2008-09: Fredrik Claesson competed for Stockholm 1 in the national TV-Pucken high school age tournament and scored 3 goals with 3 assists in six games. Claesson played his club hockey for the Djurgarden U-18 and U-20 teams. At the U-20 level, he appeared in seven games with no points or penalty minutes. In 28 games at the U-18 level, he scored 9 goals with 8 assists and registered 4 PMs. Claesson played six games for Sweden’s U-17 team and had one assist.
2009-10: Claesson split the season between Djurgardens U-18 and U-20 teams as well as representing Sweden at the World Junior U-18 championships. In 22 games with the Djurgarden U-20, he had 4 assists and 18 PMs. In eight games with the U-18 squad (including playoffs) he scored 1 goal with 4 assists and accumulated six penalty minutes. Claesson had one assist in six games at the WJC U-18 tournament.
2010-11: Claesson appeared in 35 regular season games and seven playoff contests as a rookie for Djurgardens in the Swedish Elite League. A teammate of Senators’ 2011 first round pick Mika Zibanejad, Claesson played the role of a classic defensive defenseman and was +4 with two goals – scoring despite the fact he took just 18 shots the entire season. In seven playoff contests, he was +3 with one assist and 2 shots on goal.
2011-12: Claesson had an eventful second pro season – winning a gold medal at the U20 World Junior Championship in January with Sweden and then suffering the ignominy of seeing his Djurgardens squad relegated from the Elitserien to the second division, AllSvenskan. Claesson had 1 goal and 6 assists and was plus-seven in a career-high 47 Elitserien games. After finishing eleventh, Djurgardens failed to retain one of the two available Elitserien spots – finishing third in the Kval Series. Claesson was an even plus/minus with 1 assist in the ten Kval games. He played six games for Sweden at the WJC and was an even plus/minus with no points nor penalty minutes. Sweden defeated Russia in the gold medal game. Claesson signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Ottawa in May, 2012.
2012-13: Claesson skated for Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton in his first pro season in North America. Making his AHL debut as a 19-year-old, he scored 3 goals with 8 assists in 70 games and was +4 with 51 penalty minutes. The Senators were second in the East Division and had the AHL’s fourth-best record before being swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first round series. Claesson had 1 assist and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes in three playoff games.
2013-14: Claesson was the second-leading scorer amongst Binghamton defensemen behind Chris Wideman in his second AHL season. He scored 3 goals with 26 assists and was a team-best +37 with 39 penalty minutes in 75 games. The Senators lost to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first-round playoff series after finishing first in the East Division in the regular season. Claesson was -2 with no points and 4 penalty minutes in the four-game series against the Penguins.
2014-15: Claesson was the lone Senator to skate in all 76 games for Ottawa AHL Binghamton in his third season with the club. He scored 4 goals with 15 assists and was -6 with 42 penalty minutes. The Senators missed the AHL playoffs, finishing third in the East Division. Claesson was with Ottawa at the end of the NHL season but did not appear in any games and signed a two-year contract extension in June 2015.
Claesson was regarded as a defensive defenceman when he got to Binghamton back in 2013, but his two-way game has grown considerably since. While not overly physical, he plays a sound positional game and is very good at preventing scoring opportunities by keeping the passing lanes closed and blocking shots.
Claesson is an NHL-ready prospect, and it is only a matter of time before he gets the chance to demonstrate his skills at the next level. He will never be a starter, but he has the drive to fulfill his potential to become a second-pairing stalwart. He rejoined Binghamton for the 2015-16 season, and although his contract expires this summer, expect the Senators to keep him onboard.