Date of Birth: 12/3/97 (18)
Place of Birth: Filipstad, SWE
Ht: 5’10” Wt: 176 lbs
Position: Center/Left Wing
Team: Färjestad BK (SHL)
What Scouts See
Asplund has been a highly valued member of Sweden’s national programs since the age of 14. He was the captain of the Swedish U-16, U-17 and U-18 teams, and all as an ‘underager’, captaining Sweden’s U-18 team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Tournament at the age of just 16 years and seven months. “He’s a skilled two-way center, very responsible defensively,” said one crossover scout. “The only real drawback is that he’s a little small, but he plays bigger than his size.” Asplund stepped into the first-line center role for Sweden at the U-20’s when William Nylander went down and did not look out of place, holding opposing centers Sebastien Aho, Brayden Point and Auston Matthews pointless in three crucial head-to-head matchups. “He uses strong skating abilities, smarts, and a quick stick to shut down opponents.” added the same scout. “It’s no surprise that he played regularly in the SHL all season.” Asplund will likely wear a letter at next year’s U-20 and be expected to play an even bigger role in both that tournament, and on his club team Farjestads. “It may take him a couple of years before he’s ready to compete in North America, but he’ll play,” said one scout. “He’ll fill a top-three center role.”
A skilled two-way forward with good hands and a nose for the net. He doesn’t hesitate to go to the net, despite his average size and strength. Asplund has been getting better and better during the season, and had a real solid WJC, which gave him added confidence. Was a part of Farjestad’s best line during the end of the season.
An excellent two-way center who didn’t take long to earn a full-time job in Sweden’s top league. Asplund was a polished sophomore for Farjestad in 2015-16, centering the third line and performing spot duty in the top six along with fellow 2016 draft eligible Oskar Steen and 2015 first rounder Joel Eriksson Ek. However, it was a breakout performance for Team Sweden while subbing for an injured William Nylander at the 2016 world junior championship which gave him dual-continent recognition, finishing the tournament with five points as Sweden’s de facto top center.
Asplund is quick and shifty, using his speed and turning ability to gain time and space. He has a good touch around the net, positioning his stick in the right place and takes a beating to complete a play. His SHL numbers might not show it, but he’s a very good scorer with a quick, accurate shot. Asplund is strong on the puck and can make plays across the ice or diagonally while traveling at a high rate of speed. His work ethic off the ice is excellent, and it shows — he’s a tenacious forechecker and competes every shift from start to finish. Asplund is far from physical, but his excellent work in the faceoff circle coupled with his smarts makes him a perfect fit for the NHL’s puck-possession game.
Rasmus Asplund has already seen what it’s like to play against men as he’s been playing in Sweden’s top league for the past two seasons. His skill set is well suited for a top-six role and the North American game. Asplund should have no trouble finding his way onto an NHL roster and sticking.
Expected Draft Position
Central Scouting ranks Asplund way up at fourth on the European draft list, but most other agencies put him in the high twenties. He’s an intriguing prospect, regardless, and it’s highly unlikely he drops out of the first round.
How Rasmus Asplund Fits in Avalanche Organization
Rasmus Asplund could be an exciting addition to the Avalanche. He’s a tenacious playmaker with great hands and creativity who would complement Colorado’s forward corps. His compete level, pro-level experience, and offensive skills will make him attractive to the Avs’s brass, despite his size. However, he might not be quite good enough for the tenth pick, and he’s not going to be on the board by the time the Avs pick in the second round.