Erik Brännström

Ottawa Senators
Photo courtesy of BellevilleSens.com

Fantasy Summary

Smart and strong two-way leader with a laser shot. Undersized for prototypical defenseman, but shouldn’t be a fatal flaw.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 8.7
NHL Certainty 9.7
Country SWE
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth September 2, 1999
Height 5‘10”
Weight 181 lbs
Drafted 2017 Round 1; Overall: 15

Observations

November 2019 – Brannstrom is returning to the Senators lineup on November 27th, 2019 after a four-game absence with an undisclosed injury. He didn’t look like himself before the injury so the speculation has been that it was a nagging injury that he needed to get right. His return is a welcome sign for an Ottawa team that’s been playing a competitive brand of hockey even if they don’t have the roster to win many games. Brannstrom will likely be eased back into the lineup and will still be blocked by Chabot on the top power-play unit so his production may still be limited for the time being. Tony Ferrari

October 2019 – Brannstrom has struggled at times this season, seemingly surviving rather than thriving. He isn’t being afforded power-play time recently and has struggled in his own end of the ice. There have been some members of the media that have called for Brannstrom to be sent to the AHL to further his development, even if it’s just for a brief stint. Brannstrom is being treated to a trial by fire and at the moment, he’s being burned a bit. If he can show signs that he is figuring out the defensive end, he could avoid the temporary AHL stint, otherwise, it may be best for his development to find his legs before being asked to play top-four minutes at the NHL-level again. Tony Ferrari

September 2019 – Brannstrom has made the Senators’ opening night roster and looks to start the year on the second pairing alongside Ron Hainsey. He will look to Hainsey as a mentor. He should get some powerplay time as well. Tony Ferrari

September 2019 – Brannstrom has had an excellent training camp and preseason. He has oftentimes been the Senator’s second-best blue-liner behind just Thomas Chabot. Senators new head coach DJ Smith has been putting Brannstrom through the ringer this preseason and he has seemed to pass every test. He has been good on the penalty kill, has made plays in transition and his dynamic skating and offensive ability is still as evident as ever. Brannstrom has a real shot at making the Ottawa opening night roster, even if a major role in that is a complete lack of depth of NHL options. If Brannstrom does make the Senators roster they will do their best to shelter the young defender but a trial-by-fire will certainly occur at different points this season so small struggles or slumps shouldn’t be alarming. Development is seldom a linear progression, especially on a rebuilding team. Tony Ferrari

March 2019 – Brannstrom has been recalled from the Belleville Senators and will make his NHL debut. As has been well-documented, Brannstrom projects to be an elite, puck-moving rearguard who can change the game in the offensive zone. With Thomas Chabot sidelined for a few weeks, Brannstrom looks to be one of the few reasons for Sens fans to tune in as the team plays out the stretch. He will most assuredly return to Belleville to assist with the playoff push. Starting next year, Brannstrom will become a main fixture on Ottawa’s blueline for years to come. Jordan Deshane

February 2019 – Brännström has been traded from Vegas to Ottawa.  Jokke Nevalainen

January 2019 – The dynamic left-shot defenseman showed off his offensive flair during the World Junior Championship and helped Sweden extend their ridiculous streak of preliminary round wins to 48 consecutive games. Brannstrom was easily Sweden’s top player and scored four goals, three on the power play, before they were knocked out of the tournament in the first stage of playoff action. As the captain of the Tre Kronor he averaged 22:57 in ice-time. After reuniting with his Chicago Wolves teammates in the AHL he has continued his absurd pace and currently leads all NHL prospects in PNHLe – a stat used to predict offensive potential. Mason Black

November 2018 – Brannstrom is off to a stellar start to his first professional North American season and has found the scoresheet nine times in as many games for the Chicago Wolves (AHL). The dynamic puck-moving defenseman has used his high hockey IQ and hockey sense to jump atop the AHL rookie defensive scoring rankings and is now getting top power play minutes which could help to extend his lead. That is if he doesn’t get a call up to the Golden Knights’ organization if they run into injury woes on their back-end. The former fifteenth overall pick in the 2017 draft is a must own in all keeper leagues and could be a lock to control their power play once he becomes a mainstay in the NHL. He has all of the tools you want in a top prospect and the fact he’s making such a quick adjustment at the AHL level is only further justification that he’s going to carve out a long NHL career.  Mason Black

June 2018 – The future for Brannstrom still remains somewhat unclear as to what team he’ll be playing on during the 2018-19 season. In an interesting move, the Brandon Wheat Kings used their first round pick in the CHL Import Draft to select Brannstrom at 44th overall. A week prior to the draft I would have considered it highly unlikely that Brannstrom would transition to the WHL after playing the entirety of last season with HV71 in the top professional league in Sweden (SHL). What makes this move intriguing is that Vegas’ assistant GM, Brad McCrimmon, owns the Brandon Wheat Kings. With only a few days remaining prior to the start of free-agent-frenzy in the NHL, as well as the trickle down to the AHL, the defensive picture on the Golden Knights farm team is still extremely murky due to the glut of defensemen on their roster. This move may be nothing more than a fail-safe in case he starts the season in the AHL, the option to eventually move him to the WHL would exist. Mason Black

