ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22 and 23. Rasmus Sandin is the No. 11-ranked North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the 16th overall selection at the draft.
Rasmus Sandin could become the next great defenseman to be selected early in the NHL Draft out of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds organization.
A native of Uppsala, Sweden, Sandin was selected 52nd overall by the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League in the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
Sandin began the year in the Swedish Hockey League and had a goal and an assist in five games with Rogle BK before leaving his home country to play full-time with Sault Ste. Marie. The Greyhounds lost the first matchup he played in but went on to win the next 23.
In 51 outings, he tallied 45 points (12 goals and 33 assists) before adding 13 more points (one goal and 12 assists) during Soo's trip to the OHL finals.
Sandin guarded the Greyhounds blue line with Avalanche prospect Conor Timmins in Sault Ste. Marie and was relied on while Timmins was out of the lineup, both with an injury and during the 2018 World Junior Championship.
"I think my coaches Drew Bannister and Joe Cirella who are both former defencemen have helped me a lot," Sandin told OHL.com about his time with the Greyhounds. "When you get to be able to play with Conor Timmins you learn a lot too. He is effective in any situation and he sees plays before they happen which is a special talent."
Sandin was the OHL Rookie of the Month for December with 9 points (two goals, seven assists) in 11 games and had an eight-game point streak while Timmins was at the World Juniors.
"Sandin is one of these unheralded prospects that came onto the scene and he was able to step right in and play an important role with Sault St. Marie," Dan Marr told OHL.com. "He's got very good vision, heads up game to advance the puck, make a real good pass in the zone, and at the offensive blue-line, he's got some composure and timing that makes him able to contribute offensively."
Sandin is the No. 11-ranked player on NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters and the fourth defenseman on the list.
Video: Rasmus Sandin Scouting Report
At 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, Sandin is not the biggest defenseman in the draft class, but he has proven that he can put up solid numbers.
He led all rookies on the Greyhounds during the 2017-18 season in points, and finished second among blueliners, finishing only behind Mac Hollowell (56 points). He was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team and became the fifth Swede to ever do so. At the 2017-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, he put up three points (three assists) in five outings with Team Sweden, helping his country take home the bronze medal.
Sandin has been described as a calm and poised defenseman who is a smart player that knows how to position himself around the ice. His safety with the puck is also a good upside that the young player already possesses.
Sandin is expected to be selected in the early rounds of the 2018 NHL Draft, just like Timmins, who was selected 32nd overall by the Avalanche last year.