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Andersson excited to be selected by Flames

by Jason Johnson / Calgary Flames



SUNRISE, FL --
Rasmus Andersson wasn’t there first hand to hear his name called in the second round (No. 53) by the Calgary Flames.

Back in his hometown of Malmo, Sweden, Andersson instead shared the experience with his brother. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

"Me and my brother were watching TV and I just updated the website and I saw my name popping up," Andresson told CalgaryFlames.com. "At first I was a little shocked to see my name on the NHL website but then I started realizing I was part of the Flames and then my brother said 'Ras… you got drafted'. He was so excited. We were just sitting, the two of us. I didn’t want anyone else by my side but my brother. We were just watching the TV and my name popped up. I can’t really describe the feeling."

The two siblings played together for the Malmo Redhawks in Sweden before Andersson left to make the trek to North America to suit up for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League.

Calle, Rasmus’ other brother, was selected in the 2012 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers in the fourth round (No. 119) but is now a member of EV Zug in the National League A in Switzerland. Their father Peter was also selected by the Rangers in 1983 and split 47 NHL games between the Rangers and the Florida Panthers.

The hockey bloodlines have helped Rasmus along the way.

"My brother and my father have been a huge part of my development in hockey," Andersson said. "I played with my brother last season and my father played some games in the NHL and he’s a hockey coach so he’s basically watching me every single game. We always talk after I play and he gives me advice. My brother and my father, without them I probably wouldn’t be where I am today."

Where he is, is the newest member of the Flames.

“In Rasmus’ case, he played professionally in Sweden. He came over to Barrie," Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said. "This is his first year in North America and the OHL. He had a tremendous year.

"You look at the skill package…sense, ability…we think there’s tremendous upside.”

Andersson credits his junior coach -- former NHL centre Dale Hawerchuk -- as a big reason why his inaugural stint in North America was so seamless.

"It’s been a great experience," he said. "I had a really good coach. He really taught me a lot about every aspect of the game and he really helped me a lot at the beginning of the season with the adjustments of the language, the billet families and all that kind of stuff. I got more and more adjusted all around the start of November and ever since I had a really good season and it’s been a really good experience for me."

The 18-year-old describes himself as a two-way blueliner and tries to model his game after Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings.

Not a bad player to emulate.

"I’m a puck-moving defenceman who likes to join the rush and loves playing power plays and the offensive part," Andersson said. "I try to play similar to a guy like Drew Doughty – he’s a great defenceman who can play both ends of the ice – I really like the defensive part of his game and that’s the type of defenceman I want to be."

When the 6-foot, 212-pound rearguard found out he was selected by Calgary, it came as no surprise.

"I had a bunch of conversations with Calgary," he said. "It started off at the [NHL] Combine and I kind of got the feeling that they really liked me. A woman called me and I had a long interview with her and she was asking me about my personality outside the game. I really got the feeling that Calgary really liked me so I was super excited when I saw that they drafted me."

Currently training in Sweden with his brother and Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky, Andersson will make his first trip to Western Canada in July when he embarks on his first NHL development camp with the Flames -- a place he also hopes to call home in the future.

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