The New York Rangers may have a different idea about what to do with their first-round pick Lias Andersson. Could he possibly end up in a Rangers sweater this season?
New York Rangers prospect Lias Andersson is currently rehabbing his separated shoulder in New York City. He suffered the injury while playing for Team Sweden in the World Junior Championships earlier this month in Buffalo.
NYR 1st round pick Lias Andersson, coming off WJC silver-medal (toss) performance for SWE, is in NYC rehabbing an injured shoulder. The SWE captain suffered a separated shoulder midway thru the WJC but played SF and gold medal game with it. Likely out to 2 to 4 weeks.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 10, 2018
The original plan for Lias Andersson in September was to send him back to his Swedish League team, Frolunda, where he could work on his game as he continued to play as one of the top six forwards on the team. In 22 games this season for Frolunda, Andersson has seven goals, seven assists and 20 penalty minutes.
He was invited to play for Team Sweden in the World Junior Championships, where he was named captain prior to the start of the tournament. Team Sweden went on to win the Silver Medal (Sweden lost to Canada in the finals) as he tallied six goals with one assist in six games. He did encounter some controversy as he tossed his silver medal into the stands at the medal ceremony. His reason behind that toss was that silver was not the medal he wanted to win this year. Andersson did get his medal back a before the ceremony concluded.
As for the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft, their concern was his shoulder injury. The good news was that he didn’t need surgery to repair the shoulder and he should be back to play in a few weeks. Where is he going to play is another question.
Hartford Wolf Pack or Frolunda?
The Rangers now must decide if playing in the Swedish League is the right thing for Andersson. Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote that the “Post has learned management is weighing sending Andersson to the Wolf Pack once the center completes rehab on the shoulder he injured captaining Sweden to the silver medal in the World Juniors.”
It makes sense as there was a good chance the Rangers would bring Andersson back to the AHL Wolf Pack once Frolunda’s season concluded. They only have 17 games left in the season as opposed to the Wolf Pack who still have 35 games remaining on their schedule. Since Andersson is already in North America it would benefit him to go directly to Hartford and get himself adjusted to how hockey is played here.
Andersson and fellow first-round pick Filip Chytil would be teammates for the first time in their young careers. Imagine what possibilities lie ahead as the two players get familiar with one another with the guidance of GM Chris Drury and head coach Keith McCambridge in Hartford.
The Rangers could actually get a preview of what next season might look like if both Chytil and Andersson were called up to New York. Think of the excitement and energy that would be at MSG the first time they played.
It has been a tough season so far for the Rangers, but they still are in playoff position. With the team desperately looking for goals the opportunity may present itself for this to happen towards the end of the season.
Andersson could be one step closer to playing for the Rangers. If things go right that one step may be taken very soon.