Joel Eriksson Ek
Image: Chapin Landvogt/HF

Joel Eriksson Ek

Hometown:

Karlstad Sweden

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1997-01-29

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

1st Round (20th Overall), 2015

Weight:

180 lbs.

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History

2011-12: Joel Eriksson Ek appeared in six games with the Farjestad U16 team in Sweden and skated for Varmland 2 in the TV-Pucken tournament for high school players. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +1 in U16 play. In eight TV-Pucken tournament games he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -1 with no penalty minutes.

2012-13: Eriksson Ek split the year between the Farjestad U18 and U16 teams and played three games for the Sweden U16 national team. In 26 regular season games for the Farjestad U18 team he scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was +10 with 10 penalty minutes. Eriksson Ek scored 9 goals with 7 assists and was +13 with 2 penalty minutes in eight games for the Farjestad U16 squad. In three international games with the Sweden U16 team he was +1 with 1 assist. Eriksson Ek played in his second TV-Pucken tournament with Varmland, scoring 5 goals with 3 assists and finishing +6 with 2 penalty minutes in eight games.

2013-14: Eriksson Ek appeared in 17 games — including four playoff contests — with the Farjestad U20 team and was an assistant captain for the club’s U18 team. He played for the Sweden U17 team in the 2014 World Hockey Challenge. Eriksson Ek scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes during the SuperElit U20 regular season and had an even plus/minus with 1 goal, 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in the playoffs as Farjestad captured a silver medal. He scored 22 goals with 18 assists in 33 regular season games and was +26 with 22 penalty minutes for the Farjestad U18 team. In five playoff games he scored 2 goals with 6 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes. He scored 1 goal with no penalties in five games for Sweden at the WHC.

2014-15: Eriksson Ek skated in Sweden’s SHL as a 17-year-old, appearing in 37 games for Farjestad in his first pro season, and was a dominant scorer for the club’s U20 team. He played for the Sweden U18 team in the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and 2015 World Junior Championship tournaments. Eriksson Ek scored 4 goals with 2 assists in 34 regular season SHL games and was an even plus/minus with 4 penalty minutes, averaging nine minutes of ice time. In three games in the Kval series playoffs he had an even plus/minus with no points and 2 penalty minutes. In 31 games for the Farjestad U20 team, including six playoff games, he scored 26 goals with 16 assists and was +17 with 26 penalty minutes. Eriksson Ek scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was +2 in five games for Sweden at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. He scored 5 goals with 1 assist and was -4 with 2 penalty minutes in five games at the WJC. Sweden finished eighth, falling to Canada, 5-3, in the quarterfinals. Eriksson Ek was ranked fourth amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Minnesota in the first round (20th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

2015-16: Eriksson Ek was the seventh-leading scorer amongst junior-aged players in the SHL in his second season with Farjestads and played for Sweden in the 2016 World Junior Championship. He scored 9 goals (most amongst juniors) with 6 assists and was +7 with 18 penalty minutes, averaging 12:43 minutes of ice time in 41 regular season games. Farjestad finished fifth in the SHL, falling to Lulea in the playoff quarterfinals. Eriksson Ek scored 1 goal and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes in four playoff games, averaging 14:55 minutes of ice time. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes in six games for Sweden at the WJC. Sweden finished fourth, falling 8-3 to the USA in the bronze medal game.

Talent Analysis

Eriksson Ek is quite simply a good-sized player who can be dominating on the puck and in offensive situations. He possesses a little bit of everything in that he can shoot very well, has a wonderful eye for his teammates, has no qualms in playing physically (particularly when protecting and shielding the puck), skates hard in both directions, and has a nose for the net. He seems to be in just the right place all the time in the offensive zone and has already edged out a job in the SHL, one that will surely see him take on more responsibility next season. With a strong core and impressive lower body strength, Eriksson Ek has come a long way in skating against opponents and showing power forward tendencies. He was one of the fast-risers in the 2015 draft.

Future

Eriksson Ek signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Wild in July 2015 before returning to Farjestads for the 2015-16 season. He also skated for Sweden at the 2016 World Junior championship and was with Team Sweden prior to the IIHF World Championship. A sniper with a hard, heavy shot who can create scoring chances, he could push for a spot with Minnesota in training camp as a 19-year-old. Long-term he projects as a top-six forward.

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