th line forwards, so we have to part ways with someone. I’m willing to bet Emmerton won’t be around, because Mursak brings more speed and has produced more at the AHL level.

    I’d also be comfortable in saying Holmstrom and Bertuzzi may retire after this season, and unless Hudler starts putting the puck in the net, he probably won’t be offered a contract, as others have pointed out. That being said, does Holland look to free agency for a big name guy to fill the top 6? Or does he put a guy like Nyquist in there? Tatar will probably start in a bottom 6 role at first, but he will push for a job. What about Jarnkrok and Pulkkinen? They both probably need to be brought over sooner rather than later, and AT LEAST get some AHL time if there’s no room when they get brought over. Then there’s Jurco who has been a monster this season, he’ll get an AHL job next year. Plus Sheahan has amped up his offense, he will push for a job too. It’ll be interesting to say the least, to see how this all plays out. I trust Kenny and our management team though.

  6. teldar says:

    I think it’ll take a little longer of consistent production before anyone will push for a job. It’s going to take more than a hot streak for both sheahan or andersson to be considered significant options.

  7. Levi says:

    I honestly do not see Andersson getting a call up any time soon. With the depth on the farm in front of him there is no way. There would have to be a whole lot of injuries. With Conner coming up now plus Nyquist, Tatar and Mursak not a chance. In regards to Jarnkrok, Jurco and Pulkkinen we probably will not see any of them wearing the Winged wheel full time for 3 years. We really do have a log jam of 4th line players. Eaves, Miller, Emmerton, Mursak and a bunch of other guys in GR that wouldn’t be considered any higher than 3rd liners on a good day. That being said I can see some moving at the trade deadline. Probably Emmerton more than anyone. Goalie prospect are not looking to hot at the moment, better turn that around.

  8. Mike Suggs says:


    I completely agree. Guys are going to have to prove they can do it consistently, but the season is still young, so we could see them keep it up all year. When I say push for a job, I mean mostly for a job in Grand Rapids. Obviously guys like Sheahan and Jurco will go to the AHL first. Part of me says Jarnkrok and Pulkkinen may just stay in Europe until they’re ready to make the NHL jump, but you never know, they could see AHL time too.

    As far as NHL jobs are concerned, there are still a lot of decisions to be made. Mursak needs to be given time to prove what he can do, especially since he is coming off of an injury. I also believe Tatar and Nyquist will really give the management something to think about. Both are young, and I know we like to let guys over ripen, but we can’t just keep them down if they would truly benefit more by being in the NHL. Like I said, I just think it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  9. [...] Andersson adding next dimension (Red Wings Central) [...]

  10. teldar says:

    I was just thinking about Pulkkinen the other day. Detroit doesn’t really have a sniper like him in the organization. I know that the pay scale differences between the european leagues and the AHL make it less likely someone is going to come across the pond to play in the minors, but it would be great to see what he can do.
    I guess the fact there is no deadline for either him or Jarnkrok to sign is a good thing. I assume Detroit retains their rights in the NHL until they decide it is time to give it a try. Could be wrong on that one though.
    As much as it’s nice to see players stick around, I think Detroit needs to develop a new strategy for some of the 4th liners. I think it’s about time to see what some of the youngsters can do in the AHL or some of the AHL guys in the NHL. Either time to not renew a contract or time to trade a few prospects for a first line guy. Quick Launch

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