With their first selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, the New York Rangers selected Lias Andersson with the seventh overall pick. Andersson is versatile in the sense that he can play all three forward positions and is considered one of the “safer” picks in this draft. Andersson suited up for HV71 of the Swedish Elite League last season, where he put up 19 points in 42 appearances, including five points in an additional 16 playoff games.
Our friends over at Eyes On The Prize did a great write-up on Andersson, and here’s what they had to say:
Andersson can play both centre and left wing, and the first thing you’ll notice is his tenacity. He will hunt the puck for eternity, and in all three zones. This is helped by some excellent skating technique. He isn’t afraid of going into the dirty areas of the ice and playing a physical game. He has soft hands, shown when tipping in shots, getting rebounds, as well as sending defenders into the stands with a deke.
Obviously this pick was a bit of a surprise with the Rangers going off the board especially with someone like Gabriel Vilardi still being available. Based on various draft rankings, Lias Andersson was expected to go anywhere between pick 10 and 20, so the Rangers did reach a bit but this was obviously someone they have targeted for a while.
The Rangers will have one more pick coming up in the first round at #21, so we’ll see what else the Rangers plan on doing tonight. For now enjoy this Lias Andersson highlight video courtesy of SB Nation.