Rasmus Sandin – Defense
Weight: 190 Lbs.
Current Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (1st round, 52nd overall pick in the CHL Import Draft)
Regular Season Statline: 51 GP, 12 G, 33 A, 45 Pts, +35, 24 PIM.
Playoff Statline: 24 GP, 1 G, 12 A, 13 pts. +1, 8 PIM.
Now that the Sharks season is at an end it’s time for the San Jose Sharks to look forward. The first big Calendar day for the Sharks is the NHL Draft in Dallas. The Sharks will pick 21st overall and this series will look at players the Sharks could take with that choice. Today we will look at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenceman Rasmus Sandin of the Ontario Hockey League.
What I like
It is always a rare treat for me to be able to watch a prospect that could be on the board when the Sharks make their selection. Such is the case with Rasmus Sandin who I have watched play a ton of hockey with the Soo Greyhounds. When Sandin first joined the team I was immediately drawn to his play on the ice. This is your typical two-way defenseman, having a sound defensive game while also having a lot of upside on the offensive side of the puck.
Sandin isn’t the greatest skating defenceman in the draft but what stood out to me immediately was his decision making. Sandin is rarely beaten cleanly on the defensive side of the puck because of his gap control and physical play. He isn’t afraid to make the big hit, he also has the smarts to know when to use his positioning and stick to make the defensive play.
— NHL Prospects Watcher (@Prospects_Watch) May 13, 2018
On the offensive side of the puck, he uses the same decision making that helps him on the defense. He has a knack for finding open spots on the ice in both 5v5 and on the power play where he can either take a shot or distribute the puck. In transition, he also has good decision-making skills about when to pinch and when to play it safe. On the power play, Sandin excels with his excellent vision both in finding an open player with a pass or using a low snapshot on goal creating both rebound and tip in opportunities. Of Sandin’s 45 regular season points 4 goals and 12 assists came on the power play. While a solid distributor Sandin is not going to wow you with a booming shot from the blue line he will look for a pass before unleashing his go-to snap or wrist shot.
NHL ETA and Upside
Rasmus Sandin is at the very least, 3 years away from being a threat to play on an NHL roster. He will need to work on his skating to be successful in the pro ranks. The thing that stands out most about Sandin is the amount of trust he was able to earn as a Rookie from Head Coach Drew Bannister. This was a very stacked Greyhounds team that spent most of the year ranked #1 in Canada. The Greyhounds would end well short of expectations stumbling through the OHL Playoffs before losing in the championship round to Hamilton. There was however still much to like about Sandin’s game during their run.
A concern going forward though is will he stay in North America or return to Sweden next year. Sandin was on loan to the Greyhounds from Rogle BK in Sweden and with the number of graduating players, the Greyhounds will enter somewhat of a rebuilding phase next season. You would have to imagine an NHL team drafting Sandin would want him to continue his development in North America. While the team may not be a Memorial Cup next year there will be room for him to increase his role further on the team as well.
Why He Makes Sense for San Jose
The Sharks have always looked for players with high hockey IQ first and skating second. Doug Wilson and Tim Burke have been noted many times saying that Skating can be taught at any level of hockey. The Sharks could also use more defensive depth in their pipeline. Outside of Jeremy Roy (injury issues aside), and Mario Ferraro there is not a whole lot to be excited about for the Sharks. A player like Sandin would be a step in the right direction for the Sharks drafting record in the early rounds. There is enough upside in this player to really hit the pick out of the park but enough floor to be somewhat safe not having a second or third round selection.