2019 Rangers Player Report Card: Lias Andersson

Oh Lias Andersson. Ye of young age, cannot legally buy a beer yet, and is the most polarizing prospect in the organization. It’s funny really, as the rookie played half a season with the Blueshirts, putting up 2-4-6 in mostly a fourth line role. The 7th overall pick is already the subject of ire from fans with little patience.

When the Rangers selected Andersson with the 7th overall pick in 2017, the expectation was that he could slide in right away and keep the Blueshirts relevant. That clearly was a mistake by management, and not by Andersson. The kid has excelled at all levels of hockey, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t succeed in the NHL when given more time.

And more time is needed, as he was clearly not ready for the NHL stage early in the year. He looked better as he got more time in the AHL and then was recalled, but he’s still a kid. But he did struggle mightily. He didn’t score much, and his xGF% was an abysmal 40.86%, 4th worst on the team (McLeod, Nieves, Howden). He generated no offense (1.75 xGF/60, 2nd worst to McLeod) and was middle of the road defensively (2.75 xGA/60, 8th on the team without Zucc/Hayes accounted for). You didn’t need stats to tell you this, nor will charts help cement this argument. The eyes and the stats match here.

The teammate that Andersson played most of his time with was Ryan Strome, but that was only for 127 even strength minutes. He didn’t spend more than 100 minutes with any other teammate. So that may be a part of the problem: Lack of chemistry. While certainly a possible contributor, Andersson still struggled. He did seem significantly less lost defensively when he came back up to the Rangers after his stint in the AHL though.

It’s tough to do a full report card on a rookie that bounced around the lineup and only played half a season. Andersson clearly needs a lot more time developing, which is perfectly fine. He can only get better, which is a positive and probably just me noting silver lining. I’m not overly concerned about him yet. He was a little less than expected, but perhaps we expected too much.

Grade: C

"2019 Rangers Player Report Card: Lias Andersson", 3 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.
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  1. C is too generous for a player who has bombed so far in his NHL career. He may not even make the team out of camp next year. I would give him a D for doomed.

  2. I can’t argue with your analysis or grade Dave. An INC for incomplete may have also been reasonable.

    Lias needs more time, without a doubt. He did improve, but has yet to demonstrate that he will sucessfully make the transition to the North American game. He did quite well in Sweden vs. men, so I am optimistic that more development will make it click, but it is not a certainty.

    1. I like the idea of an incomplete. but I do think next year is his do or die year. If he goes down to the minors for some reason and does not light it up, then he is just another European player whose game does not transfer over. He needs to put up 20+ points if he plays 65 games with the big club.

  3. I can live with a C grade for Andersson … even Quinn has admitted that he may not have utilized him properly during the course of the year. I think he has a big summer ahead of him and comes back a significantly better player, better enough to stick in NY all year. One positive I noted towards the end of season was Quinn FINALLY giving him some PK time — I thought that was something that should have been done earlier (especially when you consider how dreadful our PK was most of the year). Sorry, but less than 10 minutes a night just isn’t going to showcase a player like Andersson or get him to develop. He needs to be in the “flow” of the game, not play two or three shifts then sit on the bench for the next 10 game minutes before getting another shift. That’s no way to build up a player’s confidence.

  4. Anyone saying this was a bad trade is nuts. On April 29, 2019 would you make the same trade again? ADA looks like a perennial above average RHD, they’re not easy to find. If you check the career stats of many good NHL players you’ll see a lot didn’t get going until they were in their early 20’s, and Lias isn’t there yet. He has talent, hockey IQ, and he has performed well on the international stage.

    You can possibly say the FO screwed up with the Andersson pick (I don’t yet) but in hindsight this was a very good trade that Gorton made.

    1. Agreed. Interestingly, Stepan missed 10 games playing 72 and only had 35 points this past season for the Coyotes. That makes Tony DeAngelo’s 30 points in only 61 games look pretty good even if not directly comparable. Tony is 23 and trending upward while Stepan at 28 might be trending down. So, I like getting ADA for Stepan. If Lias puts it together too, the trade will end up being quite a good one.

