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June 15, 2013 | 7:55am ET
Swedish goalie Eriksson joining Canucks
By David Strehle, TheFourthPeriod.com

Former Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect Joacim Eriksson has opted to forego the final year of his Swedish Elite League contract to sign with the Vancouver Canucks, a source close to the situation confirmed to me Friday afternoon.

The NHL must now approve the transfer, but that's merely a formality.

Eriksson, 23, had one season left with Skelleftea HC, the club he helped to their first Swedish championship title since 1979.

SEL players under contract have the option to transfer and sign with NHL teams, as long as they do so by a June 15 deadline.

Eriksson, who has agreed to a two-year deal with the Canucks, was a seventh-round selection of the Flyers (196th-overall) in 2008, but the team surprisingly did not sign their most-promising young goalie prospect by the June 1, 2011 deadline, allowing the Gavle, Sweden-native to become a free agent.

He spent two years in Swedish juniors backing up Florida Panthers netminder Jacob Markstrom (who was also taken in the 2008 draft), then made the decision to move on to Leksand IF of Sweden's second tier Allsvenskan to secure more playing time. That gamble turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to Eriksson,

The 6'2, 195-pounder played well during his three seasons with Skelleftea HC, but his stock really rose during the 2012-13 regular season and playoffs.

In 30 appearances, he posted a 21-9 record with a 1.67 GAA, .931 save percentage and five shutouts, then followed that up with a perfect 9-0 mark in 10 postseason games, posting a 1.06 GAA and .952 save percentage.

After a second non-playoff season in the last seven years, it's no secret that Philadelphia wants to make big-time improvements to their overall defensive personnel. With the probable amnesty buyout of Ilya Bryzgalov to take place at least 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, as TFP first reported earlier this week, speculation arose over GM Paul Holmgren looking for a young franchise-goaltender.

Reports re-surfaced that Holmgren was in talks with Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi regarding Jonathan Bernier, and there were also murmurs that Holmgren may right a wrong and finally sign Eriksson.

Like Eriksson, Bernier, who turns 25 in August, has a tremendous upside, but the price to pry him out of the City of Angels is steep. As TFP first reported in April, and again this week, the Kings and Flyers have been discussing a trade that would include winger Matt Read as part of a package.

Young center Sean Couturier's name has also popped up, as well as Philadelphia's first-round pick (11th overall).

Couturier's name has come up as an asset that could be moved to add another elite defenseman in addition to pending UFA Mark Streit, whose rights were acquired from the New York Islanders Wednesday for minor-league forward Shane Harper and a 2014 fourth-round pick.

The addition of Ericsson could final signal the end of Roberto Luongo's tenure in Vancouver.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis is still trying to trade the veteran netminder, but failing that, could buy him out this month.

David Strehle is the Philadelphia Correspondent for The Fourth Period.


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