I’ll admit I don’t know much about Jonas Andersson, who the Canucks received as part of the Shane O’Brien trade to the Nashville Predators and yesterday called up from the Manitoba Moose. (The Canucks also sent Joel Perrault back down to the Moose.)
But I don’t feel bad – apparently I’m not alone in that department.
Jonas Andersson can fly. He also speaks fluent English, without much hint of an accent, subtly cloaking his Swedish upbringing.
As for what else he can do, no one can be quite sure, which is one reason the Canucks are giving him his first NHL start in more than eight years tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.
Andersson will play right wing on the Canucks’ fourth line, head coach Alain Vigneault said Tuesday, with Tanner Glass and Alex Bolduc.
“Coaches here and management to some extent don’t know him real well, so we thought it was an appropriate time to see what we have here, so we called him up and we’ll give him a chance,” Vigneault said.
With Mikael Samuelsson out with a concussion for about a week, Jannik Hansen will move up to the third line and Andersson will bring some size, speed and skill to the fourth line.
Andersson brings good size — he’s six-foot-three and 210 pounds — and great wheels.
“That is what I try and build my game around,” Andersson said of his speed, which clearly impressed his new teammates on Tuesday.
“I am not the fastest Swede on the ice any more, that’s for sure,” said Daniel Sedin. “He’s a good skater. You could tell in practice he’s a smooth skater and pretty skilled, too, and a big guy.”
“He is a highly skilled player from what I can remember,” added Vancouver defenceman Dan Hamhuis, who played with Andersson in Milwaukee in the 2002-03 season. “And you could see him out there today, he’s an amazing skater, has great hands and seems like a really good player.”
Sounds good to me.
I did find the following video (posted on HF Boards) of Andersson showcasing some of that skill.
Pretty Forsberg-ristic. Let’s see if there’s more where that came from.