Do the Bruins Really Need a Top Pair Left Shot Defenseman

Most opinions believe so. But I have a different solution, but you need to hear me out on this one.

Charlie McAvoy is quite capable of playing on his weak side, and dare I say we would see little if any difference if he were to play on his left side. The Ryan Suter attempted signing did not materialize and on a four-year deal, it probably shouldn’t have.

So now that we’ve solved the issue on the left, we have just created one on the right. I’d look no further than the Calgary Flames. Most hockey minds believe that if the Flames don’t make the playoffs and are out of the picture at trade deadline, that they will blow it up. Johnny Gaudreau hears his name mentioned often of the Flames decide to be sellers, mainly because he’s an unrestricted free agent.

Now, you’re going to ask me “why not just target Noah Hanifin if the Bruins are dealing with the Flames?” Well, two reasons: Firstly, the asking price for Hanifin will be much higher than that of the player I am talking about here, and two, that player is locked in for two years longer than Hanifin at a very respectable $4,550,000 cap hit.

That player is Rasmus Andersson.

The Flames selected Andersson in the second round – 53rd overall – at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, one spot after the Bruins selected Jeremy Lauzon. Those of you that know me know I was a big fan of the Lauzon pick, but would have been an even bigger fan had they chose Andersson.

Andersson played two seasons with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League where I had the opportunity to watch him play. In 131 OHL games, Andersson scored 21 goals and 103 assists for 124 points. Yes, those are excellent numbers for the OHL.

Rasmus Andersson with the Barrie Colts in 2014-2015. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Offensively, Andersson had a breakout season last season scoring 5 goals and 16 helpers in 56 games. His 21 points were one shy of his career high set in 2019-2020, however, last season he played in 14 fewer games then the year before.

Andersson raises his game to another level when the games have meaning. In 15 NHL playoff games he’s scored 4 goals and 4 assists or .53 points per game compared to .29 in the regular season. Internationally, Andersson has appeared in 48 games scoring 11 goals and 30 assists. That’s a better rate than he had in the Nationell J-20, Allsvenskan and Allsvenskan Junior-18 leagues in that time. Simply put, he takes his game to another level.

Andersson is an excellent passer with the vision to go with it. He can make a long stretch pass, or her can skate – always with his head up – the puck out of his zone and move up ice. He has a tremendous shot from the blue line and can quarterback a powerplay. He is defensively aware, not shy about rubbing out the opposition along the walls. He is very active defending with his stick to take away shots or lanes.

Andersson would be a great compliment to McAvoy. If only he were a left shot. Are you up for moving McAvoy to the left?

Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano

Published by Dominic Tiano

Following the Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the NHL Draft. I provide season-long stats, updates and player profiles as well as draft rankings.

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