Date of Birth: 10/27/1996
Place of Birth: Malmo, SWE
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 212 lbs
Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Rasmus Andersson came over from Sweden last summer in the CHL Import Draft with decent expectations. What the Barrie Colts got, however, was so much more than they expected. Playing on the 5th-highest scoring OHL team, Andersson scored 64 points, including 12 goals, in 67 games played, shattering the expectations he brought with him.
While a point-per-game pace would normally place a defenseman firmly in the first round conversation, Andersson's game showed just enough of a flaw to move him down draft boards and make him a potential steal for a team in the second round.
An offensively active defenceman who works a power dynamic; he is able to win battles against larger opponents through outworking them, and is able to skate with the speediest of smaller opponents. Responsible defensively, but decision making does need some work. All-in-all, an intelligent, hard-working defenceman that is constantly alert in all three zones and willing to do battle with any and all opponents.
Likes to join rush. Offensive blueline. Plays on first PK unit. Has sufficient strength to maintain possession of the puck in scrums along the boards. Crisp exit passes. Can defend against skilled puck movers on rush. Will maintain patience through stick dekes. Has a mature frame. Not overly tall, but broad in the shoulders. Strong shooter. Has a good wrist shot which he will release while in motion. His slapshot is strong too, but both shots lack in accuracy.
What BSN Avalanche sees
Simply put, Rasmus Andersson has nearly everything you want from a defenseman. He's very good offensively, running a power play with ease and is an excellent passer. He has a hard shot from the point but doesn't utilize it often, probably because its lacks consistent accuracy, but will unleash it if teams dare him to.
Defensively, he makes good reads and his stocky build allows him to body players in front of the crease and in the corners. He's not an overly physical player by nature but doesn't hesitate to throw his weight around if the situation calls for it.
One of Andersson's best attributes is his breakout pass. With the increased importance of defenders who can make stretch passes at higher levels, Andersson's ability to sling the puck to teammates at high velocity is going to translate very well to pro hockey.
Where Andersson struggles the most is his speed. He's simply not fast enough to keep up with better forwards in the OHL, meaning he's definitely going to struggle in pro hockey. He's a strong skater with a good stride but he's going to have to do something about his speed. It's the single attribute keeping Andersson from the first round in my opinion. Beyond that, he has absolutely everything else you want from a defenseman.
Andersson projects as a likely middle-pairing defenseman with lots of offensive potential and a strong two-way game. If he hits his absolute ceiling, he could be a first-pairing defenseman.
Expected Draft Position
Andersson is another guy with some variance in in his rankings as CSS has him ranked 93rd but Corey Pronman gives him his highest ranking at 27th. He's elsewhere ranked between 30 and 60, making him a very likely second round selection with an outside chance at going towards the end of the first round.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
In the event of the Avalanche selecting Rasmus Andersson in the second round, he would immediately vault near the top of the organization's defensemen ranks, behind only Chris Bigras. His enormous offensive potential and already mature two-way game make him a player to watch and he would be a top 10 prospect in the Avalanche organization.
Bigras' track to pro hockey is actually a good comparison for Andersson. He should continue to develop in the OHL before moving up to San Antonio and pressing for NHL ice time sooner rather than later.