Tracking the Storm

Andersen an International Presence

Wednesday, 07.13.2011 / 12:06 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Andersen an International Presence

He may not have gained a great amount of exposure at home, but on the world stage, Frederik Andersen has made himself known.

Paul Branecky
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The 6-foot-4, 220-pound goaltender, drafted with the Hurricanes’ final pick in the seventh round in 2010, has spent the last two seasons with Fredrikshavn in the top division in his native Denmark. With the Danish league not on the same level as other European countries, it’s hard enough to get noticed there, let alone in the junior division in which he spent his first two years of draft eligibility.

“The Danish under-20 league is not a top league in the world, so I think I might have been more under the radar,” said Andersen, in Raleigh for the first time to participate in the Hurricanes’ conditioning camp.

To put Danish hockey in perspective, just seven players born in that country have ever appeared in an NHL game. Six of those – Mikkel Boedker, Lars Eller, Jannik Hansen, Philip Larsen, Frans Nielsen and Peter Regin – are currently active, showing recent growth that Andersen hopes to continue by becoming the first goaltender to join that list.

For now, however, the Danish league is still relatively anonymous on the larger scale. That being said, it wasn’t his promotion to the men’s division that made the Hurricanes take note in his third and final turn through the NHL draft. Rather, it was his performance for Denmark at the senior level of 2010 World Championship – a tournament featuring the biggest hockey countries in the world and some of the best NHL players whose teams aren’t in the playoffs.

Being a goalie for an underdog team can be a challenge – Danish goaltenders were among the leaders in shots faced at that tournament – but Andersen first made his presence known in his country’s surprising 4-1 upset of Finland, a game in which he made 36 saves as his team was out-shot 37-16.

“He was outstanding,” said Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald following his selection of Andersen. “He’s a big guy at 6-foot-4 and well over 200 pounds and has tremendous athletic ability. He had a very, very strong World tournament playing against NHL-caliber players, and we felt that the upside here was significant.”

Playing in the world tournament could have proved intimidating for a young player in a high-pressure position, but not for Andersen, who along with his size considers mental toughness one of his strongest suits.

“It doesn’t really matter,” he said. “I don’t think about who I’m playing against because I play my game and prepare the same way no matter what.”

Andersen again backstopped the Danish entry at the more recent 2011 World Championship in Slovakia, giving him two more such events than all but the best and brightest young players that happen to come from bigger hockey countries.

“I feel like I’m very experienced even though I’m only 21,” he said.

Next season, Andersen will face stiffer competition on a regular basis as he moves to Frolunda of the more-highly-regarded Swedish Elite League, where he will work to improve his mobility. It was a move he was hoping to make last season, but his Danish contract prevented it.

However, Andersen doesn’t feel like that was such a bad thing.

“It was good for me to stay another year,” he said. “I felt pretty good at that level and I could continue to improve with lots of playing time and playoff experience.”


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72