March 2018 – With only one game remaining in his second full SHL season, Brannstrom is finishing his draft-plus-one year already having recorded 15 points in 43 games played. Although those numbers may seem small for an offensively gifted defenseman, they project to a 40+ NHL point-pace based on historical player values coming from Sweden’s top league. With a glut of NHL-ready defensemen on their roster, Vegas can afford to be patient with Brannstrom. However, they will do their best to convince him to come over and get acclimated to the North American style of play on the Chicago Wolves of the AHL as soon as they can. If HV71 is an early exit in the SHL playoffs, expect Brannstrom to cross the pond and begin playing in the next couple of weeks. No decision has been made as of yet where he will play next year, but one thing to consider is that he will still be eligible to play for Sweden in the World Junior Championships. Mason Black

December 2017 – Erik Brännström should play a very large role on the back end for Team Sweden at the World Junior Championships. He will be showcased on the blue line along with projected first overall pick, Rasmus Dahlin, and featured heavily for the Swedes on the power play. Brännström hasn’t had an overly impressive offensive season as he adjusts to the pro game in Sweden’s top league (SHL), where he has posted six assists in 27 games and has failed to find the back of the net for HV71. Expect to see Brännström utilize his big shot, speed and agility and use the WJC as his coming out party.  Mason Black

June 2017 – Brännström is a smallish but strong, fast skating and cerebral, possession-oriented blueliner. He doesn’t yield to physical play or opponent pressure, remaining highly aware and opportunistic on the ice regardless of the situation. Determined and scrappy, he can run a mean power play and move the puck with confidence from zone to zone accurately and swiftly. Creates scoring chances with his powerful shot and playmaking acumen. Threads precision passes even in traffic. Sticks to his game on defense, rarely making mistakes or getting forced out of position. Frustrating to play against his disciplined game, which generates turnovers and forced, ill-advised passes. Has great gap control and wields the stick well to slow rival skaters. A team leader on the ice that loves to compete. – Kevin Wickersham


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2012-2013 HV71 U16 2 U16 Div.1 3 0 0 0 0 |          
 2013-2014 Småland TV-Pucken 8 0 4 4 4 |          
  HV71 U16 U16 Elit 23 7 20 27 22 |          
  HV71 U16 U16 SM 8 3 9 12 4 |          
  HV71 J18 J18 Allsvenskan 1 0 0 0 0 |          
 2014-2015 Småland TV-Pucken 6 1 4 5 4 |          
  HV71 U16 U16 Elit 8 4 9 13 24 |          
  HV71 J18 J18 Elit 15 6 7 13 8 |          
  HV71 J18 J18 Allsvenskan 18 2 13 15 6 | Playoffs 7 2 3 5
  HV71 J20 SuperElit 1 0 0 0 2 |          
  Sweden U16 (all) International-Jr 9 2 1 3 2 |          
 2015-2016 HV71 J18 J18 Elit 2 2 1 3 0 |          
  HV71 J18 J18 Allsvenskan 5 1 3 4 4 |          
  HV71 J20 SuperElit 41 8 22 30 26 | Playoffs 3 0 0 0
  HV71 SHL 3 0 0 0 0 |          
  Sweden U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 5 0 4 4 4 |          
  Sweden U17 WHC-17 6 3 0 3 2 |          
  Sweden U17 (all) International-Jr 10 6 3 9 4 |          
  Sweden U18 WJC-18 7 1 3 4 10 |          
  Sweden U18 (all) International-Jr 17 1 7 8 18 |          
 2016-2017 HV71 Champions HL 1 0 0 0 0 |          
  HV71 J20 SuperElit 19 9 14 23 18 | Playoffs 7 3 4 7
  Sweden U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 5 2 1 3 31 |          
  HV71 SHL 35 1 5 6 2 |          
  Sweden U18 WJC-18 7 2 3 5 0 |          
  Sweden U18 (all) International-Jr 17 7 5 12 39 |          
  Sweden U20 (all) International-Jr 3 0 3 3 2 |          
 2017-2018 HV71 Champions HL 6 0 3 3 2 |          
  HV71 J20 SuperElit 0 0 0 0 0 | Playoffs 5 3 2 5 16 
  HV71 SHL 44 2 13 15 22 | Playoffs 2 0 1 1
  Sweden U20 WJC-20 7 1 3 4 4 |          
  Sweden U20 (all) International-Jr 16 2 9 11 18 |          
  Sweden EHT 6 0 1 1 0 |          
  Sweden (all) International 10 0 2 2 0 |          
 2018-2019 Chicago Wolves AHL 41 7 21 28 36 |          
  Ottawa Senators NHL 2 0 0 0 0 |          
  Belleville Senators AHL 9 0 4 4 12 |          
  Sweden U20 WJC-20 5 4 0 4 4 |          
  Sweden U20 (all) International-Jr 7 5 1 6 8 |          
 2019-2020 Ottawa Senators NHL 23 0 2 2 12 |          
  Belleville Senators AHL - - - - - |          

Highlights