Andreas Johnsson is a ready-made JVR replacement

The Toronto Marlies are currently sat at the top of the AHL North Division and look like a sure fire bet to go on a deep Calder Cup run this year.

The Marlies are stacked in every department. But the one player catching everyone’s eye is 2013 7th round pick Andreas Johnsson.

The Swede had a productive youth career in Sweden – playing for Frolunda U16, U18 and U20 before making his first senior appearances during the 2012-13 season. The 2013-14 season saw Johnsson really make his impact for Frolunda where he scored 15 goals and 24 points in 24 games.

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The following season, 2013-14, Johnsson finished 24th in league scoring with 35 points. The Swede though finished fifth in goals with 22.

Johnsson’s final season, 2014-15,  in Sweden was his best as he finished sixth in league scoring with 44 points in 52 games.

The Leafs signed Johnsson to a three year entry level deal prior to the 2015-16 season as they looked to nurture this raw talent into a steady NHL player.

Over the past two seasons Johnsson has put up an impressive 99 points in 126 games for the Marlies. The Leafs have a player here who is speedy and clever with his hands – exactly the way in which the League is going.

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The NHL has become a league for the smaller skilled player and Johnsson fits that mould perfectly. If we look at some of the goals he has scored, you can see the raw talent that the young Swede has at his disposal.

Johnsson has a stunning wrist shot and is handy around the net. His goals show a player who can score all types of goals – but more impressive than that is the fact that Johnsson is playing some penalty kill minutes. We have already seen Kasperi Kapanen play PK in the big league after he was given the chance to do so in the AHL and Johnsson could offer the Leafs another adequate penalty killer.

This summer sees the likely departures of JVR and Komarov and with that presents an opportunity for the Leafs depth wingers to staple their claims to the NHL roster. Johnsson has shown with his play in the AHL these past two seasons that he could offset JVR’s goal scoring and Komarov’s penalty killing.

Johnsson currently has 16 PP points this season and the Marlies have a phenomenal 89.2% penalty kill – the best in the AHL this season. So Johnsson is a great PP player and clearly has some penalty killing skills since he kills off an average of 2:39 minutes per game on the league’s best PK.

So yes the Buds will miss JVR. But Johnsson will lessen that blow and show the value of this 7th round gamble. The Leafs have a few potential replacements for JVR but the Swede looks to be the best option of them all.

Here are some lovely Johnsson GIFs/videos for you all to enjoy!

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  • Skill2Envy

    It seems like forever that fans were waiting for Johnsson to cross the pond to play AHL hockey.

    His game has translated and it seems he will be just as good in the NHL as people thought he might be.

  • Matmarwill

    What a great story Andreas has. Last round pick, takes several years to develop in the shl, then spends two great seasons in the AHL, and now he’s ready to make the jump to the show. Hope he has a great Calder Cup run.