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by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres

Kris Baker of has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.

#21. Rasmus Asplund – C, Farjestad BK (SHL)

(Photo Credit: Stefan Eriksson, Färjestad BK)

Slippery and competitive, Asplund’s ability to hound the puck, force turnovers and quickly transition into offense with a smooth playmaking sense makes him an attractive candidate to mature into a quality NHL forward.

While the crafty 18-year-old didn’t light up the SHL scoresheet against much older competition with Farjestad BK this past season, Asplund let the scouting world know what kind of player he can be at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he controlled the middle of the ice at both ends while creating offense for fellow 2016 draft prospect Alexander Nylander and Toronto prospect Dmytro Timasov (TOR).

Asplund may tote around an average frame and not appear to be the most physical player on the ice, but he’s very detail oriented with an ability to do the little things like winning faceoffs, jamming shooting lanes with his stick, and making short passes from deep in his zone to spark the transition game.

Teams looking for a sneaky playmaker who will comfortably slot into a workmanlike role will likely have Asplund on their radar. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him be a standout at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, and thus have people wondering how he wasn’t selected higher.

For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).

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