By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Axel Andersson was drafted in the second round, 57th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Boston Bruins were pretty thrilled when he fell to them in the second round. The Native of Sweden is a quick, offensive-minded defenseman who can seemingly create a scoring opportunity of nowhere. He’s the type of player that can quarterback the offense from the backend. It’s simple to see why the Bruins took Andersson, let’s see what he did leading up to and after being drafted.
Axel Andersson spent the 2017-18 season with Djurgardens IF of the J20 Superelit league which is Sweden’s high-level junior hockey league. In 42 games with the club, the young defenseman netted six goals while dishing out 25 assists for 31 total points and a plus/minus of 14. In the team’s three playoff games he didn’t register a point had a plus/minus of minus one. It was an excellent season for the native of Sweden. He was able to showcase his speed, and offensive ability.
Andersson’s passing ability is the strongest part of his offensive game, but he has an underrated shot as well. It’s deceptively fast and accurate. Though he may be offensive-minded, his defensive ability is also strong. He has the potential and ability to be a top-four defenseman for an NHL team. Given his ability, it’s pretty evident to see why the Boston Bruins were so high on Andersson.
The 2018-19 season was an interesting one for Andersson. He was too talented to play in the J20 Superelit league again, so he went to Sodertalje SK of HockeyAllsvenskan on loan. HockeyAllsvenskan is Sweden’s second-highest hockey league. In 41 games with the club, he didn’t find the back of the net but did dish out five assists for five points and a plus/minus rating of five. Sodertalje SK didn’t make the playoffs so after their season Andersson was returned to Djurgardens IF of the J20 Superelit.
The young defenseman would play in their eight playoff games not finding the back of the net and dishing out one assist for one total point and a plus/minus rating of two. While the offensive numbers don’t jump out at you off a scoresheet, that is likely because Andersson was playing a lesser role for Sodertalje SK. This means the numbers aren’t truly indicative of how well he played.
The 2019-20 season will be an intriguing one to watch for Andersson. The young defenseman could be playing in a few different places depending on how he does in training camp with the Providence Bruins. Andersson was taken 30th overall in the 2019 CHL Import Draft by the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. This means that if the Bruins don’t feel like he’s ready for the AHL that they can send him to Moncton for the season. Ultimately, I think Andersson is talented enough to stick in the AHL.
The young defenseman is one of the more interesting prospects in the system. The organizational depth at defense for Boston is very good. So while the position may be a bit crowded, I think Andersson can be better than most of the players currently in the system. I am really excited to see what he can become for the Bruins. As a whole, we as a fanbase should be thrilled about the defense moving forward. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the pre-season and feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always GO, Bs, GO!