On June 23rd, the best, young NHL prospects in the world will gather in Dallas, Texas at the American Airlines Center, for the 2018 NHL draft. And while we have heard some big names like Keith Tkachuck’s son Brady plus a few other NCAA and Juniors players, the name who will be called first is Rasmus Dahlin.
Dahlin is currently a defenseman playing for Frölunda HC in the SHL and is a likely member for the Sweden Olympic & World Junior teams. A puck moving defenseman who is drawing a ton of comparisons to Erik Karlsson should have every bottom dwelling team salivating. Now, obviously Dahlin isn’t Erik Karlsson, but the game is trending into a much faster, quicker game that requires your elite defenseman to have the ability to move the puck efficiently while crating an offensive threat.
When you look at the teams at the bottom of the league right now, Buffalo, Edmonton, Colorado – all teams that are in desperate need for a no. 1 defenseman. Dahlin, even at his young age, can step in immediately and have a major impact. Look at Boston and Charlie McAvoy. The kid can’t even legally drink a beer yet and is playing top minutes in the entire league. The days of taking 2-3 years for your top defense prospects to prosper are a thing of the past.
Dahlin, one of the best skating prospects in the entire draft is also a big boy. Coming in a 6’3’’ its tough to find someone as big and quick as him in the modern day NHL. He has drawn comparisons to hall of fame defenseman Nick Lindstrom, but one NHL scout thinks otherwise.
“Every game he plays produces a new highlight reel for the Internet. His talents can’t be overstated. Skill, skating, size, creativity, physicality, Dahlin is the total package. Is he the best 17-year-old blue line talent the country has ever produced? Many say yes.” – Jeff Marek
“Possesses every element necessary to become a top-pairing NHL defenceman. Don’t be surprised if he goes wire-to-wire in this spot” – Sam Cosentino
And for you Corsi nerds:
We are going to see a lot of Dahlin in the coming months with the WJC and Olympics approaching quickly and make sure to appreciate what you are watching because there may not be another prospect like this for years to come.