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By the Numbers: Jonathan Ericsson

Veteran defenseman has been a blue line mainstay since 2009 Playoffs

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner /

By the Numbers will highlight the Red Wings' on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season. Each week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player on the team, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

It was during Detroit's 2009 playoff run that Jonathan Ericsson had his official Red Wings coming out party.

Ericsson was taken in the ninth round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He was the last player chosen in the draft, earning him the moniker of 'Mr. Irrelevant,' but based on his performance in the 2009 Playoffs, there wasn't anything irrelevant about his play.

In 22 playoff games, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman was impressive. He had four goals among eight points, including notching the game-winner in his playoff debut against Columbus. He was also plus-9, averaged 18:44 of ice time and was assessed 25 penalty minutes.

He was being heralded as Detroit's next diamond-in-the-rough pick, following the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

There was so much hoopla surrounding Ericsson that many were convinced he was the heir apparent to Nick Lidstrom as Detroit's anchor on the blue line. He was even mentioned as a potential yearly contender for the Norris Trophy.

Without question, Ericsson made an impression on the hockey world and the expectation level for him was boundless.

Unfortunately, he has never come close to becoming the all-world player many predicted based on his 2009 Playoffs.

Until the 2009 Playoffs, Ericsson had spent most of his pro career (2006-07 through 2008-09) with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. He made his Red Wings debut on Feb. 22, 2008 at Calgary, where he logged 22:39 of ice time and was even. Ericsson played eight games for Detroit that season. The following year in 2008-09, he dressed in 19 contests for the Wings.

In 27 games over that two-year span, he had two goals, three assists, was minus-4 and his average ice time was 17:09. He wasn't spectacular, but he was a big body and a steady presence on Detroit's back end.

So, when he caught fire in the 2009 Playoffs, he was vaulted into the stratosphere, when in reality, he was more like the player he was during the 27 regular season games he played before the playoffs.

Over the course of his career, Ericsson has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism due to him not developing into an elite level player and because of the six-year, $25.5 million contract extension he signed in November 2013, with a cap hit of $4.25 million.

This season, Ericsson will be in the fifth year of his extension and though he isn't a flashy player, he is a reliable defender, who on rare occasion can chip in offensively, but is prone to turnovers in his own end.

With the Wings skewing younger, it is conceivable that Ericsson could become a calming influence and mentor to the Wings' young emerging defensive corps.

3 - Number of goals he scored. This is the fifth time Ericsson has notched three goals during a season in his Wings career. His career high in goals in one season is four, which he accomplished in 2009-10.

10 - He dished out 10 assists last season. It was the fourth time he accumulated 10 assists in one season with the Red Wings. Ericsson's season-high assist total is 12, which he's achieved three times, most recently in 2015-16.

13 - Ericsson's 13 points last season was the second-highest point total of his Detroit career. He has accumulated 13 points in one season three times. His highest point total in one season is 15, which he has done three times in Detroit. The last time he scored 15 points was 2015-16.

-7 - His minus-7 was the second highest of his career. His career high is minus-15 in 2009-10. In 610 career games with the Red Wings, Ericsson is plus-1.

19:18 - Ericsson's average ice time, which was sixth highest on the Wings and fourth highest among Detroit's defensemen. Mike Green led all Detroit players in ice time, clocking in at 22:04 per game. Ericsson's career average ice time is 18:53.

81 - Total number of games he played, tying Nick Jensen. Captain Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist and Dylan Larkin played in all 82 games for the Wings last season.

133 - Number of hits he delivered, which was third best on the team. Alternate captain Justin Abdelkader led Detroit with 174 hits, followed by Luke Glendening's 137.

600 - On March 18 in Colorado, Ericsson played in his 600th career NHL game, a 5-1 loss to the Avalanche. He logged 15:09 of ice time, registered one shot on goal and was minus-3.

291 - Detroit selected Ericsson in the ninth round, 291st overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Ericsson was the last player selected in the draft. Rick Nash was the first overall pick in 2002, taken by Columbus. Other notable players drafted by the Wings in 2002 were Jiri Hudler, second round, 58th overall; Tomas Fleischmann, second round, 63rd overall; Valtteri Filppula, third round, 95th overall; and Derek Meech, seventh round, 229th overall.

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