The Buffalo Sabres moved up five picks in the second round to snag another Swedish forward at the 2016 NHL Draft. This time it was center Rasmus Asplund from Farjestad of the Swedish Hockey League. He's Central Scouting's fourth-ranked European skater.
“It’s an amazing feeling that they traded up to get me,” Asplund said. “That proves that they really believe in me and they want me to get here. … I need to prove to them that what they did wasn’t wrong.”
Asplund centered Sabres first-round pick Alexander Nylander on the Swedish team at the 2016 World Junior Championships. Asplund scored three goals and five points in seven games at the tournament.
“That’s one of the guys that I’ve had the best chemistry with in my whole career,” Asplund said. “I’m really excited for that.”
He's excited to continue his NHL journey with a he grew up with through the Swedish international system.
"It's a pretty good story to tell my grandchildren," Asplund said.
Asplund is a bit undersized at 5-foot-11 and 194 lbs., which has led to some mixed reviews from scouts. He’s a playmaking center who isn’t afraid to get in the dirty areas despite not playing an overly physical style. He scored four goals and eight points in 46 games with Farjestad.
“I think I’m a strong skating two-way center,” Asplund said. I really make the guys I play with better.”
He expects to play another year in Sweden before coming over to North America and said he will attend the Sabres’ development camp.