Toronto Maple Leafs Prospects Report: Andreas Johnson


Every week throughout the NHL season and off-season we will be updating you on the development, potential and realistic expectations for key Toronto Maple Leafs prospects with up-to-date stats, analysis and scouting reports

Andreas Johnson

The Leafs this week re-signed TJ Brennan, but more importantly locked up Swedish stud prospect Andreas Johnson to a 3 year Entry Level Contract. This is excellent news for Leafs Nation, as Andreas Johnson’s rapid ascent up the hockey world’s radar has quickly made him the Leafs 2nd best prospect.

Getting To Know: Andreas Johnson

Age: 20

Position: LW / RW

Shoots: Left

Jersey Number: #88 / #5 for Team Sweden

Height / Weight: 5ft10 / 170-185lbs

Drafted: 2013 NHL Entry Draft, 7th Round, 202nd Overall

Contract Info: 3Yr 2Way ELC, 70K AHL Salary, 92,500K Signing Bonus Each Year, 750,833K Salary Cap Hit*

*Salary numbers as per

To be up front, I’ve watched a lot of Andreas Johnson since he was drafted and he is quite possibly my favorite Leaf, or at least tied with Viktor Loov and Leo Komarov – so some bias may be present.

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The elephant in the room, and a large part of the reason he dropped to the 7th round, is his size. Currently listed at 5’10” and somewhere between 175-185lbs depending on where you get your information, Johnson has already grown a bit from the 5’9″, 165lb, winger he was back in 2013.

Andreas Johnson may not be a large player, but he is built very similar to Sidney Crosby with a lot of mass in his legs, giving him a low centre of balance and a ton of power in his stride. This low centre of mass is key to his greatest strength, his skating.

“He is a skilled, strong winger, not tall, but he’s got a thicker build, but very intelligent and skilled – Dave Morrison, Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting

Andreas Johnson can flat-out fly, whether that is end to end, east to west or just dipsy-dangling around your entire team, Johnson has elite level speed. In his Draft+1 season Johnson used this speed to post 24 points in 44 games in the SHL (Sweden’s top men’s league) leading all players under 20 in scoring and winning the SHL rookie of the year award.

He added another 6pts in 7 games as part of the Silver Medal winning Team Sweden at the World Juniors. The Leafs really and truly lucked out on this kid, who went from essentially an unheard of smallish winger with asthma (he has since been treated for it) to SHL rookie of the year.

The show didn’t stop there for Andreas though, no, he used a lethal backhand, quick one-timer, deceptively quick wrist shot and with added confidence from his rookie season playing against men he absolutely destroyed the Champions League Cup last fall.

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While the rest of the Leafs prospects were at rookie camp, Johnson returned to his SHL team to battle for the prestigious Champions Cup. He went on to post 11 goals, 14 assists, good for 25 points in only 12 games, finishing 2nd in the tournament to only his line mate Mathis Olimb (8G/18A/26P/13GP) who had an extra game as Johnson missed one early due to injury. Andreas didn’t slow down, continuing his torrid pace and putting up 22G/13A/35P in 55GP and another 4Pts in 8 playoff games this past season.

Focusing more on his game play and style and less on pure numbers, Andreas Johnson is a complete 200ft player who uses his speed to get back on the back check and an active stick to disrupt plays. He uses his low centre mass and leg strength to dig pucks out of the corners and along the boards but prefers to work from behind the net or in the slot.

His masterful skating allows for him to simply slip behind the defenders without anyone noticing, and he seems to have a natural gift for being in the open areas of the ice to receive a pass. Following the path of other Swedish Leaf forwards of yesteryear (Steen and Sundin), Andreas Johnson has a wicked backhand shot that he gets up off the ice with ease and force. He is working on being able to get it off in tight to truly be able to maximize his offensive arsenal, but has an equally lethal wrister that makes up for in quickness what it may lack in strength. yet again has the breakdown for us;

"Johnson is a talented but undersized winger who is a quick skater and is adept at passing and stickhandling. He does not play an overly combative game but is willing to go into tight areas if necessary to create scoring chances. As with many young scorers his defensive game is still developing and his size is sometimes a disadvantage."

Due to his superior skating abilities and penchant for finding the open ice, Johnson has developed a very promising one-timer that he can unleash from all areas of the ice. With his shooting prowess well-known, he often draws double coverage from defenders and using his speed, advanced stick handling abilities and solid passing more times than not is able to create a premium scoring chance for a teammate.

When Johnson is on the ice, defenders have a hard time beating his forecheck as he often gets to the puck before they do. Offensive skills aside, Johnson is not built to dish out physical punishment, nor receive it and this can limit his effectiveness in nastier games. Today’s NHL is moving more and more towards pure skill over just raw size, so Johnson is certainly arriving at the right time, but his lack of size and what he does with it will be the main narrative to his career.

This will definitely be an element of his game to watch as he transitions to the North American game style… which won’t be happening for at least another season according to him:

"I feel that I need to develop both on and off the ice before I take the plunge and it is only positive to remain in Frölunda another year"

So, Leaf fans can hold on to their hats for at least one more season. There is a good chance Andreas Johnson could pull a similar maneuver to William Nylander this year and start the season in the SHL and then finish with the Marlies in the AHL.

Andreas Johnson is pure speed… on fire… shot out of a cannon. He has the hands, stick handling and hockey IQ to possibly be an impact level offensive force in the NHL. How well he does depends a lot of how well he can transition over to the much more physical, and smaller ice surface of the North American game.

His tenacity and competitive fire will serve him well in this regard, but continuing to add mass to his frame will only help him reach the NHL sooner. Regardless, as a 7th round pick the Leafs are playing with house money at this point.

NHL Upside: Andreas Johnson

Upside: 1st Line Goal Scorer 30+ G 60+ Pts

Realistic Projection: 2nd Line Goal Scorer + Special Teams Ace 20+ G 35+ Pts

NHL Ready: 2017-2018

NHL Player Comparable: High End – Mike Cammalleri, Low End – Mats Zuccarello

Next week we’ll continue to break down the Leaf’s prospect pipeline.

Next: Prospect Report: Frederik Gauthier

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