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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

2017-18 Leafs Season in Review: Andreas Johnsson

It feels disingenuous to call this a “Season in Review” for Andreas Johnsson, who joined the Leafs late in the season and played nine regular season games, then six more in the postseason. Instead let’s call it a “Tryout in Review,” because that’s really what this season was for him.

Johnsson was stellar for the Toronto Marlies before his call-up, exploding for 26 goals and 28 assists for 54 points in 54 games, so it’s no surprise that he got tapped to join the big club for the stretch run.

Stats

GP GOALS ASSISTS POINTS CORSI % (5V5) XGF% (5V5)
9 2 1 3 56.52 60.06

Those numbers are, of course, only for the regular season. He added a goal and an assist in six games against Boston in the first (and only) round for the Leafs.

His overall production was solid, especially considering his ice time — of his 15 NHL games, he played under ten minutes five times. And yeah, he was a point-per-game player in the AHL, but you don’t expect that to translate directly to the NHL. It definitely feels like there’s more to be untapped offensively for Johnsson, and hopefully we get to see him blossom into his full potential next season.

If you’re into possession numbers, Johnsson’s are certainly up to snuff. Of course, you have to look at any of those stats with a grain of salt because we’re working with a really tiny sample size. That being said, you’d still rather him have good numbers at a small sample size then bad ones… But don’t expect him to keep a 60% xGF% while playing a full season.

Grade: A-

Was Johnsson a world-breaker in his brief stint with the Leafs? Nah. But he was impressive. Even when he didn’t make it onto the scoresheet, he was playing good, smart hockey and didn’t often look lost.

On top of becoming more-or-less a regular in the lineup, Johnsson also saw some time on both special teams units, showing that Babcock was already beginning to trust that Johnsson could be an impact player.

Fun Fact:

He??? Didn’t know he suffered from asthma until he was like, 19 years old? And then he was like, “Wait, you mean it’s NOT normal to struggle THIS MUCH to breathe after physical exertion?”

Anyway, he figured it out, got it under control, and realized he actually had a lot more stamina than originally thought. Go figure.

Season Highlight

How could we forget? Johnsson’s first NHL playoff goal displayed a lot of what he does well. Quickly gets to the front of the net where he’s absolutely deadly, and buries to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead in a game they would eventually win by a score of 4-3.

More of this in the future, please.

2018-19 Outlook

We didn’t get much of Johnsson, just a taste. But that was enough to make us want more, you know? There’s plenty of potential here, and with increased ice time and responsibility, hopefully we see a jump in production. I’m definitely interested in seeing him get more opportunities on the power play, especially if we do see JVR depart this summer.

And another encouraging thing? Johnsson is absolutely tearing it up with the Marlies in the Calder Cup Playoffs right now. A lot can change between now and the start of next season, but it sure looks like he’s done what he can in the AHL. It’s time to get Johnsson in a Maple Leafs jersey for a full season, y’all.