Rasmus Andersson: Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft Profile


Rasmus Andersson: Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft Profile

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The 2014-15 season was unfortunately cut short for the Colorado Avalanche. That means that here at Mile High Sticking, we have a long off-season ahead of us. While the off-season is filled with all different kinds of articles, regarding the playoffs (that we are unfortunately not a part of), Avalanche season reviews, and many other things, it also gives us time to focus on the Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft.

Let’s take a look at Rasmus Andersson — a Swedish defenseman playing for the OHL’s Barrie Colts.

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Name: Rasmus Andersson

Position: Defenseman

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’0″, 215 lbs

Team/League: Barrie Colts, OHL

Stats (from eliteprospects.com): 













Risk, Reward: 2/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Top-4 two-way defenseman

Player comparison: Alex Pietrangelo

Draft Range: 2nd or 3rd round

Scouting report

Rasmus Andersson is an offensively gifted defenseman from Sweden who has spent the majority of his hockey career back home. He played for Malmö’s junior teams and gave his pro debut as a 16-year-old in the Allsvenskan — Sweden’s second tier league. Furthermore, Andersson was selected for Sweden’s U18 World Championship roster in 2013, as a player that was two years younger than most of his competition. In 2014, he decided to make the move over to North America and joined the Barrie Colts for the 2014-15 campaign.

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The 6-foot defenseman is a very hard-working player with very good work ethic. According to Elite Prospects scout Curtis Joe, Andersson “is able to win battles against larger opponents through outworking them, and is able to skate with the speediest of smaller opponents.”

There is a lot to like about Andersson, starting with his offensive skill and ability to act as a quarterback on the powerplay. He knows how to handle and distribute the puck around the offensive zone. However, he also knows how to rip a shot off himself and consistently gets pucks on net.

Andersson needs to work on his skating, as it is very choppy at times. He gets around well enough in junior hockey, but will definitely have to improve in that regard if he wants to make the NHL.

When on defense, Andersson plays with a lot of edge despite his below-NHL-average size for a defenseman. His positioning is very good and he knows how to use his stick defensively. Andersson has spent a lot of time playing on the penalty kill for the Colts and was a reliable option there.

More from Mile High Sticking: Beichler’s Full First Round Mock Draft

The Swede plays a very laid-back style and always stays calm when he has the puck, even under pressure. However, his overall decision making needs to improve, which is also what Curtis Joe sees. Nevertheless, Joe says that “all-in-all, [Andersson is] an intelligent, hard-working defenceman that is constantly alert in all three zones and willing to do battle with any and all opponents.”

Draft rankings are sometimes interesting regarding the defensemen this year. NHL Central Scouting has Andersson ranked 93rd among North American skaters, TSN’s Bob McKenzie has him ranked 59th. Furthermore, he is ranked 60th by Hockeyprospect.com and 107th by ISS Hockey. As a comparison, fellow draft-eligible D-man Parker Wotherspoon — who plays a similar style — is ranked 109th by Hockeyprospect.com and 54th by ISS Hockey.

I have said it before and I will say it again, my favorite draft rankings come from Future Considerations. Again, they have Andersson and Wotherspoon ranked 50th and 52nd respectively, which seems like a very good evaluation.

Fit with the Avalanche

Rasmus Andersson is a player with a lot of potential, but some important question marks as well, which leads to the different rankings. He may be picked in the second round or in the third round, but I would not expect him to fall farther than the 90th pick.

If he falls into the third round, Andersson could be a very good pick for the Avalanche. He is not overly big, but is a very strong player that plays bigger than he is. Andersson could play in any situation and eat big minutes for his team.

Despite his pro experience, Andersson would likely spend another two seasons with the Colts, before getting a first taste of North American pro hockey in the AHL. He needs some time to improve his game, but the reward could be worth it. Andersson has the potential to be a top-pairing two-way defenseman that plays 25 minutes a night.

More Draft Coverage:

2015 NHL Draft Profile List

Ryan Gropp

Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson

Nicolas Meloche

Conor Garland

Christian Fischer

Beichler’s Full First Round Mock Draft

Revisiting Avalanche Early Draft Options

Next: Draft Profile: Vladislav Gavrikov

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