Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25: #8 Rasmus Asplund

Forward is coming off his best season yet for the Sabres

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of six staff writers and over 485 fans that ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 10, 2021. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.

Rasmus Asplund has continued to make his career progression in a series of orderly steps. After being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres he stayed with Färjestad BK in Sweden continuing to improve year-on-year before jumping to the Rochester Americans in 2018-19 where he had a good year, scoring 41 points in 75 games. He then split time in 2019-20 and 2020-21 between the Amerks and the Sabres, and even went on loan to Sweden while the North American season was delayed due to the pandemic.

The forward made the step up last season from the fourth line to the third line, and in most cases bettered his analytics numbers from the year before so he is trending in the right direction. Still only 23, there are signs that he can develop into a consistent middle six player for the Sabres.

Like many other players from his homeland, Asplund shows all the makings of becoming a solid two-way forward that has great acceleration when going forward with the puck, but also has the hockey sense to maintain possession across the blue line and the defensive responsibility to track back. He is hampered by his lack of size in a big and physical league, so Asplund will have to work on bulking up without letting it affect his stride.

For the future, the Sabres have been drafting heavily in the top six department as they attempt to inject pure skill into the side. Where Asplund fits in the Sabres three-five years from now is as a defensibly-responsible forward who can chip in with thirty-odd points. Unfortunately, the league is also awash with players like that so he’s going to have to separate himself from that crowd before his contract comes up for renegotiation.

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