The Buffalo Sabres have recently had two requirements for players they’ve added to the roster. The first is to be named Rasmus and the other is to be from Sweden.
Defenseman Rasmus Sandin checks off both of those boxes. When you add in his potential, the Sabres could drastically improve their prospect pipeline on the blue line by selecting two Swedes named Rasmus in the top 32 picks.
Weight: 190 lbs.
Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Sandin came over to Sault Ste. Marie this season on loan from the Rogle of the SHL. He immediately provided an impact for the Greyhounds with 12 goals and 45 points in 51 games. The Swedish defender also added a goal and 13 points in 24 playoff games.
GOAL!!— xyz Soo Greyhounds (@OHLHoundPower) November 2, 2017
Another first!! RASMUS SANDIN! pic.twitter.com/OvT05GfqEs
Coming over to North America this season allowed Sandin to get acclimated to the smaller ice. Sometimes it’s difficult for prospects to bring the same game they played on the bigger European ice to North America with less space and time.
He’s a solid two-way defender and puck mover. Sandin also has decent puck handling skills, but not at the level of other Rasmus and fellow countryman, Rasmus Dahlin.
Sandin is a good skater but can work on his lateral movement. At times he has trouble with players who use their speed to cut to cut through the offensive zone.
He makes up for that weakness with his instincts in the defensive zone. He’s strong positionally and reads the play very well at both ends of the ice.
Like Jonatan Berggren, Sandin is another player that won’t last until the Sabres first pick of the second round at 32nd overall. If they covet the 18-year-old they’ll likely need to get into the bottom part of round one (25-31).
Sandin doesn’t project out as a top pair defenseman in the NHL, but he can be a solid second pair blueliner. His instincts and hockey IQ could put Sandin on a quicker path to the NHL than others in this class.
When all is said and done I project he’ll come off the board in the 25-31 range, if not sooner. He’s a “safe pick” for teams in the back part of the first round.