After trading away their first three picks of the draft yesterday for Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have added another defender from Ontario with the 53rd selection. The Flames used their pick to select Rasmus Andersson of the Barrie Colts.
Originally from Malmo, Sweden, Andersson made the jump to the Ontario Hockey League following this season as an import and impressed – putting up 64 points in 67 games for the club. He previously played in the Swedish junior system, but he also played 81 games for the pro Allsvenskan league – including playing against Mikael Backlund’s Vasteras club during the 2012-13 lockout as a 16-year-old. No doubt that Andersson’s success in that league fueled his desire to come over to North America and try his hand at making the NHL ranks.
In terms of his vitals: Andersson is 6′ and just over 210 lbs, but he’s also one of the older players in the Draft as an October 1996 birthday (he’s turning 19 in a few months). But given the maturity of his game and his professional experience, that should be just fine.
Our friends at Future Considerations noted that Andersson had the third-hardest shot in the draft, behind Denis Guryanov and Jack Eichel. Their main criticism of his game is his speed. Beyond that, their bio of Andersson praises his intelligence and ability to move pucks and get them on net – using the phrase “power-play quarterback.” If the Flames can get Andersson with Troy Crowder this summer and improve his skating a bit, he could be a steal at this juncture at the Draft.
Andersson was the 93rd ranked skater by NHL’s Central Scouting Service, but ranked 50th by Future Considerations.
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