Where’s Lias Andersson?
Tomorrow will be a full week since Darren Dreger broke the news that Lias Andersson has demanded to be traded. The Rangers 1st round pick, 7th overall selection from 2017 has not made a statement nor has one come from his agent since. Andersson has basically gone dark and we can only assume he went back home to Sweden for the holiday break.
Let’s Be Fair
Since Andersson made his desire to be traded official, it would be safe to say he was already there before 12/21. If he wasn’t thinking about it when he was getting minuscule minutes in October, he likely decided on it when he was demoted to Hartford. While the announcement has caused many to admonish and criticize the 21 year old, he has handled this like a professional.
Let’s be fair here, players have demanded to be traded in every major sport and don’t go about it this quietly. Many players who want out of a city or team usually talk about it publicly or take to social media to tell their side of it. While Larry Brooks is penning articles to chastise Andersson, he and his agent have made their request to the Rangers and are looking for a fresh start. They’ve done so without saying a negative word about David Quinn or the organization. The only negativity in this whole situation is coming from fans and writers about Lias or “putting words” in his mouth about why he asked for a trade.
Maturity and Professionalism
When Andersson was selected in the 2017 draft, the pick was eye opening and considered a reach. He was such a surprise pick that even Bob Mckenzie noted, “It looks like the Rangers are going to go off the board here“. McKenzie had Andersson ranked thirteenth in that year’s NHL Entry Draft. While the Rangers left players like Mittelstadt, Michael Rasmussen, and Owen Tippett on the table, they felt that Andersson was the most NHL ready, even though his ceiling was most likely as a 3rd line center. When asked why they chose him, they cited his compete and leadership qualities every time.
Last year Andersson played 42 games and amassed 6 points while averaging 10:43 of total ice time. In his 17 contests this season, he has just 1 point and is averaging only 9:33 per game. And eight times this season he has played around 8 minutes or less. For his young NHL career, Andersson has just 9 points in 66 games. So truth be told, if Andersson felt he wasn’t given a fair chance, it would be hard argue with him about it.
Regardless, based on these numbers it is going to be very difficult for Jeff Gorton to get any real value for Andersson. But the young man’s decision to stay quiet instead of defending himself from the likes of Brooks shows maturity. Maybe his high draft spot, previous scouting reports, and professionalism during this situation will help Gorton move him sooner rather than later.