Eriksson joined his new teammates on the ice two days after landing in Boston and is ready to get the season started.
“It feels really good (to be a Bruin),” Eriksson said. “It’s nice to finally get here and see some of the guys and go on the ice a little bit and have fun. I’m excited to be here.”
Eriksson admits to feeling some pressure to perform due to the attention the trade received from around the hockey world, but he is also confident he will perform up to the expectations placed on him.
“Maybe a little bit (of pressure), but that’s part of the game,” he said. “You have to have pressure on you and I think everyone is ready for it so I’m just going to do all I can to prove to all the guys here that I’m a good player.”
As all newly employed members of an organization do, the big (6-feet-2) winger has spoken to its present employees, aka, “the guys,” about playing in Boston and he is happy with what he has heard.
“They’re saying the fan base is really good here and that they really like the players here. It’s going to be fun to see and play my first game in Boston. It’ll be a great feeling,” Eriksson continued. “It’s going to be nice to play for one of the original six teams and I know they have a little bit more fans than Dallas so I’ll probably get more recognized here too. Like I said, I’m excited to be here and do all I can to help this team win.”
Although, Eriksson has averaged almost 70 points per season during his seven year NHL career, the native of Gothenburg, Sweden understands that Bruins fans may not be familiar with his style of play.
“(I) kind of like to be an all-around player,” Eriksson explained. “I like to be playing in both ends. I try to do the things I’m good at including scoring goals and play good defense too so I’m really excited to see the system here and play in it.”
The captains practices have seen the 2010 Olympic Games participant skate on a makeshift line with Bruins veteran and 2014 Canadian Olympic hopeful, Brad Marchand. It is widely believed the two will make up two-thirds of the club’s second line which will be centered by Patrice Bergeron (2010 Canadian Olympian).
When asked about his impressions of Marchand, Eriksson was not shy with his assessment of his new teammate.
“He’s a great player,” said Eriksson. “He’s a swift kind of player, really fast and he can make plays out there. It’s fun to see him and his skills.”
One can say the exact same about Eriksson, who is champing at the bit for the puck to drop on a new season with his new team.
“I’m feeling really good. It’s been kind of a long summer for me. I’m really ready to go,” Eriksson added. “I think everybody is really ready to get it going too.”
Ironically, after its deep run to the Stanley Cup Final, it was a short summer for the Bruins. They are hoping to enjoy another shortened summertime season next year and with the addition of Eriksson, the odds just might be in their favor.
Shawn Hutcheon is the Boston Correspondent for The Fourth Period.