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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81