Sophomore Season: Burning Down the House
This season officially saw the wheels come off for the kid. Andersson played in only 17 games for the New York Rangers and notched just a single point (an assist). Calling those 17 games lifeless would be an insult to hardworking zombies and undead everywhere.
Andersson’s play, to put it nicely, was uninspired. Everyone could see that he was simply going through the motions. Once again, the Rangers demoted him to Hartford. He played in just 13 games, notching five total points.
By January, the frustrated youngster decided to head home for Sweden without giving the organization any notice or details as to why he left. The Rangers eventually agreed to loan him to HV71 of the SHL for the remainder of the season, where he produced 12 points (7G-5A) in 15 games.
In April, Andersson finally spoke out in an interview with Swedish outlet, Gothenburg Post. He elaborated on his mental struggle.
"“It wasn’t just something that happened overnight, but it sneaked up on me, I had a hard time,” he said.”I had trouble sleeping and started taking a sleeping pill every now and then. I didn’t think hockey was fun anymore. I thought other things were more fun and more important”."
It also emerged that Andersson wanted the Blueshirts to cut him loose because he wanted to find a new beginning elsewhere. It’s not hard to understand Andersson’s feeling overwhelmed and out of his depth as a teenager all alone in a foreign country. The pressure to succeed is turned up another notch by playing in one of the biggest sports markets on the planet.
Time spent between Manhattan and Hartford took a significant toll on Andersson. A change of scenery was something that he absolutely needed. And it may still be needed.