Vancouver Canucks: 8 European Players Vancouver Could Target

Jan 2, 2016; Dusseldorf, Germany; Dusseldorfer EG goalie Mathias Niederberger (35) guards the net against the Straubing Tigers during the second period at the ISS Dome. Dusseldorfer EG won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Janik Beichler - NRW Hockey
Jan 2, 2016; Dusseldorf, Germany; Dusseldorfer EG goalie Mathias Niederberger (35) guards the net against the Straubing Tigers during the second period at the ISS Dome. Dusseldorfer EG won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Janik Beichler - NRW Hockey /
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D Nils Andersson

If you are looking for a bigger defenceman, 6-foot-2, 183-pound Nils Andersson might be a better option.

Andersson made his professional debut back in 2009, when he played in four games for IF Bjorkloven in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-tier professional league, as a 17-year-old. After another season with Bjorkloven, he joined the Vaxjo Lakers, won the Allsvenskan league title and got promoted to the SHL with his team.

In 2011-12, the then 19-year-old Andersson appeared in 45 games for the Lakers but struggled at the elite level, especially regarding his offensive production. That is why he decided to move back down to the Allsvenskan, joining Djugardens IF this time. Unfortunately, he suffered a gruesome knee injury before playing his first league game for the club, and missed the entire 2012-13 campaign.

Instead of coming back worse than he was before, Andersson returned from his injury stronger than ever. In 2013-14, he recorded eight goals and 29 points in 38 games. That season, he got promoted to the SHL a second time, but once again, he chose to join an Allsvenskan team, the Malmo Redhawks.

For the Redhawks, Andersson scored 13 goals and 31 points in 52 games, helping a third team to SHL promotion. This time, he stayed with the club, was named an alternate captain, and recorded six goals and 30 points in 49 games in the Swedish Hockey League.

Now 24 years old, Andersson looks like a well-rounded defenceman who defensively sound but can produce offensively as well.

From Elite Prospects:

"A very smart and skilled defensive with nice upside. Andersson reads the play well and is a skilled passer. Rarely takes nights off, but could use some work with his mobility."

Next: D Tim Heed