Here is a sampling of comments about Rasmus Dahlin, expected to be the No. 1 pick by the Sabres on Friday night at the NHL Entry Draft in Dallas.
Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting: “Dahlin has the skating, skills and elite hockey sense that can dictate the style of play and the pace of a game with or without the puck. He finds ways to contribute in all situations, is ultra-competitive and a high character person who leads by example.”
Jack Eichel: “Obviously, he’s got some pretty incredible highlights. It seems like he’s a special, special player. … I think it would be great for our team, our city. After the season that we had, it was a tough one, and just trying to build that excitement again for next year. I think that’s just another piece to it.”
Goran Stubb, director of NHL European Scouting: “He’s more or less a complete package. He’s a very good skater. He has an excellent understanding of the game. He can shoot. He can pass. He can set up plays. He’s just a great natural talent. I don’t think there’s anything he doesn’t do well.”
Fredrik Sjostrom, general manager of Dahlin's Frölunda club, to NHL.com: “In Sweden, we say he has the vision of a mosquito. If you try and hit a mosquito, the mosquito can get away because it can process in slow motion. That’s kind of how Rasmus is. He never gets caught or is put in a bad situation because it doesn’t ever come to that. He can see where the guy is going and move the other way. It looks easy, but I know it isn’t.”
Mike Weber, former Sabres defenseman who played 10 games with Dahlin in Sweden: “This kid is mature far beyond his years. It’s amazing. He’s a better skater than [Erik] Karlsson, he’s got a shot like Victor Hedman, he kind of moves like Pavel Datsyuk in the corners. He can slip checks and pull pucks away. The thing that impressed me the most is his heads-up hockey. Now that I'm coaching kids, I notice even more. You don’t see kids that age skating all the time with their heads up, looking at the play.”
Sabres coach Phil Housley: “I know these are highlights and he’s a young man and has to mature and really get to the NHL and North American game, but just seeing his poise and his hockey IQ of processing the game at a high speed is really, really something. I’ve been watching on YouTube and, boy, it’s incredible. He’s going to be a complete package in today’s NHL.”
The Sporting News: "An electrifying defenseman with ankle-breaking moves, Dahlin is ready to show the NHL what he's made of. He's been called the Swedish Bobby Orr, but Dahlin's passing ability and puck control techniques are quite unique for a defender from any era."