Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins LW
2015-16 stats: 57 games, 20 goals, 25 assists, plus-11 rating, 19:38 ATOI
Cap hit: $4.25 million
Contract status: Unrestricted free agent after 2015-16 season
This is going to sound strange, but Eriksson is the only one of these four forwards I wouldn’t want the Blackhawks to acquire. Pretty simple reason for that: his concussion history. Eriksson suffered two in a five-week span in the 2013-14 season and missed a boatload of time. He doesn’t seem to be feeling ill effects from that now, as evidenced by his stats, but it’s still a major concern when you need guys as healthy as possible for a deep playoff run.
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Beyond that, Eriksson would be a pretty stellar option for the Blackhawks. He’s another bigger guy at 6-foot-3, and he has quite a bit of offensive punch. He’s hit 20 goals in six of his 10 NHL seasons and reached 40 assists three separate times. He’s proven to be useful at even strength, on the powerplay and shorthanded, and his 55.96 Corsi-for mark is solid.
What’s interesting about the Bruins is they’re clearly in the thick of the playoff hunt, holding down the second seed in the Atlantic Division at the time of this post. However, they need to worry about losing Eriksson for nothing once the offseason hits. So they’ll have to weigh keeping Eriksson around for a playoff run versus potentially getting nothing for him after the postseason. The Blackhawks could swoop in with a somewhat-bargain (for them) offer that might not work with teams like the Jets and Coyotes. Despite his offensive ability, I wouldn’t think Eriksson is worth much more than a mid-level draft pick and a package of prospects, with a draft pick potentially coming back to the Blackhawks as well.
Percent chance of Eriksson coming to Chicago: 30 percent
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