With the 16th overall pick, the Calgary Flames have many names to choose from. Let’s look at a possible draft pick with C/LW Lias Andersson.
There are many options for the Calgary Flames at that 16th overall pick at this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Could there be a trade? Could they actually be drafting? We’ll only know with time. But something that the Flames need are goaltending options and wingers.
I mean, they also need a solid top-four defenceman, but that probably won’t come for a few seasons if they were to draft a defenceman. Especially with this year’s draft being not up to par as the last few seasons.
Everyday, we’ll be looking at a different option the Flames can pick at that 16th overall selection. The other day, we looked at Finnish Forward kristian Vesalainen. Today, let’s look at Swedish forward Lias Andersson.
Who is Lias Andersson?
Name: Lias Andersson
Birth place: Smögen, Sweden
Position: C, LW
Height: 5’11” / 181 cm
Weight: 90 kg / 198 lbs
Team: Frölunda HC
Stats from 2016-2017
Stats with HV71, SHL (From eliteprospects.com):
Stats with Sweden U20 (all), International-Jr (From eliteprospects.com):
- Round 3, 83rd overall: Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL Draft
- Round 2, 110th overall: Kitchener Rangers, CHL Import Draft
Rankings for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
- #13 by Future Considerations
- #16 by Hockeyprospect.com
- #17 by McKeen’s Hockey
- #25 by ISS Hockey
- “Work ethic and consistency elevates him above peers. Does it all. Natural leader.”
- #3 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek ranked him at 12th overall in March, which is two spots higher than their previous rankings in January, claiming that he “had a production dip after the WJC, but has been on fire of late putting up big points in the SHL.”
NHL.com’s Mike Morreale put him at 13th overall in January.
"An excellent skater with speed and good first-step quickness. He’s always on the move and can create scoring chances with his mobility, good hands and grit. His father, Niklas Andersson, played 165 NHL games and now is an amateur scout in Europe for the Los Angeles Kings."
"A smart, mature, two-way center. Good decision-making, leadership qualities and advanced understanding of the game. A true three-zone player […] Will drop to block shots or get his body in passing lanes […] Covers up the ice for his teammates on the backcheck and always gives an honest effort. Doesn’t commit a lot of mistakes and plays a very calm game while in puck possession. Has solid offensive instincts. Protects the puck very well and uses all of his frame to hold opponents off the puck. Possesses a nice, quick shot release. Not a flashy puckhandler, but can carry it up ice and distributes it well. Goes to the net and plays in traffic. Has solid vision and the ability to set up his linemates. (Future Considerations)."
Where does he fit in with the Flames?
I actually wouldn’t mind seeing this kid with the Calgary Flames. The Flames need some playmaking wingers, especially on those bottom two lines right now. We’ve seen how well Sam Bennett performs when he actually plays with good linemates to compliment his fast, play-making abilities. Seeing Andersson play at center on a wing with Bennett would be fun.
They’re both fast and with Sam Bennett’s play-making abilities complimenting Andersson’s strong puck possession and quick shot abilities, that would be a good duo. Bennett’s been mainly playing at center for most of his NHL career, but we’ve seen him play on a wing with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik and he excelled. When he’s paired up with Johnny Gaudreau, those two are fast and fun to watch.
I mean, just look at that release.
With Backlund and Sean Monahan already being strong two-way centers, having another on that third line would be extremely ideal and tighten up the backcheck. That being said, he still needs some pro experience. But if the Flames choose to protect Bennett in the expansion (which they should) and the Flames signing Andersson on an ELC and giving him some time in Stockton with the pros, he can further develop into an even better two-way center. And this isn’t even mentioning his work ethic which we know that the Flames management and coaching staff deeply respect in their players.
Next: Trading for Ovechkin Makes Sense
Between Andersson and the other draft profile we’ve looked at already, Kristian Vesalainen, I think the more suitable candidate for the Calgary Flames is definitely Andersson. He’s got everything this team needs right now.