Lias Andersson has been struggling thus far for the New York Rangers
Has Lias Andersson been a bust for the New York Rangers in his brief stead at the NHL level?
Yes, the 20-year-old is only averaging a little over 10 minutes of ice time per game this season, but in those 10 minutes it hasn’t been anything special. Sure, many members of Rangerstown were just as skeptical of draft-mate Filip Chytil up until six games ago. But, for Andersson’s hype, those 10 minutes should be more than enough time to see something out of him.
It’s early yet, but if this trend continues, a change must be made.
More AHL Time
This would be the best course of action. Give him more time to sort things out in Hartford before coming out each and every-night and giving lackluster performances.
Andersson, who proved his worth in Hartford earlier this season, had 12 points in 14 games there. He had the minutes and he shined in those minutes. Experience could prove worthy for him.
The New York Rangers have been fueled by the kids. Chytil has caught fire, Brett Howden has surprised many, and Neal Pionk is shaping up to be the best defenseman on this team. But why hasn’t Andersson followed suit?
In need of a confidence boost
Getting a call up to the big league should have sufficed this point, but obviously not. Something else must happen to young Andersson for him to become confident.
A goal, a promotion to third line, or even some special teams time could be it, but he has to show something in 5v5 play. Through 9 games, he has only mustered 7 shots on net. The spark almost happened in Friday’s matinee game against the Philadelphia Flyers on an odd scoring chance from inside the hashes, but he couldn’t seem to put the puck into the net.
Andersson’s lone point of the season came against the Florida Panthers earlier this month. He found a trailing Branden Smith, who put it home. That has been it for highlights this season for Andersson, there hasn’t been anything else worthy of note.
It is still too early to tell
Obviously. He has only suited up at the NHL level 15 times over the course of his first two seasons. Most of which have been spent on the least used line of the team, the fourth line. Could he revive himself and stop any notion of being labeled a bust? Absolutely! But, again if this trend continues of little to no production, he wont even get the chance, because David Quinn is adamant about dressing those that deserve to be in the lineup.
As a top 10 selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Andersson has not shown similar numbers to his peers. For instance, Casey Middlestadt of Buffalo, who was drafted right behind Andersson, plays 13:44 per game, but only about two shifts more on average. Middlestadt has produced 4 goals and 4 assists so far in 23 games this season.
Every shift is crucial and if Middlestdat can produce with only two more shifts per game on average, why can’t Andersson? Andersson has to start taking advantage of every opportunity. Or he will be back in Hartford to continue working on his game.
After yesterday’s -2 performance he’s lucky that he wasn’t sent down yesterday. With no other move made from Tim Gettinger being called up, Lias Andersson is safe, for now.