Through the course of my draft profiles for this year's draft, we've dished a lot about potential first round picks. Today we're going to talk about a player who will fall outside of that. Rasmus Andersson, a Swedish defenseman who played his breakout rookie season for the Barrie Colts in the OHL is a guy who won't get taken in the first round, but would be available as a very promising 2nd or 3rd rounder. Detroit doesn't have a 2nd round pick, as they dealt it in the Erik Cole trade, but I do believe that the Red Wings will trade down with a team like the Winnipeg Jets, or the Buffalo Sabres to acquire a pick in the 2nd round, while retaining a pick in the 1st round, albeit a later pick.
Name: Rasmus Andersson
Born: January 30, 1997 -- Malmö, Sweden
Weight: 209 lbs.
|2012-2013||Malmö J18||J18 Allsvenskan||1||0||2||2||0|
|Sweden U17 (all)||International-Jr||5||2||4||6||12|
|Sweden U18 (all)||International-Jr||10||2||3||5||8|
|2013-2014||Sweden U18||Hlinka Memorial||4||0||4||4||10|
|Sweden U18 (all)||International-Jr||13||2||9||11||26|
It may come as to no surprise, but Rasmus Andersson is your typical Swedish defenseman - He skates extremely well for his frame, coming in at 6-foot, 209 lbs. He's not the most agile of skaters, but his lateral movement is exceptional, and he has a silky-smooth stride. You would think that a 209-pound right-handed defenseman who lead all defensemen on his team in scoring would be ranked higher than what he is, but nevertheless, Andersson is a workhorse. He's big, he's strong, and he plays with some real snarl.
While he's not the flashiest goal-scorer, he's more of a setup defenseman in terms of production. After watching some video on him, I've noticed he isn't that "risky" type of defenseman, instead of trotting around in the zone trying to showboat his puck-handling, he relies on his phenomenal passing abilities.
As I've mentioned before, he's big and he certainly plays like it, too. He doesn't hesitate to throw his big frame around to gain possession of the puck, and quickly get it into the hands of his forwards. At 16 and 17 years old, Andersson played in the Allsvenskan league (the league right below SHL), and put up 24 points in 81 games. An impressive stat-line for a kid his age. No doubt in my mind, if he would have stayed in Sweden and played in the SHL, he would likely be a first round lock. Instead, he's probably one of the most promising sleeper picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.
NHL Comparables: Alex Pietrangelo
Here is what Curtis Joe from EliteProspects.com had to say about Andersson:
An offensively active defenceman who works a power dynamic; he is able to win battles against larger opponents through outworking them, and is able to skate with the speediest of smaller opponents. Responsible defensively, but decision making does need some work. All-in-all, an intelligent, hard-working defenceman that is constantly alert in all three zones and willing to do battle with any and all opponents.
NHL CSS RANKING: North American - 93
He's not ranked in many other scouting services. This kid is a potential late 2nd or early 3rd round sleeper pick. Would be a really great pickup for the Red Wings if he's available when and if they're on the clock at those times.
If Detroit can manage to trade down their 19th overall pick to acquire a later 1st rounder, and a 2nd round pick, I would be completely comfortable with them taking a forward in the 1st round, and nabbing Andersson in the 2nd round. There is a good chance he even falls to the 3rd round, but with a guy like him, you might as well get him while you can. He's got all the tools that scouts look for: size, skating, flair, intelligence, strength, you name it. I could certainly see him being a top-four NHL defenseman in two to three years.
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