Rasmus Asplund comes in at 27th in the Nation Network prospect rankings. The 18 year old Swede plays centre and left wing in the SHL for Farjestad BK.
Lets take a look at the young forward.
- Age: 18, 1997-12-03
- Birthplace: Filipstad, SWE
- Frame: 5’11” 176 lbs.
- Position: C/LW
- Handedness: L
- Draft Year Team: Färjestad BK (SHL)
- Accomplishments/Awards: J18 Best U18 Forward 13/14, J20 SM Silver Medal 13/14, J20 SuperElit (Top) Best Face-Off Percentage 14/15, U16 SM Best Forward 12/13, U16 SM Gold Medal 12/13
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Played in the 5 Nations Tourney 2014 and was a member of his homeland’s team roster for the World Junior Under-20 at Christmas 2014. Slightly built centre wing who has great hands and commitment to improving his two way game. Displays good speed, hands, and Hockey IQ. Not the biggest body, but is strong forechecker who win puck battles. A playmaker with creativity and good vision who plays big. With William Nylander’s World Junior Tourney injury, he played in his spot. Works hard in his own end, using his body and stick in lanes to take away opportunities by getting back quickly. He sees and reads the ice well and brings his teammate support by drawing attackers his way making space for them. His anticipation,nose for the net, and good hockey sense make his a player who can slide up and down the forward lines, and that will fall in his favor when draft time calls. His size may be a factor in where he is taken. Must continue to make his linemates better plays and continue improving his 200 foot game.
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.
First off, the biggest knock on Asplund is his size. At under six feet, he is considered small for a forward. However, in an age where Tyler Johnson, Brendan Gallagher, and Brad Marchand are making meaningful impacts, Asplund should be fine.
What scouts like about Asplund is the use of his speed. Combined with his hockey smarts, he is able to make good plays by creating space with his speed. The real question will be, can Asplund adjust his game to the North American game. With the ice being smaller and the game being more physical, Rasmus Asplund could have a large learning curve ahead of him.
Asplund has an aspect of his game that should be intriguing to NHL teams: His proficiency in the faceoff dot. This could be beneficial to him making the jump to North America. If Asplund can be reliable with defensive end faceoffs and defend well in his own zone, then he will gain more playing time.
At the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships, he filled in for Willie Nylander quite well, which helped his draft stock.
PGPS does not smile favourably on Asplund, though. Based off of comparable players, he has a 13.85% chance of making the NHL. Not something a hopeful player wants to see, but he only has 9 comparable players that have played 200 or more NHL games.
Asplund is a player who oozes hockey smarts and a hard working game that could make him a player to watch. Look for him to be taken in the late first round or early second by a team looking for some versatility on the centre and wing.
Nation Network Draft Profiles
|Prospect Profile #28: Will Bitten (C)||Prospect Profile #29: Tyler Benson (LW)|
|Prospect Profiles #60 – #31 (2nd round)||Prospect Profile #30: Carl Grundstrom (LW)|