The past couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster ride for Tim Erixon as he has gone from hero and presumed lock to make the team after the Traverse City Prospects Tournament to assigned to the minors during training camp and then back on the team making his professional debut in Sweden for the New York Rangers.
When the Rangers claimed Jeff Woywitka late last week many presumed that Erixon would be headed back to the minors when the team returned from Europe, but that is not happening right now. The team instead demoted Brendan Bell to Hartford and are keeping Erixon as one of seven defenders on the roster.
Erixon was not overwhelming on the third pair with Steve Eminger in the opening games, but he flashed more of what was seen in Traverse than the tentative game he played during the preseason. This is a tough situation to read because Erixon was still showing issues dealing with the strength of NHL caliber players, but his skating and overall play were better than Eminger. The issue will be with the Rangers deciding on what is best for his development in terms of playing 12-14 sheltered minutes on the third defensive pairing in the NHL or playing 20+ minutes against all competition and in all situation in the AHL. This could be a scenario where with the Rangers off until Saturday and Whale not playing until Friday that he gets another week of NHL practices and maybe one more game before the team heads out on the road trip.