I received a bunch of emails/questions about Lias Andersson, so I’m consolidating them all into one question/post.
Q: What’s going on with Lias Andersson? He’s struggling to score. Is he already a bust?
First things first, the kid is 18 years old. No one is already a bust at just 18 years old and barely half a year removed from his draft year. There’s no reason to worry about Andersson being a bust, and the Rangers wasting their 7th overall pick.
As of the writing of this post, Andersson has a line of 6-5-11 in 18 games. He may not show up on leader boards across the league, but it’s good for 2nd among Junior players in the SHL (born in 1998 or later). He trails only Elias Petersson. So compared to kids his age, he’s one of the best, and he’s doing it while playing against grown men.
When drafted, Andersson had a skill set and talent level that was most likely to translate to the NHL. He wasn’t the elite skill that you hope the Rangers would take at 7th overall, but they got that later in the first round with Filip Chytil. Andersson’s skill set most likely translates to a solid middle-six center. He will likely –hopefully– be a kid that puts up 40 points while playing tremendous two-way hockey.
Overall, there’s not much to worry about when it comes to Andersson. It was worth it for the Rangers to send him back to the SHL and ensure he wasn’t overwhelmed or rushed. He has a solid chance of making the club next season. He is by no means a bust.
As always, you can use the widget on the right to send questions for the mailbag."Mailbag: What's going on with Lias Andersson?",