Rasmus Dahlin could be a generational defenseman. In today’s NHL that means he will be a very rich young man in a short amount of time. I won’t say he’s guaranteed to go first overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft just yet. The World Junior Summer Showcase is really getting his name out there to the masses but I have more data on him.
The fast skating Swede has that rare blend of offensive prowess and solid defense with an edge when the play calls for it. Teams kill for these types of players and to be honest most don’t have them.
I’m not going to compare him to Erik Karlsson. That would be foolish for a lot of reasons. To start, he’s the second youngest player in the showcase. So, he has a lot of growing and has a massive ceiling. At 6-2, 181 (at the 2017 WJC he was 165 pounds and an inch shorter) pounds he will eventually have the kind of pro body that will be able to handle the physical rigors of the position.
Here’s my take on him so far:
Love his fast transition to backwards skating. Great puck retrieval. Uses his body to shield the puck and make the good clear. Strong offensive moves draw penalties. Goes wide to keep the play going. Skilled passer. Follows the play up the ice well. Jumps into the play well. Has fast hands. He has a heck of a hip check. Like any young player, he is prone to the turnover if he holds on the puck for too long while waiting to make that perfect pass.
This talented blueliner will have a big year ahead of him. A lot of people now know his name. That’s good for hockey. I expect him to excel this season and go into his draft year on a high note. He’s still 17 so let’s all agree that what you see today isn’t what you’re going to see when he’s 21. That’s the hardest thing to keep in mind when watching talented prospects.
He’s being well coached in Frölunda. He’s gaining so much experience there. He’s the youngest player on the team. Joel Lundqvist is the oldest player on the team. From what I can see he is in the last year of his Swedish contract. I won’t say he’s definitely going to play in the NHL right away because a lot can happen between now and then.