Rangers Select [F] Lias Andersson with 7th Overall Pick

With the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Rangers select Lias Andersson from HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League.

Andersson is known as being a strong two-way forward with offensive potential. While not being a very large player at 6’0″ and 200 lbs, he uses his body to his advantage to control puck possession. His skating is improving though it does not impede his overall play. Andersson sees the ice very well and is very good at distributing the puck. He has a shot that isn’t overtly deadly, but very much capable of beating goaltenders. He’s more capable of producing offense by working his way into the dirty areas.

The Swede is a very low-risk pick for the New York Rangers given his style of play. He’s very disciplined and his two-way game will allow him to transition very nicely to NHL play. He projects as a middle six forward that can play in all situations and his likelihood of playing in the NHL is higher than some of the other players eligible. Andersson would be eligible to play in Hartford during the 2017-18 season should he choose to.

  1. Love it, thanks for the post. It's nice to be excited about a top end prospect again, seems like forever!

    I get the impression the kid can be whatever he wants, subject to coaching and how he applies himself, capping at 2nd line C. I love his confidence in interviews though, and I'm hopeful of a solid 2nd line C. I loved the clips I saw of him and can't wait to see him against NHL talent.

    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk
    Here's an incredibly complimentary write-up about the kid:

    Any of you statistics buffs out there should read it. And everyone else should read it just for the compilation of scouting reports. One tidbit I found interesting was that since 1981, only eight players have scored 19 or more points in the SHL in their draft season: Markus Naslund, Daniel/Henrik Sedin, Robert Nilsson, Nicklas Backstrom, Victor Hedman, Elias Lindholm and Lias Andersson.

    Here's the compilation of scouting reports part:

    From Future Considerations:

    A smart, mature, two-way center…good decision-making, leadership qualities and advanced understanding of the game…a true three-zone player…defensively responsible…will drop to block shots or get his body in passing lanes…dangerous forechecker who reads the defense and uses an active stick to disrupt…covers up the ice for his teammates on the backcheck and always gives an honest effort…doesn’t commit a lot of mistakes and plays a very calm game while in puck possession…has solid offensive instincts…protects the puck very well and uses all of his frame to hold opponents off the puck…possesses a nice, quick shot release…not a flashy puckhandler, but can carry it up ice and distributes it well…goes to the net and plays in traffic…has solid vision and the ability to set up his linemates…has good balance and generates healthy amounts of speed…a potential two-way guy in the Zetterberg mold.

    From the Hockey Prospect Black Book (Excerpt from publication):

    A solid forward who has played both center and wing. Andersson is a very good playmaker who has the ability to drive the play. He is an aggressive player who often wins races for loose pucks and he is adept at one on one battles. His wrist shot and one-timer are excellent, both pack some bigtime punch. He’s a player who could excel on an NHL power play.

    From Corey Pronman of ESPN (Excerpt only – full article behind pay wall):

    He won’t dazzle with high-end dekes, but there is a lot of skill to Andersson’s game. He makes quick decisions, has a quick shot, sees his options well and has good puck skills. Andersson might be below average in size, but he’s tough and strong for a player his age, and he can kill penalties adequately.

    From Jimmy Hamrin of McKeen’s Hockey (Excerpt only – full article behind pay wall):

    Lias Andersson is a good bet to make the NHL on a regular basis. Depending on his future development I can see him becoming anything from a second line center to a bottom six center for an NHL team and being effective in any of those roles. He has the offensive drive, the shot and good enough skills to suggest him reaching the level of being a second line center at the highest level. He lacks the high end offensive talent necessary to be a first line center. For the upcoming draft I would be surprised if he is not a first round pick and would look about righ anywhere in the top 20. He is a safer bet than Liljegren or Pettersson as he is not as raw and is a bit further ahead in his development as of today but he does not have the same level of top skills and high end potential as those two.

    From The Draft Analyst:

    One of the few forward prospects who played consistent minutes for a contending adult team, Andersson showcased more creativity and puck skills at several best-on-best tournaments while manning one of Sweden’s top two lines. He’s a 200-foot battler with soft hands and makes smart decisons while motoring up ice. Andersson is a virtual lock for a lengthy NHL career, and his style of play can fit any system.

    Andersson is a mature, two-way center who can occasionally fill in on the wing. He had a strong rookie season in the SHL, finishing with 19 points in 42 games for a talented HV71 club. Andersson has run the gauntlet of international competition with aplomb, placing among Sweden’s leaders in goals and points at the last WJC and U18 world championship. A shifty, elusive player with good acceleration who is quick on his feet and a has knack for making something out of nothing, Andersson has a ton of upside considering how well he fared as a teenager on a good team in an adult league. He has a very good shot, mainly for his release and accuracy rather than sheer power. Playing inside is something he’ll do with regularity, and Andersson’s proven to snap off a quick shot while cutting across or in full stride.

    Good quotes here...

    “A late ’98 birthday, Andersson is an excellent two-way player who excels in every part of the rink. Can completely drive a line with the way be attacks the game. Not sure if he’ll ever have elite skill, but is such a valuable player.” – Jeff Marek, Sportsnet

    “Work ethic and consistency elevate him above peers. Does it all. Natural leader.” – ISS (International Scouting Services)

    Quote Originally Posted by So Nashty
    View Post

    Im sure with the lack of 1st rounder the last few seasons Gorton and Co. probably thought a safe pick was worth the lack of ceiling here. Its certainly not an exciting pick but it may grow on us.

