The Vancouver Canucks announced today they have recalled Jonas Andersson and re-assigned 27 year-old centre Joel Perrault to the Manitoba Moose.
Perrault has played seven games with the Canucks this season since being recalled on November 19th. In 15 games with the Manitoba Moose this season, he scored two goals and eight assists and is currently fifth in scoring on the team.
Andersson is expected to round out the Canucks forward group with the absence of Mikael Samuelsson. The Canucks reported yesterday that Samuelsson suffered a mild concussion and will miss Wednesday’s tilt against the Ducks.
Defenseman Keith Ballard left practice early this morning after taking a puck to the face.
“He took a puck in the mouth,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. “Just a couple of stitches and a few teeth where they shouldn’t be. He’ll be fine for tomorrow.”
After missing practice yesterday Ryan Kesler (maintenance) and Andrew Alberts (illness) returned to the ice and are expected to play tomorrow. Mason Raymond will join them after missing Sunday’s game due to illness.
INTRODUCING JONAS ANDERSSON
The Canucks newest face in the dressing room is 29 year-old right-winger Jonas Andersson.
“With Alex Bolduc coming back and being more of a centreman we thought we needed a right winger,” said coach Vigneault. “Joel is more comfortable in the middle so we thought we’d call up Jonas. He’s a left handed shot, but he usually plays on the right side.”
Andersson was originally drafted in 1999 by the Nashville Predators in the second round. He was acquired by Vancouver along with Ryan Parent from the Predators on October 5th in exchange for Shane O’Brien and Dan Gendur.
The Swedish native has played in five NHL games in the 2001-02 season with the Nashville Predators.
Dan Hamhuis and Andersson are no strangers, having spent time together in Nashville.
“He’s a highly skilled player from what I can remember. He’s an amazing skater and he has great hands. He’s just a really good player,” Hamhuis said. “Persistence is a good word. He works extremely hard off the ice. When he was with Nashville he was always one of the top guys in fitness testing. He’s in unbelievable shape.”
Since 2004, Andersson has played in Sweden, Finland and Russia before returning to North America for another chance in the NHL.
“It’s been my goal all along to make it back,” said Andersson. “ I’ve been working hard, I went to Finland because it’s more of a North American style, I feel like I’ve developed a lot of skills in Europe, but it’s always been my goal to play in North America.”
In addition to skill and maturity Andersson gained in Europe he comes with the benefit of being exempt from waivers this season.
He sat out for a month in Manitoba while recovering from a neck injury. He returned for the November 27th game in Abbotsford which was attended by many Canuck coaches and management. In 12 games, he has recorded six with the Manitoba Moose where he played with Marco Rosa and Jordan Schroeder.
“I’m happy about this opportunity, it’s great, it’s why I came over here,” Andersson said when asked about getting the call-up. “It’s huge, I want to make the best of it. I’m excited.”
Andersson’s skill on the ice has already been picked up on by his new captain.
“I haven’t really seen him play, but I’m not the fastest Swede on the ice anymore, that’s for sure,” said Henrik Sedin. “He’s a good skater. I can tell at practice, he’s a smooth skater and pretty skilled too. He’s a big guy, and it’ll be fun to watch him.”
The newest Canuck is expected to skate on the fourth line with Tanner Glass and Alex Bolduc.
“I can bring some speed and grit and hopefully bring some PK time and go from there.”
Andersson will wear the number 24 on his jersey. Other Canucks who’ve donned the number include Matt Cooke, Curt Fraser, Doug Lidsterm, Scott Walker and most recently Darcy Hordichuk.