2015 NHL Draft: Rasmus Andersson Interview

    Rasmus Andersson of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.

    Hockey Prospect: You’ve gotten off to an excellent start to your OHL career. What’s been the key for you so far?

    Rasmus Andersson: Probably getting shots through, playing hard in my own zone, and to keep moving the puck up to my teammates tape all the time…just keeping my head up, moving my feet and finding the passes.

    HP: What’s the biggest adjustment transitioning from playing in Sweden to the OHL?

    RA: The biggest (adjustment) is probably the rink size. It’s a little bit tougher here. There are more hits; it’s a little quicker, smaller rinks, especially when we go to real small rinks like Owen Sound and Peterborough.

    HP: How happy are you with your game this season?

    RA: I’ve been happy but you can’t get too happy of course. You’ve got to stay on the ground all the time. If you play one good game or one bad game you just keep to yourself and always play your own game, and not get too excited when it goes good, or too mad when it goes bad. You have to stay on a good level.

    HP: What do you view as the strengths of your game?

    RA: My strength is definitely when I have the puck. I can read the game good, I like hitting, I like getting shots through, and firing some nice passes. I’m probably a guy who can get a couple of points and play defense.

    HP: Every player has things they can improve on, what aspect of your game do you think you need to get better with?

    RA: Maybe a little bit quicker. My gaps need to improve a little bit more, and I need to keep moving my feet all the time.

    HP: Is there anyone you model your game after?

    RA: I try to play my own game, but if there is anyone it’d probably be Drew Doughty. He’s a hell of a defenseman, and I like the way he plays. He moves the puck a lot, and he always finds tape. He plays a little bit tough, and that’s the kind of defenseman I want to be.

    HP: Obviously your dad played in the NHL and your brother has been drafted into the NHL. How much does it help having them around knowing they’ve been through the draft process?

    RA: Of course they help me a lot. My brother (Calle Andersson) went through this two years ago (when he was drafted by the Rangers) so he’s given me a lot of good advice, and so has my dad (Peter Andersson). He’s watching every game from Switzerland, and he’s been giving me advice after games. I’ve played a couple good games, and a couple of bad games. He just helps (let) me know what I need to improve a little bit more, and what I need to think about, so they help me a lot. I really appreciate those guys because they’re always by my side, and they always want what’s best.

    HP: Have you focused on your draft status at all, or do you try and block that out?

    RA: No. I don’t really think about it. Whatever happens happens. The only thing I can think about is playing my own game, and if it’s the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round I just have to do what I can control. That’s what I do on the ice, and hopefully I go as high as possible.

    HP: If you could play on a team with one guy you’ve faced in the OHL, who would it be?

    RA: Probably Connor McDavid. He’s the best guy in the OHL so (it’d be fun).