    He's gonna score the cup-clinching goal in 7 years.
    I'm Danish and totally biased, but I'm really excited about Lias. I watched him a couple of games for HV last year and he was very impressive in a tough league.

    People are talking a lot about Elias Pettersson doing well for Timrå, but thats Allsvenskan - the second league. Lias did the job in the SHL - arguably a top-5 league in the World.
    Just read that apparently he was the 5th youngest player in the SHL this year, and didn't realise HV71 won the title this year.
    His draft rankings across the board were:
    Hockeyprospects.com - No. 12
    ISS Hockey Top 31 - No. 20
    Future Considerations Top 31 - No. 13
    McKeen's Hockey Top 31 - No. 11
    NHL Central Scouting Top 31 (Europe) - No. 3
    From the looks of this the kid has pretty good hands, good size, can skate and has a decent wrist shot.
    Seems to me he could transition to the AHL/NHL this year, depending on whether the Rangers think a year in Frolunda will benefit him more (with Hanks brother). I'll reserve judgement personally as I don't have any knowledge on the guys we passed over, and have obviously never seen Andersson play either.
    All I will say, if this year was a 'weak' draft class compared to next year which is predicted to be stronger, is picking a guy ranked No. 13 with the No. 7 pick all that bad/surprising? Personally I value the stats of a player playing against men in a strong European league over the CHL. Would the guys we passed over have bettered 0.45ppg at age 18 in that league? We won't know but the more I read and see the less upset I am. I find our No. 21 pick a little more head scratching considering who was still on the board.
    Both kids seem to have good heads on their shoulders. I'm excited for both kids. Both character guys. Both willing to play in the AHL immediately if asked.
    Between our two picks and DeAngelo we added three very solid players to the mix.

    Looking at his playoff and championship-type game numbers, I'm a lot more encouraged than I was last night.
    Now listening to the interview, and getting a better sense of his desire to win and the kind of game player he models himself on, plus his level of assertiveness, etc., I am a lot more encouraged.
    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk
    Both kids seem to have good heads on their shoulders. I'm excited for both kids. Both character guys. Both willing to play in the AHL immediately if asked.
    Between our two picks and DeAngelo we added three very solid players to the mix.

    An interview with:
    Q. Was this a surprise to you at all? Did the Rangers talk to you at the Combine?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: Yeah, I met with them at the Combine, but it surprised me a little bit. There were a lot of good players left in the draft, so it was a lot of fun.
    Q. Can you give us a scouting report on yourself?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I think I’m a two-way center. Love to change games and score big goals. I want to be a leader. So, yeah, I’ll say I’m a leader.
    Q. What was your reaction?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: My agent was like a little bit screaming, so it was like, ‘Yeah, going to New York.’ So it was a little bit fun, but it just was a special feeling. I cannot describe it. It was amazing.
    Q. What do you know about the organization?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I mean, I’ve never been to New York before, so it’s going to be fun to go there. Actually my mom and dad met the first time in New York, so they can show me around a little bit.
    Q. Your dad played in the NHL, right?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: Yeah, my dad actually lived in New York, played for the Islanders, so hopefully I can take his old apartment.
    Q. Is there anyone you pattern your game after?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I mean, I love watching those good centermen, Toews. I love watching Claude Giroux for the Flyers. I think they can play a little bit tough and score big goals. And, yeah, I think they’re game changers. And Toews is a big winner. He’s won everything, and I want to win everything, too.
    Q. What would you say is your best asset on the ice?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I don’t know, I think I want to be like a full-package player. I want to have the full package. So I’ll say my work ethic and just being around those hot situations. And I like scoring important goals.
    Q. What do you think about playing with Henrik Lundqvist?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: Oh, yeah, it feels amazing. I actually know him a little bit. My dad played with him for some years. So it will be good to see him again.
    Q. Where did you get your aggressive style from? How did that come about?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I don’t know. Just I watched a lot of hockey, and I think if you want to be successful, you have to play hard and tough, in my opinion. So I just watched a lot of hockey.
    Q. How familiar are you with the Rangers, and what do you think of the team so far?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I mean, it’s a very good team. They’ve been close now for many years, and I think, yeah, they’ve got some -- a couple of good Swedes down in the minors. So I think we’ll change that ship.
    Q. Does it help to have other Swedish players on the Rangers?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: Yeah, of course. I speak a little bit to Henrik and those guys in the minors, too, so I mean, it’s obviously good to have a couple of Swedes there.
    Q. What does it mean to know that you will be a teammate of Henrik Lundqvist?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I mean, feels just amazing. He’s one of the biggest stars that Sweden hockey ever had, so it just feels amazing.
    Q. Where will you play next year?
    LIAS ANDERSSON: I don’t know yet. I have a contract back home with Frolunda, so we’ll see what’s happening, see what the Rangers want. Obviously my goal is to play in the NHL. I know it’s tough, and if I don’t make it, maybe play in the American League or play back home in Sweden. I don’t know yet. We’ll figure something good out.

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    Phil in Absentia
    He's a confident player. I'll give him that. Very poised in the interview. Not an ounce of detectable nervousness or trepidation.
    I love that he's open to the idea of the AHL, too.

    100% agree.
    We have a lot of "good guys" on our team, but I want to say that we don't have many "overt leaders.
    Bashful, humble farm-boy types or pragmatic vets, for the most part. This mentality that he wants to win and has goals to achieve and isn't just happy to "be there" pleases me.
    He's a confident player. I'll give him that. Very poised in the interview. Not an ounce of detectable nervousness or trepidation.
    I love that he's open to the idea of the AHL, too.


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