2017-18 Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (#9)
Date of Birth: March 7, 2000
Place of Birth: Uppsala, SWE
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 190 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2018 first-year eligible
If there is one thing that the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are good at, it’s that they can find great talent anywhere in the world. Once again this was demonstrated by them in the CHL Import Draft. With the 52nd pick in the 2017 import draft, they took talented Swedish defenseman Rasmus Sandin.
While he was off the map to the OHL world, it was only a matter of time before Sandin showed off the kind of player he was. He made his debut for the Greyhounds in October. While some thought there would be an adjustment period coming over to North America, he demonstrated how quick a study he is.
Sandin finished the season with 12-33-45 in 51 games and added 1-12-13 in 24 playoff games. He made his mark at different points of the season when stud Conor Timmins missed time. Sandin played the role of the man during those times. He played the part well and was confident doing it. He provided some great stability for the Greyhounds and helped propel them to 55 wins in 68 regular season games.
So what do we have in Sandin? We have perhaps the second OHL defenseman off the board at the draft if you consider Evan Bouchard goes first. On tape and in person, he is as smooth a skater as they come. He isn’t blazing fast, but plays under control and can slow the game down. He’s also incredibly smart. He makes good decisions with the puck and knows when to pinch. He uses his smarts to position himself well at both ends while making up for deficiencies in his game.
The first thing you question about Sandin is his skating. It’s not bad but it’s pretty average. Speedy wingers were able to take advantage of him at times. I expect this will be a point of emphasis for him during the summer. The other thing I wonder is his physical game. He’s got strength and is willing to engage in battles. But this isn’t really his game. How will he hold up about bigger and stronger forwards at the next level?
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Rasmus Sandin – NHL Draft Projection
Most of the industry has Sandin anywhere from the late first to early second round. His combination of offense and smart defense make him one of the more attractive options after the 20th pick. He lands at 25th on my list.
“In terms of puck poise, Sandin’s one of the calmest teenage defensemen you’ll see get drafted this year. He played alongside Adam Boqvist at the Hlinka and I thought he was just as good. He’s a very good skater but his puck distributing and one-on-one play is what should make him an NHL mainstay for at least a decade.” –Steve Kournianos/The Draft Analyst
“A late comer to the OHL, but he has been an impact player to the Soo since his arrival and as a result has been a steady draft riser that played his way into the Top Prospects Game. Sandin moves the puck well and is smooth with the puck carrying it up ice. Sandin plays big minutes and consistently makes good decisions with the puck.” –Peter Harling/Dobber Prospects
“Smart is an adjective you will hear a lot about Sandin. Any disadvantage he has, he overcomes because of it. In the defensive zone he possesses excellent gap control with near flawless positioning with his body or very active stick. He is very adept at angling players out and keeping them to the outside, although he can sometimes be beaten on the outside by a speedy forward.” –Dominic Tiano/OHL Writers
- Very smart
- Good playmaker
- Calm and poised
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Average speed
- Needs to improve physical game
Sandin isn’t the fastest defenseman or the one with the highest upside in the class. But he is effective in the most important aspects. He can move the puck while keeping it out of danger. It’s for this reason he projects as a mainstay top-four defenseman at the next level. Sandin is considered one of the safer picks in this draft.
Risk – 2.5/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10, Defence – 8.5/10
Sandin won a bronze medal at this past Ivan Hlinka. He also won a gold medal at the U17 WHC in 2016-17.