Ever since Rasmus Sandin was drafted 29th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, he has been on the fast track to the NHL. Wherever he has gone, his coaches and teammates have praised his work ethic and his maturity. So it was to no one’s surprise when he made the opening night roster for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Maturity of Rasmus Sandin
Sandin can make a claim that not a lot of Maple Leafs defensemen can make. He was the first defenseman since Morgan Rielly in 2013-14 to make the Leafs roster as a teenager. Sandin managed to secure his spot on the backend thanks to a strong camp and an injury to Travis Dermott.
In his first game with the Leafs, he managed to show why he deserves a spot in the NHL. Even though he only played 8:58, he proved that he belonged in the NHL with his stability on the backend. Many people said he looked like a veteran presence back there even though it was only his first NHL game.
With Sandin, his ceiling as an NHL player is very high. Here’s what he brings to the Leafs blueline:
Rasmus Sandin is very good at staying calm under pressure. There were times in the game against the Ottawa Senators where he and Martin Marincin were caught in their own end for an extended period of time. Where a normal rookie might have panicked and made silly mistakes, he stayed calm and made sure the puck exited the zone safely. He makes smart decisions whenever he gets the puck on his stick and makes sure he’s always moving the puck forward.
Sandin is a very smart player when he has the puck on his stick. He has good vision and has the ability to make stretch passes to forwards that are breaking through the neutral zone. He can also chip in on offence when needed. In his lone season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2017-18, he put up 45 points in 51 games. Some people questioned whether he would be able to score at the next level. He put all those doubts to sleep when he put up 28 points in 44 games last season with the Toronto Marlies.
Sandin has a very bright future ahead of him. He’s mature beyond his years and he holds himself to a very high standard. He’s been able to take all the negative things being said about him and turn that into motivation. The Toronto Maple Leafs definitely see him in their long term plans and they truly believe he could develop into a top-pairing defenseman in the NHL one day.
Embed from Getty Images