The Free Press’s Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings director of European scouting and former Frolunda Indians board of directors member Hakan Andersson to stoke the Rasmus Dahlin fire…
“He’s good at everything,” Andersson told the Free Press. “He has great size, he is a great skater, he has very good hands. He’s extremely smart, and he has very high dedication. There is a lot to like.”
Andersson, the Wings’ director of European scouting, served on the board of directors of the Frolunda hockey club in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 2013-17. During that time he saw Dahlin move from the organization’s junior hockey team to the highest division, the Swedish Hockey League.
“I’ve seen him lots over the years,” Andersson said. “I know how dedicated he is. I know how hard he works. He has no weaknesses.”
And, to his credit, Andersson cautions against the suggestions that Dahlin is going to turn a lucky franchise around all by himself:
“Over the years, how many first overall picks have come in right away and transformed a team?” Andersson said. “Connor McDavid is a highly skilled player, and the Oilers still don’t make the playoffs.
“People want to compare Dahlin to Lidstrom. Lidstrom in his draft year played in the junior Swedish hockey league. This guy played in the top league in his draft year and on the national team. That doesn’t mean it’s going to translate into a better career. He is not the first player at 17-18 years of age to be better than Lidstrom. Lidstrom, the year after he was drafted, he played in Sweden still and his numbers were not that exciting. Now, very few guys look back and say they had a better career than Lidstrom.
“It takes time. Dahlin is very good at a young age, for sure. He has taken some big steps the past few years. I think whoever drafts him, you hope you are drafting a world-class defenseman.”
St. James continues, and I’m relieved that SOMEbody is willing to suggest that Dahlin isn’t the next Hockey Jesus.
Update: Here’s a bit more from Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff:
It won’t be Lidstrom. Wings general manager Ken Holland indicated it would be Dan Cleary and either himself of director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright who would represent the team at the draft lottery order announcement in Toronto.
As for luck, the Wings will most certainly need it to walk out of there with first crack at Dahlin. Detroit is fifth in the lottery order, leaving the team with just an 8.5 percent chance of grabbing the No. 1 overall selection. In fact, the math suggests that it’s more likely that Detroit will go in the opposite direction, with sixth (34.5 percent) or seventh (26.7) overall speculated to be the Wings’ most likely landing point.
Certainly, that was their misfortune a year ago. Rated seventh going into the lottery, the Wings fell back to ninth overall, selecting center Michael Rasmussen from the WHL Tri-City Americans on draft day.
“Last year, we had the seventh odds going into the draft, and we ended up going back two spots,” Holland said.