Lias Andersson leads Rangers prospect watch
We recently ran a feature on defenseman Matthew Robertson written up by the Draft Analyst, Steve Kournianos. Let’s also check in on these three hot Rangers prospects this week.
There is not a Rangers fan who doesn’t know or have an opinion on Lias Andersson. The former 1st round pick struggled to find ice time and was up and down in Hartford. This year it reached a boiling point and he left the team and demanded a trade.
While he survived the trade deadline, it is likely he could be moved at the draft. The best thing to happen to both was the Rangers allowing him to play in the SHL for HV71 where he now has 4 goals and 8 points in 10 games. It took him awhile to get going but he now has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 contests. If that isn’t hot enough, he just scored another goal as HV71 is in action at the time of this writing.
The other Finn as he is becoming to be known has 39 points in 47 games for TPS in the Liiga. Pajuniemi can score with 26 goals on the year and according to the Rangers is only one of four players to score that many goals as a 21 or younger player in the league. Those other players, Jarkko Varvio, Saku Koivu, and the great Teemu Selanne.
Zach Jones is a promising young prospect at UMass who opened eyes in this past WJC. In 31 NCAA games he has 3 goals and 22 points. According to the Rangers, he leads all NCAA blue-liners in their 20 or younger season in assists and he is tied for first in points. This 3rd round pick in 2019 still has a lot of developing to do but the future looks bright.
Some stats and info provided by Michael Rappaport of the NYR.