The Dallas Stars have the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and it’s one of the most intriguing spots in the draft.
Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick and Halifax Moosheads center Nico Hischier are considered the top prospects in this draft class. There is some debate whether Patrick or Hischier will go first overall, but there seems to be a consensus opinion that neither will make it past the second pick.
That means the Stars could go in any direction at No. 3 and it’s not a bad spot. While this draft is considered weaker than past years, Dallas will still get a very good prospect at No. 3 and a player that should make an impact in the NHL.
Since the NHL Draft Lottery I’ve taken time to watch video and spoken with others that have watched these draft prospects closely to create my own scouting reports for 12 players that Dallas could consider at No. 3.
Today we are looking at Lias Andersson. You can follow these links for past scouting reports on Casey Mittelstadt, Gabriel Vilardi, Michael Rasmussen, Cody Glass, Owen Tippett, Eeli Tolvanen, and Klim Kostin, Elias Pattersson.
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Lias Andersson has all the makings of a very good NHL player. He’s strong in all three zones, responsible with the puck, and reads the game at an extremely high level.
He’s a very safe pick and will be a long-time NHL player, but he likely isn’t going to be considered at No. 3 by the Stars.
There are simply more dynamic players available in the draft and Andersson doesn’t have that single skill set that screams top-five pick. He’s very good in all areas, but isn’t great enough in one single skillset to jump into the top echelon of the draft.
However Andersson, who is the third-ranked European prospect by NHL Central Scouting, may be one of the most NHL-ready players in this draft, at least on a mental level.
The 18-year-old Swede simply gets it. He’s effective in his offensive zone and in the defensive end he makes an effort to block shots, breaks up passes, and makes life easier for his teammates. He’s also dangerous on the forecheck and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
In a draft where so many players have the physical tools, Andersson has the mental ones.
He’s a bit smaller at 5-foot-11 (181 CM) and 198 pounds (98 KG), but he found a role in the SHL with HV71 and had 19 points in 42 games. Those point totals look even better when you consider he played a bottom-six role with HV71 and didn’t get much work on special teams.
Andersson isn’t going to be a top-five pick and he could fall to late in the first round. But whichever teams drafts the Swede will be adding a prospect that is going to have a promising NHL future, even if he’s not going to be a so-called super star.