Rasmus Dahlin, Frölunda HC (SHL)
Age on Draft Day: 18
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 183 lbs
2017-18 Stats: 41GP, 7G, 13A
Projection: Top Overall Pick
First things first: Dahlin is not going to be a member of the Detroit Red Wings on Draft Day. The Buffalo Sabres are taking him #1 overall, and they aren’t trading the pick for anything less than another GM completely breaking his team for the next 10-15 years (and maybe not even that price would be worth it for Buffalo). We aren’t getting the pick for both our first-rounders and Andreas Athanasiou, not for Gustav Nyquist and our #6 and Jimmy Howard, not for Jonathan Ericsson and a 3rd-round pick. Marvel Comics’ Thanos could teleport to Earth with a completed Infinity Gauntlet, snap Rasmus Dahlin out of existence, and Buffalo would still draft his dusty ashes.
Yeah, he really is that good for his age. The kid is already playing in the men’s league in Sweden - not the J20 (under 20) league. Despite playing in only 41 games this year for Frölunda, he managed 20 points - good enough for #18 among defensemen in that league, and at least 4 years younger than anyone above him (top defenseman by points Lawrence Pilut, 22 years old, had a break-out year and compiled 38 points in 52 games).
As Kyle mentioned in his profile on Quinn Hughes, Dahlin is already drawing comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom. His page at Elite Prospects is full of nothing but praise, with his only downside being that he’s not known for a booming shot. But don’t confuse that with him not being smart and accurate with his shots, because he is certainly both of those things.
Given that he’s already playing against grown men in the SHL and international competitions (he made Sweden’s Olympic Team this year at only 17), there probably isn’t much point in Buffalo keeping him stashed away in Sweden or the AHL for additional seasoning. He deserves to cut his NHL teeth against the big boys, and most likely will starting on opening night - while Elite Prospects had him listed as under contract to Frölunda for 2018/19, the transfer agreement in place between the SHL and the NHL means that Buffalo shouldn’t have any major hurdles to clear if they want him here.
At the end of the day, I’d be thrilled if the Wings could land Dahlin. But any chance of that happening went out the window when we didn’t land the #1 overall pick on the Draft lottery. The chain of improbable events and complete incompetence that would have to occur for him to be a Red Wing on June 22nd is so long as to render that outcome impossible. Just remember this season when the Sabres come to town, you’ll be hating on someone who looks like he could be the second coming of our own Perfect Human.
How hard will you cheer against Rasmus Dahlin when the Wings play the Sabres?
This poll is closed
He’s not a Red Wing, screw him.
It will still be awesome to watch him play, even if it isn’t for us.
But... but... WE CAN TOTALLY TRADE ERICSSON AND A 3RD FOR HIM!