      1. I think the assessment of DeAngelo is premature (as incidentally was my writing him off in September). There were a number of positives this year and it is reasonable to be hopeful. However, there is a list of buts. He sat a number of games due to off-ice issues and has a checkered past. Hopefully, he is maturing and all this goes away, but we don’t know that yet. He doesn’t penalty kill. He mostly played in a sheltered role. He was considerably less effective on the power play than Pionk was.

        In the end: a passable but not especially good young defenseman with some exciting talents who seems to be growing into his role — to be continued.

        1. I think we watched different players. Aside from a few hiccups here and there ADA looked “especially” good … and those sheltered minutes you referenced were in the first half of the season, much less so in the second half. This kid has more talent in one hand than Shattenkirk has in his whole body (at this time). What really impressed me the most in the second half was his hockey IQ, although not flawless his decision making was almost always correct. Plus he’s got “attitude” and is willing to back it up. If I could clone another Tony D for the left side, I would in a heartbeat.

        2. Ray, I disagree because I think you are tilting your analysis toward earlier in the season. Tony racked up some points on the power play later in the season and started to get a few minutes on the PK too. I see someone who is growing into his role and whose development suddenly accelerated this past season after looking woefully lost the year before.He is not a finished product, but his skills are breaking out as he learns the system. That is why I said he is trending upward. There is little doubt about that.

  5. We don’t know where this will end up, but so far at least the front office deserves all the scorn it has received here. This was a somewhat surprising pick where the Rangers went somewhat off the board to choose a player with a comparatively ow ceiling in order to get a player who would be ready more quickly and was less likely to flop entirely. When you sacrifice ceiling for readiness and don’t get readiness, you have erred. Plus, there is no indication that he will even be a serviceable bottom six player.

    Time will tell of course. He may develop into a quality player or he may flop. But make no mistake. This was a poor #7 pick. It is true that some bad picks turn out well and some good picks turn out badly, but that does not change a reasonable evaluation of the process.

    In one thing, Dave is absolutely correct. Lias Andersson did not pick himself in the draft nor did Dylan McIlrath or Hugh Jessiman. Even if this pick is as unfortunate as the previous two (book is still very much open), criticism in each of the three cases should be aimed at management and not at the individual players. A good hard-working player should not be faulted because an organization thought he was better than he actually was. And even the guys playing for Maine are good hockey players.

  6. Lias should get an E for being an enigma. He is not playing like you would expect an early first round pick to play. He is probably a work in progress, but when is he going to look like he belongs? 2019/20 is the year I hope he puts it all together and becomes the 2C some thought he could be. He needs to play with a sniper and a grinder to be effective.

    We continue to wait until next year for players to develop. Isn’t it next year yet?

  7. The 2 players that should have been taught how to play from the teaching coach was Chytil and Anderson. It’s amazing that the coach get an A+ when he could not teach the 2 most important pupils. Lets give them 2 minutes on the 4th line with McLeod. Make sure there is no talent surrounding them, don’t want them to learn too fast. No reason for them to learn on a losing season.

  8. In the 2017 draft who was the compelling player that should have been picked instead of Lias? Middlestadt? Velardi? Rasmussen? Maybe Necas MAYBE? Nothing there, IMO, that shouts the Rangers royally screwed up… BECAUSE Lias still has a chance as they all do. Andersson was rated in 10-14 range in a fairly weak draft, this is not the abject disaster that all are lamenting.

    I’m still giving credit to the FO here for the Chytil pick and the fact that the 2017 draft was so-so in talent.

    1. I think all of the above look like a better pick than Andersson right now – especially Rasmussen (who is already better than any post-deadline Ranger forward not in the top 9) and Necas.

  9. Incomplete was my reaction when I saw the article title so I agree with our esteemed friend Peter.

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