Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rasmus Sandin has looked impressive and should be great addition to the Leafs blue-line down the road.
As a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs it is so nice to see a prospect pool that is both deep and talented. The Toronto Maple Leafs farm system is stacked with many great prospects including Timothy Liljegren, Jeremy Bracco, Calle Rosen, Andreas Borgman, Pierre Engvall, Trevor Moore, Carl Grundstrom, Sean Durzi, Rasmus Sandin and many others. But, the one prospect that has really caught my attention has been defenseman Rasmus Sandin.
I was very impressed by his play for Team Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Juniors. Sandin was part of an excellent Swedish team and was among some of the best Swedish defensive prospects including Adam Boqvist and Erik Brannstrom.
Unfortunately the Swedes didn’t medal, but Sandin still had a great tournament. He was able to pick up 2 Goals and 2 Assists for 4 Points and a +4 rating in 5 games at the WJC.
In addition, Sandin showed at the international stage that he’s very good at protecting the puck and controlling the play both in his own end and in the offensive zone.
Sandin has also been having a great regular season in North America.
So far this season, Sandin has spent his time playing in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies (the Toronto Maple Leafs minor league affiliate). In 18 games played with the Marlies, he has 5 goals and 5 assists. It is worth nothing that 3 of his 5 goals have been on the power-play. In addition, Sandin has the second highest Points/Game for a defenseman on the Marlies. At the moment, he’s averaging 0.56 points per game.
Unfortunately, at the moment, Sandin is listed as being out of the Marlies’ lineup for 4-6 weeks with an elbow sprain that he sustained at the World Junior Championship. But, this injury shouldn’t slow down his development and Sandin should hopefully be back in the AHL by mid-February.
There are a couple of things that stand out for me when I watch him play. His ability to move the puck quickly, his vision and his ability to protect the puck. On October 26th, 2018 he scored his first AHL goal using his great vision to shoot the puck from the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning AHL affiliate) blue line through 4 or 5 players and beating Syracuse goaltender Eddie Pasquale.
Next season, I can see Sandin playing either top minutes for the Marlies or being the 6th defenseman at the NHL level. It’ll mostly depend on his showing at training camp, but if he has a strong camp then there is chance that he could be on the Maple Leafs blue-line to start the 2019-2020 season.
There is still a lot of season left to play and while he’s a bit banged up at the moment, it’s been a great season for Sandin and the Marlies.
stats from theAHL.com
featured photo image credit – Josh Tessler