Coming in at number seven on our list is Andreas Johnson, who has really made a name for himself in the last calendar year. In our 2013 list, he didn’t crack the top 20. Even more, he has jumped seven (!) spots since the midterm rankings.
In those midterm rankings, Justin Fisher blessed us with this:
Johnson has impressed at the international level, scoring three goals and three assists in seven games for Team Sweden at this month’s IIHF World Junior Championships, a tournament in which Johnson was voted one of Sweden’s Best Players selected by tournament coaches.
Since then, Johnson’s incredible rise has continued. His 24 points in 44 games for Frolunda in the SHL exceeded any realistic expectations that anyone could have had before the season started, and has made him one of the most exciting prospects in the Leafs system.
And his offensive tear doesn’t seem to be ready to stop anytime soon: in his 3 games so far in the Champions Hockey League, he has 11 points. That’s good enough for second in the tournament behind his teammate Mathis Olimb, who has played one more game than Johnson. I think this tweet from Corey Pronman sums up the beginning of his tournament well:
9 points in 2 games for TOR’s Andreas Johnson to start Champion League play. I’m going to go ahead and call that #good.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) August 23, 2014
Yes, #good indeed.
There’s a lot to love about Johnson. He has the total package on the offensive side of the puck, other than size. But that whole size thing doesn’t seem to matter as much when a player has a high skill level, and Johnson has that.
There are always concerns about a high octane offensive ~Euro~ translating well to North America, but I’ll be darned if Johnson isn’t the second most exciting – that doesn’t necessarily mean best – prospect in the pipeline right now.
Johnson is going to continue playing in the SHL this season, which is the best option for him. He’s already shown that he can compete very well in a men’s league, and should continue to do so. It will be interesting to see what the Leafs do with him after this year. This is a guy that they need to have a concrete plan for because he seems to have the look of a potential top six NHLer in his future.
How Swede would it be to see a Nylander-Johnson duo in the AHL and NHL? Very Swede. Super swede. Swede.