Joakim Andersson is one of the most consistent young prospects to have played in the Swedish junior league during the past few years. He always comes to work and always delivers a rock-solid effort.
2007-08: Andersson centered for Boras HC, putting up 23 points (6g+17a) in 33 appearances. He jumped over to Frolunda HC (SWE-U20) for six games, scoring eight goals and two assists. He was then brought up to Frolunda’s senior club, where he netted one goal in nine games. He helped Sweden earn the silver medal at the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, helping with six assists in as many games.
2008-09: Andersson spent most of the season with Frolunda in the Elitserien, scoring 6 goals, 6 assists in 49 games. He was held scoreless in 11 playoff games with Frolunda. In 4 games on loan to Boras in the Allsvenskan, he scored 2 goals with 2 assists. The center also made his North American debut, registering 1 assist in his first regular season game with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL. He stuck with Grand Rapids in the playoffs and scored 1 goal and 3 points in 10 AHL playoff games. Andersson was a mainstay on Sweden's U20 teams, scoring 8 goals and 15 points in 15 international matches. Those totals include 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games at the World Junior Championships, where Andersson served as an alternate captain and helped Sweden to a silver medal.
2009-10: Andersson spent another season in Sweden with Frolunda. In 55 Elitserien games, he scored 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points. He skated in 7 playoff games, scoring 1 goal, 2 assists.
2010-11: Andersson spent his rookie season for the Grand Rapids Griffins honing his defensive skills and adjusting to the North American game. He was also able to put up 7 goals and 15 assists for 22 points in 79 games.
2011-12: Andersson made his NHL debut with Detroit in late December, seeing action in four games before being returned to AHL Grand Rapids, and appeared in one March game with the Red Wings. In five NHL games he was plus-one with no points or penalty minutes – averaging 6:40 minutes of ice time per game. A solid defensive forward and penalty killer for the Griffins, Andersson contributed offensively late in the season. He scored 21 goals with 30 assists and was plus-five with 34 penalty minutes in 73 games. Grand Rapids missed the AHL playoffs; finishing fourth in the North Division.
He has very good size and strength and leadership abilities, is aggressive and pretty physical, but could still play the body even more. His hockey sense is very good and playmaking ability above average. A good penalty killer and defensively the best draft-eligible Swedish forward in his draft year. The knock on Andersson is his skating and mobility. Not the slowest of skaters by any means, but his acceleration could use some work.
Had a breakthrough season offensively with Grand Rapids in 2011-12, playing himself into the mix to make the Red Wings in 2012-13. While he may not crack the opening night lineup for an already forward heavy team, he could see time as an injury call up.