Joacim Eriksson Interview
Meet Joacim Eriksson, the Flyers top goalie prospect.
Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 7th round (196th overall) in 2008, Joacim Eriksson is currently playing in the Allsvenskan League for Leksands IF. Ed “The Eagle” Belfour and Johan Hedberg have also suited up for Leksands IF.
For my North American friends, Allsvenskan is the second-highest level professional hockey league in Sweden, directly under the Swedish Elite League (SEL).
Coming out of the draft at age 18, Eriksson posted a 1.99 goals-against average with a .930 save percentage in 33 games for team Brynäs in the SuperElit under-20 league. Eriksson was the second ranked goaltender behind Jacob Markström (Panthers first round pick in ‘08).
Just one year later, at just 19, Eriksson has established himself as a premier goaltender in the Allsvenskan. In 15 games played, Eriksson ranks in the top-three of the major goalie categories with a 2.25 goals-against average with a .931 save percentage.
Eriksson is a butterfly goaltender that catches right-handed, has very quick reflexes, moves well side-to-side and also has good hockey sense. He has decent size and covers the net fairly well. He has the ability to virtually stand on his head and make those huge, game-winning saves. When I’ve seen Eriksson play on video and what I’ve seen in pictures – the first goalie that comes to mind is Henrik Lundqvist.
Let me be the first to tell you; Eriksson has what it takes, and if he stays in the Flyers’ organization, he is the goalie the Flyers have been waiting for. As for our interview…short, to the point and one honest goaltender.
DL - First, can you tell me how young you were when you first started playing hockey? And when did you get the idea that you had a future in professional hockey?
JE -I started playing hockey when I was six years old. I have always dreamt about being professional but it wasn’t until I got to be in the national team, was drafted and got to play with Brynäs (2007-08) when I started thinking about it.
DL - How excited were you when the Philadelphia Flyers drafted 2008 NHL Entry Draft? Did you know much about the Flyers?
JE – I was very excited because the National Hockey League is what I always have dreamt about. And I knew a little, like the goalkeepers.
DL - What style of goalie are you? Which NHL goalie would you say your game resembles the most?
JE -I’m a butterfly goalie. I don’t know many, maybe Johan Holmqvist but the plays in Sweden now.
DL - You were the second ranked goaltender coming out of your draft year. Do you have a message for the teams who passed on you in the draft?
JE - No, time will tell if they made a good or bad decision.
DL -What can Flyers fans expect of you in your professional career?
JE - I will always try to do my best and then we will see how far I can go by doing just that.
DL -You’ve been on fire this season for Leksand. How will you improve your game and adjust to the North American game? Do you have any specific expectations for yourself?
JE - I will practice more and always stay focused. As far as expectations, I want to always stay focused (on my game), play well every game and after every game feel that I did my best.
The Goalie Guild has Eriksson ranked number 31 on their Top-100 Prospects Rankings and is currently moving up the list fast. He is starting to turn heads throughout Europe and is finally getting recognized in North America.
Eriksson is turning out to be a late gem of the 2008 NHL draft.