Lias Andersson: New York Rangers Center of Attention
Last Friday, the Rangers traded forward Derek Stepan and backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall pick, which was used to draft center, Lias Andersson.
Lias Andersson was a surprise pick for many fans, scouts, and broadcasters. Even Bob Mckenzie said: “It looks like the Rangers are going to go off the board here“. McKenzie had Andersson ranked thirteenth in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. While the Rangers left players like Owen Tippett and Gabe Vilardi on the table, they were definitely up to something. One thing about this year’s draft is that it wasn’t so deep, and it was filled with players who are a few years away from becoming NHL players.
The Rangers are lacking depth down the middle after losing Stepan and Lindberg, but it seems as though they drafted a player in Andersson that could potentially play on Broadway this October. Lias has already been playing in the Swedish Hockey League for two years with HV71. Last season, he put up 9 goals 10 assists, and +21 in 42 Games. Being only 18 years old and having to keep up in a men’s league isn’t that easy, they are bigger, and stronger which makes it tougher to play against than players in Junior hockey. Seeing as how well he did in the SHL, he was chosen by some of the Rangers top scouts.
They were looking for a player who is smart, skilled, and tenacious. This kid has leadership qualities written all over him, which is something that caught my eye as well as the scouts. In his post-draft interview, Lias said: “I love to change games, score big goals; I want to be a leader.” Being only 18-years-old, that shows a lot of confidence right away. When asked what player he wants to be like? Andersson replied: “I really like Johnathan Toews; he scores big goals, he is a game changer and he is a winner and has won everything, I want to win everything too.”. Those are big shoes to fill, as Toews is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion, but if I wanted my young centerman to mold himself around anyone, it would be Toews. I can honestly see him making this team out of camp with the holes that the Blueshirts have. So be sure to keep a close eye on this kid, because he could very easily be the center of attention come the spring.
I can honestly see him making this team out of camp with the Blueshirts having some holes at center. So be sure to keep a close eye on this kid, because he could very easily be the center of attention come the spring.
Lias Andersson’s post draft interview