VANCOUVER — It is undeniable that Loui Eriksson has been underwhelming since signing his six-year deal with the Canucks. Eriksson has only 82 points in his 223 games for the Canucks. With a $6,000,000 cap hit, it is safe to say that he has not lived up to his contract. With this being said, Eriksson has showed potential while sharing a line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson. Eriksson has scored six points in the past 13 games. He has spent the majority of those games lined up with Horvat and Pearson. We know that Loui isn’t worth $6,000,000, but the real question is ‘how valuable is he?’
Let’s get into it.
Cost of His Points
To get a better idea of what Loui Eriksson’s overall value is, we must first look at how much he has been costing in comparison to his scoring rate. We’re going to check out how much each of his points has been worth for the Canucks. Each season, around 750 players play games in the NHL, let’s see how Eriksson stacks up in terms of how much each points costs the Canucks.
2016-17: Ranked 601st
In Loui’s first season with the Canucks he was able score a total of 24 points. Although he did not play the entirety of the season, Eriksson would earn $250,000,000 per point in his debut year. This would leave him in the bottom 200 players in terms of ‘worth it’ value.
2017-18: Ranked 660th
Unfortunately for Loui, he would only take to the ice for 50 games this season. This would lower him even further down on the rankings. To his credit, he was more efficient than in his first season with 23 points. With this being said, each of those points costed a whopping $260,870.
2018-19: Ranked 589th
For the only time during his Vancouver tenure, Eriksson was finally able to play a full season. In 81 games he posted 29 points. Eriksson’s role was very much decreased as he became a bottom six forward. $206,897 was the cost of each point that was scored by the Swede during his 2018-19 campaign.
2019-20: Currently Ranked 702nd
Loui Eriksson is on pace for a tough year in blue and green, however there is a case for some optimism. It took him 15 games to record his first point. Since then, there has seemed to be some revitalization in his game. Although each point is currently worth an stomach-churning $1,000,000, Eriksson is playing some of the best hockey in his career. If he maintains his current linemates, look for his points to get a lot cheaper by the end of the season.
Where Does He Fit in the Lineup?
Eriksson is not a flashy player by any means. This doesn’t mean that he is a bad player. Eriksson doesn’t tend to do anything extremely well but he also makes few mistakes while on the ice. He is a solid defender and although he isn’t considered a speedy skater he does hustle with or without the puck. Lately, while playing with Pearson and Horvat, Eriksson has shown offensive capabilities along with maintaining his overall game.
He’s had success on the second line this season but does that mean that he is a second line forward? No, not necessarily. It seems obvious that if you get more minutes and a larger role you would improve your scoring. With that being said, both Pearson and Horvat have also been more productive with Eriksson on the line even though they had already been getting top six minutes. I believe that the biggest reason for this success has been the chemistry these players share.
Is This a Permanent Line?
Eriksson has been +5 since joining the line for this stretch. Horvat has been +7 with Eriksson and Pearson has been +5. If you excluded the recent stretch that Eriksson has played with the pair, Horvat’s rating would be -10 and Pearson’s would be 0.
This trio has found success and it seems Loui is playing well on the second line. with Josh Leivo injured, this is the perfect spot for Eriksson right now. If you had to put him into a completely healthy Canucks roster than I think a third line role with Pearson and either Adam Gaudette, Brandon Sutter or Jay Beagle would be the way to go. Loui just isn’t consistent enough to stay in the top six in my opinion. With this being said, I believe he can hop around the middle six and if he could get paired with at least Pearson or Horvat he would be able to be successful.
So What is His Value?
We’ve established that Loui Eriksson does have some value to an NHL roster. We’ve established that his value is not worthy of a $6,000,000 contract. He can bring balanced play in a middle six role, If he is paired with the right players. Eriksson may be able to be a solid point producer as well.
It is important to note that Loui has a positive effect on the locker room. Whenever he scores, regardless of if it is an empty net goal, you know his teammates are excited for him. Their smiles are always a bit wider when Eriksson can put one in. Having a veteran like Eriksson is also important on a young roster like Vancouver’s. It gives the guys in their early twenties a chance to interact with someone who has been an NHLer for his entire adult life. Veterans like Loui Eriksson are essential for the growth of young talent.
With all of these factors in mind, I believe that Eriksson is capable of being a part of a successful NHL roster. If he was a free agent and your team needs a veteran presence I feel that a 1-2 year deal anywhere from $700,000 – $1,250,000 would be a fair price for Loui Eriksson in 2020.
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