From June 10-19, CalgaryFlames.com will be highlighting the organization's most promising prospects - players who have made tremendous strides since being drafted and those who could make a push for a roster spot in the near future.
Steady, consistent development has led Rasmus Andersson to become one of Calgary's most promising defence prospects in short order.
Coming off of a 64-point rookie campaign with the Barrie Colts, Andersson was selected 53rd overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. The Flames saw tremendous upside in the Swedish defender: his offensive instincts were far more advanced than most his age, he was an excellent playmaker thanks to his vision and puck skills and he could quarterback a powerplay.
He also played a calm, poised game and displayed a level of maturity beyond his years. The only knock GM Brad Treliving had for the youngster was that his conditioning would need some work before he turned pro.
Andersson headed back to Barrie for the 2015-16 campaign, working on improving his overall conditioning and his defensive play. The result? A 60-point regular season and a plus-34 rating through those 64 games - a plus-20 improvement from the year prior.
He led all OHL defencemen in points and assists (51). Andersson also averaged a point-per-game in the playoffs, tallying 15 through 15 skates.
Satisfied with the strides he had made in Barrie, the Flames sent Andersson to the AHL for the 2016-17 season. The transition went relatively smooth, likely due to his experience playing in a professional league. Prior to heading to the OHL, Andersson spent two seasons with the Malmo RedHawks in Sweden's Allsvenskan league. As a teenager, he managed 24 points through 81 games with the RedHawks.
Between his time with the RedHawks and the Colts, Andersson was equipped to take a on a big role with the Heat in his rookie year. He was second among all Heat defencemen with 22 points on the year, trailing just fellow Swede Oliver Kylington.
He also earned a couple of NHL call-ups and made his NHL debut on April 8 in San Jose, logging 18:33 of ice time against the Sharks.
In the AHL playoffs, Andersson put 10 shots on net in five games, leading all Heat rearguards.
Video: Get to know Swedish defenceman Rasmus Andersson