2008-09: Johan Larsson played mostly for Brynas at the J20 junior level. In 33 games, Larsson scored 4 goals and added 5 assists for 9 points. He registered no points in 5 playoff games.
2009-10: Larsson played for the Brynas J20 squad once again, netting 15 goals and adding 19 assists for 34 points in 40 games. Larsson broke loose at the U-18 World Junior Championships in Minsk, posting 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points in just 5 games, which ranked him second in points at the tournament. Larsson was also captain of the Swedish entry, which won silver. Larsson was chosen by the Minnesota Wild in the second round, 56th overall, of the 2010 NHL Draft.
2010-11: Larsson appeared in 43 games for Brynas as an 18-year-old rookie in Sweden’s Elitserien and scored 4 goals with 4 assists. In mostly lower line duty, Larsson was +3 with 18 PMs as Brynas finished seventh in the 12-team league. He skated in all five playoff games and had 2 assists and was -4. In ten games with Brynas’ U20 team he scored 6 goals with 9 assists. Larsson skated for Sweden at the 2011 U20 World Championship; scoring 1 goal with 3 assists and finishing with an even plus/minus in six games as Sweden finished fourth.
2011-12: Larson won an Elitserien championship n his second pro season with Brynas and a gold medal with Team Sweden at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Larsson was Brynas’ third-leading scorer during the regular season – scoring 12 goals with 24 assists in 49 games. Averaging 18:27 minutes per game, he was minus-ten with 34 penalty minutes. Brynas finished fourth during the season before its successful playoff run. Larsson scored 2 goals with 8 assists and was plus-six with 16 penalty minutes in 16 playoff games as Brynas captured the league title. He had 6 assists and was plus-three in six games for Sweden at the WJC. Sweden defeated Russia, 1-0, in overtime in the gold medal game.
2012-13: Larsson made his first NHL appearance with the Wild in a February 17th game against Detroit — seeing 14 minutes of ice time with no points or penalty minutes. He spent most of the season with Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Houston before being acquired by Buffalo along with goalie Matt Hackett on April 3rd as part of the trade that sent Jason Pominville to Minnesota. He scored 15 goals with 22 assists and had an even plus/minus with 38 penalty minutes in 62 games with Houston prior to the trade. He finished the season with the Rochester Americans, scoring 1 goal with 3 assists and finishing -2 in seven regular season games. Rochester finished second in the North Division and were swept by first place Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. Larsson had 3 assists and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes in three playoff games.
2013-14: Larsson began the year with the Sabres before being assigned to AHL affiliate Rochester in November; shuttling between the two squads in his first full season with Buffalo. He had four assists and 19 penalty minutes with an even plus/minus, averaging 13:27 minutes of ice time, in 28 NHL games. Larsson scored 15 goals with 26 assists in 51 games and was +7 with 75 penalty minutes skating for Rochester. The Americans finished second in the North Division and lost to Chicago in a first-round playoff series. Larsson scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes in five playoff games.
2014-15: Larsson missed the opening game of the season with the Sabres due to a concussion suffered in pre-season and was subsequently assigned to AHL affiliate Rochester. He was recalled by Buffalo in November and played four NHL games before being returned to the Americans. Splitting his third pro season in North America between the two teams, he was the third-leading scorer for Rochester while playing a lower line, defensive role when with the Sabres.
Larsson is a hard-working, two-way forward who can play either wing or center. He is a strong team player and plays in all situations. Larsson can chip in offensively and play shifts on the penalty kill, though he is not a high-end player in terms of skating and puck skills.
Larsson continues to split time between Buffalo and AHL affiliate Rochester in 2014-15; which has been his fate since being acquired by the Sabres as part of the Matt Hackett trade. Now in his third pro season, Larsson will be a restricted free agent following the season. With several high-end forwards in the Buffalo pipeline, Larsson is kind of stuck in between. He is fairly consistent but does not have elite scorer skills and his size and style of play does not lend itself to a pure energy, checking role. Long-term he has the game of a second or third line scoring forward — though the peak of his potential may be more at the Europe or AHL level.