The Rangers seem to be inundated with young Swedes in the organisation right now. Whether it is Lindberg, Hagelin, Erixon, Fasth or even Andreas Thuresson there is quite a line building behind Henrik Lundqvist all of whom hail from Sweden. Perhaps the least discussed of the prospects the Rangers obtained this summer is former Nashville Predator Andreas Thuresson who was acquired for Brodie Dupont (who personally, I had expected more from).
It appears Thuresson is a player in need of a change of scenery. Despite playing 3 games in the NHL this past season Thuresson’s year was considered a disappointment as the 23 year old only managed 14 goals and 38 points for Milwaukee of the AHL. Having played 22 NHL games the season before, perhaps more was expected from the young winger. With good size and plenty of pro experience (including a good rookie year in the SEL), should the Swede find himself in Connecticut next season he will be counted on to provide both offense and leadership.
Despite being criticised for his on ice production last year Thuresson’s character is not of concern. The young Swede was lauded for his community work and personality in Milwaukee last season so he should be a reliable presence on a potentially young Whale team. With recent signing Andre Deveaux, Thuresson could be part of a (slightly) older nucleus that helps bring along the younger prospects all the while trying to get himself back in the NHL frame; plenty of motivation then, for the Swede.
One concern I have right now however, is that there seems a large amount of players vying for ice time on the Whale let alone for a chance at cracking the Rangers roster. Competition is one thing but it seems that some players may be heading for different locales including potentially a level lower in the ECHL. So where will Thuresson find himself? Surely not in the ECHL, just a season after getting some NHL game time?
Wherever he starts next season the fact remains that not many people will be expecting much from Thuresson, at least not outside of the Rangers organisation. That level of pressure (or lack of it) may allow Thuresson a true fresh start in an organisation that has recently rewarded good play with legitimate NHL opportunities.