After his first NHL goal last night against the Dallas Stars, it seems only right to cast our opinion on the young Ottawa Senators defenseman.
Hailing from Stockholm Sweden, Claesson was drafted 126th overall in the fifth round of the 2011 entry draft.
This is what eliteprospects.com had to say about the defenseman during his draft year:
"A solid stay-at-home defenseman. Claesson plays a simple and smart game without taking any risks. Has a pretty good shot, but does not use it too often. Could use some work on his puck skills. (EP 2011)"
It hasn’t been the easiest of roads to the NHL for Claesson, but boy, has he earned his place to give Guy Boucher a headache when it comes to selection.
285 games in the AHL is a lot of games for a NHL hopeful. Three full seasons without a call-up would place doubt into the minds of even the most optimistic. Claesson is in that bracket, humble, hardworking and gracious. Giving out the awe of a man who has been moulded by the organisation and has earned his place. Take a look at this interview taken after his contract extension.
The contract itself is a one year deal of $650,000 compared to this year’s $700,000 (capfriendly). Key difference being that the new deal is one-way, he cannot be sent down to Binghamton without clearing waivers. This shows the hand of the Sens organisation who feel he can certainly add something to this team. Often viewed as the seventh defenseman, he will look to earn his spot in the lineup.
Last night was Fredrik’s first since the loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 19, only contributing 6:42 over eight shifts. Against Dallas however, on the ice for 11:13, 17 shifts, an assist and a goal. Furthermore, finishing the night with a +/- of +1. Claesson should remain in the lineup for future games.
Not all defenseman are going to be Erik Karlsson, a squad needs depth players. People who are ready to give everything for a spot on the roster. Claesson has that mindset and attitude, he is proud to be a Ottawa Senator and everything that it stands for.
Two point night for the young Swede could drastically improve his chances of becoming a regular within this team. Boucher will find it hard to drop Claesson after his impressive display at the American Airlines Centre