Lias Andersson is requesting a trade after an up-and-down tenure with the New York Rangers that included plenty of time in Hartford.
First reported by Darren Dreger of TSN, New York Rangers prospect Lias Andersson has formally requested a trade. This was later confirmed by multiple outlets. The 21-year-old center’s time with the Rangers has been disappointing.
The Rangers selected Andersson with the seventh-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. He was always a promising young player with a sky-high ceiling. For that reason, he was a no-brainer high first-round pick.
He was called up for the first time on March 25, 2018, when he scored his first NHL goal, but was sent back down to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, on April 7. He was recalled in November 2018 and would remain in the NHL until November of this year.
Andersson had an unremarkable nine points (three goals and six assists) in 66 games with the Rangers. This lack of production was the driving force behind the decision to send him back down.
This move last month was a controversial one that left fans upset and disappointed, and rightfully so.
Andersson was never able to find his footing in the NHL and his spot on the depth chart exacerbated his struggles. This season, he centered the Rangers’ fourth line alongside Michael Haley, Greg McKegg, and/or Brendan Smith. Haley and McKegg are journeymen forwards and Smith is a defenseman who is being used as a forward.
The likes of Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid would have trouble producing on that line. Imagine an unseasoned youngster such as Andersson.
Not only was he playing on such a dreadful line but, to make matters worse, his playing time began to decline. He played over 12 minutes just twice in 17 games this season, and both games were at the beginning of the season.
At that point, Andersson was expected to produce with terrible linemates while playing fewer than 10 minutes a night.
When he was sent down to Hartford, however, this all became irrelevant. What had been expected of Andersson in the NHL was ridiculous, yes, but he was given the opportunity to start anew and prove that he deserved a significant role with the Rangers.
After all, players such as Pavel Buchnevich and Filip Chytil were sent down and were able to make the most of their opportunity in the AHL. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Andersson.
In 13 games with Hartford, he had five points (four goals and one assist). Whether or not this was due to the fact that critics were right about his skills and effort or he became disinterested and had already made up his mind about wanting out is something no one will know the answer to for some time.
Andersson was not used correctly during his time with the Rangers and was not given a fair chance, but he did not take advantage of his time in Hartford to prove his talent.
General manager Jeff Gorton will reportedly assess the market during the holidays. Rangers fans just need to hope the team can get a good return for him and that he does not live up to his potential on another team.