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10th Overall





  Andrew Erikson, the spunky Dane sensation that, along with a talented squad in Ottawa, helped the underdog Lynx team leapfrog deep into the VHLM playoffs to only be bounced by the inevitable champions, the northern powerhouse, Yukon Rush. Erikson came into the VHLM as a relative unknown, and because of low exposure of the minor league itself, with league competition coming from the OHL, AHL, VHL, NHL, and even the ever rivalled SHL, Erikson was drafted into the VHL with little national exposure himself as there is little space for the up and coming players of the VHLM to get airtime minutes on the leading national sports networks. That being said, many managers noticed Erikson's playmaking abilities and maturity, and had him going early in mock drafts even with this draft being the deepest on paper in recent memory. 


   With the likes of James Faraday,  Jackson Miller,  Tyson Stokes, Koji Yamasushi, and Mikkel Boomgaarden being the undisputed top 5 players walking into draft day, Erikson's name was not foreign to lottery pick draft discussions as a few teams were ready to take the risk on the raw Dane in the top five as his talent contained elite potential, albeit in definite need of development. 


"His game could really open up and ripen into that elite level offensive play-maker with a level headed composure every team is in need of. Even though he is young and his experience is not much to go on, if I had him on my team come draft day, I am going to make sure he sees time on the power-play as a fourth forward in a 4-1 formation, because that composure, maturity, control of game-pace is unquestionably a rarity in a fast paced shoot-first league like the VHL." - anonymous VHL GM


   Andrew Erikson was eventually drafted as the last pick of the first round as the 10th overall pick. To the surprise of many and delight of Helsinki, Erikson fell as a result of a transaction frenzy that took place. It appears that teams were stockpiling players and picks to benefit their delicate build-model through this years incoming class rather than taking the best player available.

“It was a character draft. The skill set of a 19 year old amateur is not enough to go on and teams found their match in players who they could raise and call their own. It is not about a player who can pad their stat sheet tomorrow, but one who can create a culture of excellence the day after. Many teams did not see that in me over my peers, maybe because I am a quiet producer or maybe because they don’t see me as somebody they can build around. It’s ok, because the team that wanted me got me. I don’t have to be the best player on Helsinki’s lineup, I don’t even have to play a single minute and they are going to be win. This was proven today with the players they selected. That kind of pedigree will only make me a stronger player, that kind of pedigree will win us championships.” - Andrew Erikson in reference to his draft day free fall


   Erikson’s emotional quote is in reference to Sam Keeler and Lukas Nyquist, two players who saw their names called in sequential picks prior to Erikson’s in yesterday’s first round selection, who themselves were pegged to be taken later in the draft as possible second round picks but managed to woo the GM’s of the New York Americans and Calgary Wranglers to take them over the Dane. 


The Helsinki Titans, the eventual winners of Friday’s draft saw their already deep prospect pool substantially grow as the draft saw them pick up Jackson Miller, James Faraday, and Tyson Stokes, three players that jockeyed for the first overall selection.





   “I don't think the draft could have gone any better, we got four guys in the first round that I had ranked in the top five. If you told me two weeks ago Faraday, Stokes, Miller, and Erikson would be Titans. I'd be worried how many picks I had to give up to move up that many times. I'm insanely happy right now. This team is 2 f***ing guuuuud.“ - STZ, General Manager of the Helsinki Titans 


   STZ was also interviewed directly after Erikson’s selection and emphatically had this to say about the young Ottawa Lynx forward:“I’m so excited to have him here. We had him pegged as a top five early on, and I'm still in shock he went at 10. GM's gonna be kickin themselves here soon.”


   Now there is no doubt the big three of this years draft are Miller, Stokes, and Faraday. They will be championing a young team for the foreseeable future with the likes of play-maker Chris Raymond, last years first overall selection Vojczek Svoboda, the mesmerizingly suave Don Draper, goaltender Kimmo Salo, and captain Jake Wylde. But, with all this skill already in play, a young player like Erikson, who won’t be called upon to be a producer right away, gives him time to develop with a young team of superstars and can become the role player they need. 

“I am happy, I am not going to have my jersey hung on the rafters, I am not going to be the hardware winner on this talented squad, I am not going to be the saviour of the franchise, and I am probably not going to be remembered after I am done with this league and I am ok with that because at the end of the day, I am the one that is going to fight with everything I have to see my teammates get their jersey up on those rafters, I am the one who is going to step in when needed and dig a little deeper so they win that hardware, I am going to bleed to bring another championship to Helsinki, and I am going to feel pride every time I see a young fan wearing my jersey because it isn’t about the name on the back that matters to me, it’s the fact that the name on the back reflects the image on the chest. My name may be Andrew Erikson, but as of today, I am a Titan.”



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