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By the Numbers: Jonathan Ericsson

Veteran defenseman's season cut short due to a broken wrist

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji / DetroitRedWings.com

By The Numbers will highlight the Red Wings on-ice accomplishments in the 2016-17 season. Each week during the off-season, By The Numbers will profile a different player on the team, focusing on their statistical highs. This week we focus on defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

Jonathan Ericsson would probably like to forget the 2016-17 season, both team-wise and personally.

The Wings failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons and Ericsson's season was cut short due to a broken wrist.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill relied on Ericsson and his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame to defend against some of the larger forwards in the league and to kill penalties.

291 - This number will forever be associated with Ericsson as he was the 291st player taken in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He was hockey's version of Mr. Irrelevant because that was the final pick in that draft. That was in the ninth round, a round that they no longer have.

529 - Considering he was the last pick of the draft, the fact that Ericsson has played in 529 career games, all with the Wings, is impressive. In those games, Ericsson has 21 goals, 86 assists and is plus-8. Ericsson reached the 500-game mark on Nov. 26 against the Montreal Canadiens.

51 - Ericsson was limited to 51 games this season due to injury. On Feb. 9 at Washington, fellow Swede Nicklas Backstrom hit Ericsson behind the net at 15:51 of the first period. Backstrom was called for boarding and Ericsson had to undergo surgery for a broken wrist. It was the fewest games Ericsson played since the 2013-14 season when he had three separate injuries (shoulder subluxation, broken ribs, torn finger ligaments) and only played 48 games.

9 - In part because of the injury, Ericsson only had one goal among nine points this past season. Ericsson generally scored in the 10-12 point range per year. The last time he had fewer than 10 points was in 2008-09 when he had one goal and three assists in 19 games.

63 - Despite playing in just 51 games, Ericsson led the team with 63 penalty minutes. Some of that was from his three fighting majors, the most Ericsson has had in a season since the 2010-11 season when he had three fights in 74 games. He fought Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat in the first game of the season Oct. 13, fought Ottawa's Dion Phaneuf four days later in the home opener and took on Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds on Nov. 8. Ericsson has 13 regular-season NHL fights in his career.

52 - Ericsson is among 60 players in the history of the NHL who have worn the number 52. Only two other Red Wings have worn that number, Ryan Barnes in 2004 for just two games and Dave Lewis, also a former Wings head coach, in 1987.

2 - Based on birthplace information at hockey-reference.com, Ericsson is one of just two NHL players who were born in the city of Karlskrona, Sweden. The other is Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

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