2015 NHL Draft Prospect #60: Rasmus Andersson

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TopShelfProspectsA late 1996 birthdate, Rasmus Andersson joined the Barrie Colts as an import out of Sweden after playing two seasons for Malmo in the Allsvenskan. The Colts drafted him in the first round, 37th overall, in the CHL import draft. With two years against men under his belt, big things were expected out of Andersson in the OHL.  With 12 goals and 64 points in 67 games Andersson finished third in OHL scoring amongst defencemen this year.   He added one goal and four points in nine playoff games, as Barrie fell in the second round of the playoffs. Andersson played for Sweden in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka tournament, putting up four assists in four games, and in the 2014 IIHF Under 18 World Championships where he put up two goals and an assist in seven games. He also played in the 2013 Under 18s, getting one goal in five games as an underage player.

Rasmus Andersson comes from great bloodlines.  His father, Peter Andersson had a long pro career in Sweden and had 47 NHL games with the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers in the early 90s. His brother, Calle Andersson is a prospect with the New York Rangers, drafted by the club in the 4th round of the 2012 NHL draft.

Rasmus Andersson

Defence — shoots Right
Born Oct 27 1996 — Malmo, Sweden
Height 6.00 — Weight 212 [183 cm/96 kg]

Rasmus Andersson has good mobility due to very good skating ability. He has very good top end speed in both directions, though he could stand to improve his first few strides and the acceleration.  Andersson’s agility and edgework are top notch which gives him the ability cover a lot of ice in both his offensive and defensive game.  He could add more lower body strength and this would help him in his balance, and winning more board battles.

Andersson is a tremendous offensive talent.  He is able to move the puck with a good first pass, and through skating it himself as he also has good stickhandling ability.  His slapshot is hard and extremely accurate, and his wrist shot features a quick release.  Andersson uses his agility, and ability to walk the line to open up shooting lanes, and has a remarkable ability to get his shot through traffic.  Even with his good shot, the bread and butter of his game is his playmaking ability.  He has very good stickhandling and poise at the line.  He takes the time to let plays develop, and has the vision and passing ability to thread the needle and make great plays in the offensive zone.

Rasmus Andersson shows decent positioning in his own zone.  He is able to create turnovers with his fast stick, and is able to quickly transition those turnovers into offensive opportunities.  The big red flag though is hockey sense and positioning, as he doesn’t always read the play well.  He also could use more work on his defensive intensity.  There are shifts where Andersson seems to be a bit nonchalant out on the ice and this has hurt his stock.  If he can solve those defensive issues, the offense is there to be a first round talent.  He also needs to add more muscle, as Andersson can be overmuscled in the corners or in front of the net.

Rasmus Andersson is a major boom or bust pick here.  He has the offensive ability to be the top defencemen on an NHL powerplay if he continues to develop.  However there are some big questions about his defensive game.  The tools are there in his skating and quickness, but he has some issues to work on.  His game can be reminiscent of a cross between Erik Karlsson and Keith Yandle, but this is a style comparison only and not one based on talent.

Below are some videos of Andersson in action.

Check back later for the #61 prospect on our list.

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