Playing Under the Radar

Hockey BettingLast Friday night, at hockey’s star-studded (and awesome) fantasy draft before the NHL All-Star Game two days later, Loui Eriksson (#21) of the Dallas Stars was the 3rd-to-last overall pick from the pool of 36 players, by Team Lidstrom.  And it seems Team Lidstrom as well as Team Staal left some of the best for last: Eriksson netted a goal in the first period, added two assists, and five shots on goal, as well as what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 11-10 All-Star Game.

That’s one hell of a performance from the 3rd-to-last possible draft pick, even if everyone else is, literally, an All-Star.  But, that is how Loui Eriksson makes his living in the NHL: under the radar.

Only the opposing All-Star team’s captain, Eric Staal, had more shots on goal in the game than Eriksson did; but, to go along with a stand-out performance in the All-Star Game, the Dallas Star’s left-winger was also named the most underrated player in the league by his NHL Player’s Association peers in the same afternoon.  In the poll, conducted by the NHL Player’s Association and CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada”, Loui Eriksson led all vote getters with 5.4% of the vote, tallying what equates to approximately 20 out of over 300 votes.

The Dallas Stars sit presently as the #3 team in the Western Conference, and a lot of credit should go to Loui Eriksson: the Star’s unsung, 25-year old, Swedish, left-handed winger.  This season, Eriksson has posted the 6th most points in the Western Conference, and Loui has also thrust himself among the league’s leaders in points (currently 11th) and assists (14th).

Eriksson has also been a strong, but not outspoken, leader for his Dallas teammates, too: leading the team not only in plus/minus (+15), but also in game-winning goals (4).  Despite Eriksson’s personality of letting actions speak louder than words, the Stars seem to be loving it when Eriksson’s actions get in on the conversation: the Stars are 9-1-1 this season when Eriksson has a multi-point night.  Eriksson not only scored his 100th career goal last December against the Canadiens, but #21 also entered the recent All-Star break with at least one point in 15 of his last 19 games.

Unfortunately, Eriksson was forced to miss a game against the Calgary Flames last January 21st due to illness, thus snapping a 263-consecutive games played streak that stretched back to 2007.

But perhaps his streak getting snapped wasn’t necessarily bad: the less that people hear about Loui Eriksson, the longer he will continue to be underrated by the NHL universe—but that’s just how #21 likes it.

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