Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009-10 Preview: Jonathan Ericsson #52

I knew Ericsson was going to be good, but I didn't expect him to be so good, so soon. He's only 25 now, so I see him getting even better in a couple of years. We're not worried about what happens in a couple of years, however. This is a preview of this coming season, so lets get to it:

Ericsson showed off some of his offensive skills during the playoffs, but his strength is his defense and his positioning. With Lidstrom nearing the end of his career, I would love to see Ericsson on the power play from time to time as well as being paired with a veteran. Lidstrom will most likely stay paired up with Rafalski and Kronwall and Stuart are a great match, which leaves Lebda or Lilja. Earlier in the summer, Holland said that he would most likely move a defenseman around training camp or preseason and based on the Wings past decisions on who they keep and who they let go (Kept Chelios and let go Quincy) I wouldn't be surprised if Lebda is job hunting October 1st.

Despite his offensive skills, I don't see him getting more than 5 goals this year, mainly because he'll spend the majority of his time as the 5-6 defenseman. Maybe 8 if he gets the power play minutes I'm hoping for. Add in about 10-15 helpers and a +/- rating of 5 or better and it's a good year for Ericsson.

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