Rasmus Andersson turned more than a few heads during his rookie season in the Ontario Hockey League. The Swedish defenceman had an enormous impact on the Barrie Colts' blueline, scoring 12 goals and 64 points in 67 regular season dates. He led all Barrie rearguards in scoring and was fourth in team scoring, averaging 0.96 points-per-game.
The Calgary Flames selected the Malmo, Sweden native with the 53rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Brad Treliving's Take: In Rasmus’ case, he played professionally in Sweden and came over to Barrie and this was his first year in North America in the OHL and he had a tremendous year. For us, it’s conditioning with him. We’ve got to get him in better shape, he’s got to get himself in better shape, and we’ll work with him on that. You look at the skill package, sense, ability, we think there is tremendous upside.
Tod Button's Take: Rasmus is more of a move-the-puck, follow-the-play and shoot from the point, a penetrating pass guy ... a real high ceiling.
WHAT SCOUTS SAY
International Scouting Service: Rasmus Andersson is a power play QB with the Barrie Colts of the OHL and he excels with a good point shot and offensive creativity. He is a strong passer that can
get the puck out of danger quickly and effectively. Excellent poise and vision with the puck to connect up ice or be dangerous from the offensive blueline. Some problems reading the rush and with his decision-making in his own zone and off the puck. Can play over aggressive in the offensive zone at times leading to breaks the other way. The late 1996 born has shown he can play at many levels having played with Malmo in Allsvenskan pro league for two seasons before moving to Barrie in the OHL.
The ISS lists Andersson's top strengths as: 1) Offensive instincts 2) Quality puck skills 3) Shot
Red Line Report: Plays a calm, controlled game and has a fine offensive skill set. Terrific passer with excellent vision and touch. Makes the long home run stretch pass, and carries the puck with his head up looking for outlets. Makes sharp, pro-style first passes. Outstanding quarterback on the PP who distributes to the right spots. Elusive in avoiding the forecheck. Supports his partner very well. However, his feet are heavy and he has trouble in containment against quicker forwards. Carrying too much weight and doesn’t pivot and get back to dump-ins quickly enough. Has problems with his defensive footwork in general - not agile laterally and gets caught standing/watching as his check chases and retrieves loose pucks. Needs to increase physicality and defensive zone awareness. Has the size to pin men along the walls and separate them from the puck, but is not naturally aggressive.
Red Line Report compares Andersson's style to that of Ron Hainsey.
Future Considerations: A smart, mulch-situational defender. This Swedish import has the ability to quarterback a power play by making good reads, hard passes and even harder shots when lanes open. Andersson is a strong and balanced skater who is very mobile. Little choppy when pivoting from backwards to forward, but his movements are fluid everywhere else. Lacks some necessary speed though, unable to keep up to many OHL forwards. Needs to use his smarts to position himself correctly to compensate, but will need to improve his speed if he is to take the next step. Delivers hard, accurate passes to spark the attack; although, these can be inconsistent at times. Very strong reads of the play on the breakout to hit his target with the puck. When presented with no options, Andersson will either wait for a second or two to try to open something up or he will continue to skate it up ice on his own. Possesses a powerful slapshot that he unloads once he is set and sees his lane. Defensively aware and possesses strong hockey sense. Will use his size to physically rub out opponents or clear the crease, but does not possess a real bruiser’s temperament. Uses his stick well, cutting off lanes and angling attackers away from danger. Possesses loads of NHL upside but has one glaring issue: speed.