If there’s any team that can mine a diamond in the rough it’s Pittsburgh but even that would be a long shot at this point. Solid organizational depth defender at this point in his career.
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March 2020 – Erkamps is still in the Pittsburgh organization but currently plays on an AHL deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His play hasn’t warranted much more than an AHL deal to this point but the Pittsburgh Penguins have turned AHLers into NHLers in the past so there is a minuscule chance that Erkamps becomes something more but even if he does get NHL time eventually, his offensive production has never garnered much attention. He shouldn’t be considered an option in even deeper leagues going forward. Tony Ferrari
June 2019 – Erkamps did not get a qualifying offer from the Penguins which means he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Jokke Nevalainen
May 2019 – His unremarkable pro career was not enhanced by a season in which he played about the same number of AHL and ECHL games, totaling a goal and nine assists in 45 outings between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Brampton. The skill-challenged, minor-league tough guy RFA will be lucky to be offered a two-way deal by Pittsburgh. Mark Allan
December 2018 – Shaping up as a career minor-leaguer, the former WHL star blueliner was toiling for the ECHL’s Brampton Beast before being dealt with F Ben Sexton to Pittsburgh for F Tobias Lindberg and journeyman D Stefan Elliott. A goal, five assists and a penalty minute per game in 21 outings is representative of Erkamps’ nondescript pro career, which includes three stints in the ECHL. Mark Allan
June 2017 – While his former Brandon Wheat Kings partner Ivan Provorov was flourishing with the Flyers, Erkamps was relegated to ECHL duty with the Wichita Thunder for the majority of the year. Playing in 58 games Erkamps scored six times and contributed 19 assists. He received a couple of call ups to the AHL, once in December and again at the end of March where he played the final seven games of the season for the Baby Sens and registered a pair of helpers. He’s being brought along slowly which is a smart thing to do as his skating isn’t exactly his strong suit so gradually getting used to the speed of the pro game at a lower level will help him adjust. A full season of AHL action is probably in the cards for Erkamps in 2017-18. Brad Phillips
April 2016 – The Sens have waded into the free agent pool to grab the Brandon Wheat Kings’ captain. Erkamps was invited to Ottawa’s prospect camp in 2013 so they were obviously keeping an eye on him. There was also some NHL interest prior to this season, as Erkamps was invited to St. Louis’ camp. The Wheat Kings had the best record in the WHL’s Eastern Conference this year and scored a league-leading 319 goals, with Erkamps playing a primary role in this potent offense. The five-year WHL vet really broke out this year to the tune of 13 goals and 58 assists, placing him behind only one point behind first-round pick and D partner Ivan Provorov for tops among defenseman scoring in the league. He also tied for fourth in the league in plus-minus with a plus-47, although it should be noted that the top five were all from Brandon. Regardless it’s quite the turnaround from a couple years ago when he was a minus-62! It would be wise to take all of these stats with a grain of salt given that Erkamps put up these numbers in his age 20/21 season. However, Erkamps was cursed with being on some bad Lethbridge teams for the first three years of his junior hockey career and he did post 35 points in his draft year on a fairly low-scoring team, which is nothing to sneeze at.
The book on Erkamps is that he makes the smart, simple play on the offensive side of the puck, leading to scoring chances. Adept at breaking out of the defensive zone, he helps to transition his team to the attack. He’s shown some ability to quarterback a power play but his chances to play a similar role with the Sens appear limited with Erik Karlsson locking down PP1 duties until he retires. Erkamps is not the biggest guy but does have a fair amount of pugnacity to his game (as evidenced by his lengthy YouTube fight card). Defensively, he plays a smart, positionally sound game but can be guilty of over-committing, leading to odd-man rushes. He’ll spend at least a season in Binghamton under the tutelage of coach Luke Richardson (assuming he doesn’t replace Dave Cameron in the off-season) before getting a sniff of big-league action. Brad Phillips