After months of speculation and occasional fan panic, the Toronto Maple Leafs have delighted prospect enthusiasts everywhere by finally signing Swedish prospect Andreas Johnson to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Johnson was drafted by the Leafs in the 7th round of the 2013 Entry Draft, and has greatly exceeded every expectation since. After years of climbing up Frolunda’s youth system, Johnson finally made the jump to the men’s team in 2013/14, and managed a pace of just over a half point per game as a 19 year old. In the same year, he picked up six points in seven games in the World Juniors, and 13 points in 15 games with the Swedish Junior National Team. This was enough to earn him rookie of the year honours and, more prestigiously, a 7th-place spot in our preseason prospect rankings.
If that wasn’t enough, his past season turned out to be an even bigger coming-out party. The winger scored 22 goals and 13 assists in 55 games, good for third on his team. His true offensive explosion, however, came in the Champions Hockey League. In twelve games against some of Europe’s best teams, Johnson put up a mind-numbing 25 points in twelve games. For this, he jumped up to second place on our mid-term rankings.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this. The initial thought would be that Johnson will join the Marlies next season, carrying with him pre-existing professional experience while still maintaining the youth that the organization wants out of the team. Over there, he’ll have the opportunity to play with many of his fellow countrymen, a list that could potentially include Viktor Loov, Petter Granberg, Tom Nilsson, and William Nylander.
Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson will play another year in Sweden. Expect him in Toronto (Leafs or Marlies) in 2016-17 though.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) June 5, 2015