In The Hockey News (12/17/12 issue), they look at 2012 4th four pick Calle Andersson who is playing in Sweden. They write that “Andersson was killing it on Farjstad’s junior squad with 9 goals and 17 points in 12 games, but only had one point in 18 games with the big club.”
Andersson is the youngest person on his team and one of the youngest players in the Swedish Elite League. He is averaging under 7 minutes a game in the SEL.
He finished the season playing 27 games for the junior team and 34 for the elite league team.
For the junior team, Andersson had 11 goals and 16 assists in 27 games.
In the elite league, Andersson had one goal and one assist in 34 games.
At Hockey’s Future, after the season, Leslie Treff wrote of Andersson that the Rangers see him as a potential PP QB down the line and he is one of the few offensive defensemen in the organization. He played very well against kids his own age and had three points in the World Juniors this past year. Andersson can play for Sweden in the World Juniors again this year and he is expected to spend the season in the Swedish Elite league.
He is expected to spend a few more seasons in Europe before coming to North America.
Corey Pronman, from Puck Prospectus, is a big fan and says, “Andersson is gifted puck-mover who can control the puck on an individual level well with a good panic threshold. He tends to make impressive plays coming out of his zone or from the blue line and his passes are always crisp and on target.”
Gordie Clark told Blueshirts United that Andersson has been dominating the junior league over there. All the reports are that when a big goal or big play is needed he is doing that
Read: Calle Andersson Prospect Preview
In the 2011 NHL Draft, most of the talk regarding the Rangers draft day was centered on 1st and 2nd round selections of Brady Skjei and Boo Nieves. However, in the 4th round the Rangers just might have found a diamond in the rough by selecting Defenseman Calle Andersson; which could turn out to be one of the best 4th round selections in Ranger history. Ironically, the Rangers also drafted Calle’s father. Peter, in the 4th round in 1992 (played 39 games over two seasons from 1992-94). “He’s a very gifted passer, which is what you need from the defense position in today’s game” said Ranger Draft guru Gordie Clark. The 6’2/211 pound Andersson is a right hand shooter and is an excellent skater and an even more efficient passer. While playing for Farjestad Junior team in Sweden, Andersson collected 12 goals and 24 assists in 49 games. According to many in the Rangers organization, Andersson is developing ahead of schedule and could be poised to compete for a roster spot as early as 2014.
Andersson has seven goals and six assists playing for Farhestad’s under 20 team this year.
While playing six games with the big club in Farjestad, Andersson is scoreless.
THN.com: Andersson is a very good skater; he accelerates quickly and skates with good top end speed. He has good agility and excellent edgework which allows him to make crisp pivots and tight turns. He is able to quickly change direction and this quickness helps him to stop the opponent’s rushes. Andersson is also a fluid and quick backwards skater. He is well balanced and strong on his skates, which makes him tough to knock off the puck. Andersson has some very good offensive skills as well as his point shot is accurate and he has a good release and one-timer. He has good hockey IQ and understands when to pinch or join the rush. Andersson is an effective stick-handler and protects the puck well from his opponents. Andersson’s defensive game is unpolished as he will often go for the stick check when he should be looking to lay a hit on the opposition. Andersson projects as a slick defenseman with offensive flair. We would compare his max potential to become a defenseman similar to Marek Zidicky. Red Line Report (RLR): Andersson style of play is compared to Christian Backman. “A mobile defender with good size (6’2/211). Andersson stood out for all the right reasons during the U-18 WJC. He found himself logging major minutes in all critical and crucial situations. An effective two-way blue-liner who gets his stick in the passing lanes and uses his strong skating ability to position himself in the defensive zone. He will need to use his size more at the next levels (AHL and NHL), but has the potential to be a top 4 defensemen. Hockey’s Future: Currently rated as the Rangers 3rd best defensemen (Brady Skjei and Dylan McIIrath) in their system, Andersson shows flashes of his skill, but there appears to be a dimension of his game that is missing. He struggled against better competition at the World U18 Championships because he wasn’t quick enough to make plays with the puck. His skating is above average as he has a good stride and shows some explosiveness out of the gate. Andersson will return to U20 juniors next season; which should give him ample ice time to iron out his game.
Strengths: Very mobile and is an exceptional passer. Steady in all three zones and has a very high hockey intelligence. Well above average skater with a well rounded game. Weaknessess: Will need to be more physical at the next levels (AHL and NHL). At times, relies on stick checks instead of using the body and makes poor decisions on defensive coverage. Futue Analysis: Many believe that Andersson was a steal in the 4th round and has the potential to be a solid top 4 two-way defenseman in the NHL. Still needs some developing to compete by 2014. There have been many comparsions regarding Andersson ( Christian Backman and Marek Zidicky). While comparsions are similar; to me, Andersson reminds me a great deal of former Ranger Kim Johnsson.
Leslie Treff writes at Hockey’s Future that Andersson is a “true puck moving defenseman.”
She adds, “Andersson came to the Rangers’ development camp last month and was very visible at times off the offensive blue line. He has good speed and a very crisp first pass. He will need some time to develop in Europe and then to get used to the NHL-size rink and play more of a positional game, but Andersson has the potential to be a more offensive addition to the Rangers blue line.”
Treff writes that Andersson is expected to play in the Swedish Elite League next season and could be in North America the following season if he does well.
Anderson, who was ranked 39th by Future Considerations, “A smart, two-way defenseman who makes consistently good decisions. His skating has improved this year to a strength as he is very mobile and has quick with agile feet. He plays the game cool and calm, both with and without the puck on his stick. He reads the play extremely well and has great anticipation. He knows his positioning and where to be to stifle an attack as well as what to do to support an offensive play.”
In his final rankings at ESPN Insider, Grant Sonier had Andersson ranked 36th, up from 40th in the mid-term, and writes “In the years ahead he could surpass many who will be selected before him as his game with the puck is very good, led by strong overall hockey sense.”
At The Hockey News, Ross MacLean says that the best pick of the fourth round was Andersson. He says that Andersson is a “big, mobile Swede who at times outshone higher ranked Swedish defenders.”
On Andersson, Jeff Gorton told the Rangers website , “Skilled guy that can run a power play. Has good size, thick kid. He is a right shot that can shoot. He was falling and the fact that he has some bloodlines and raised in the game is something that we look for.”
His father was Peter Andersson who spent most of his playing career in Sweden, but briefly came over in the early 90’s to play with the Rangers.
With the 119th pick in the draft, the Rangers select defenseman Calle Andersson.
Anderson was ranked 39th by Future Considerations, who write, “A smart, two-way defenseman who makes consistently good decisions. His skating has improved this year to a strength as he is very mobile and has quick with agile feet. He plays the game cool and calm, both with and without the puck on his stick. He reads the play extremely well and has great anticipation. He knows his positioning and where to be to stifle an attack as well as what to do to support an offensive play.”
“He has decent hands, he can carry the puck and has strong vision and passing ability. He times his pinches well and makes sure he does not leave his partner hanging out to dry. He has a strong snap shot and quick one-timer from the point. He isn’t much of a physical player on a consistent basis but has stepped up and made a few decent open ice hits against his age group. His best trait is his quick, seemingly error-free decision making process. Has had his development slowed by the high-end defensive depth currently ahead of him in his organization.”
Leslie Treff tweets, ‘Andersson played in the U18s for Sweden and was excellent offensive player from the blueline. Big, decent skater, who can move the puck.”