If you were waiting on Rasmus Asplund to sign his entry-level deal and come to North America, you’ll have to wait a while longer. According to a report out of Sweden, he’ll stay in Europe for the time being. In a translated interview, Asplund explains why:
No, I will not sign any NHL contract this summer. It’s very turbulent in Buffalo right now, considering that they will have new coaches in both NHL and AHL. And then they want to have as many contract places as possible as they get together both NHL and AHL players.
Asplund is right, it is turbulent in Buffalo right now as new GM Jason Botterill overhauls the organization. He’s still without coaches at either level, though a decision the NHL bench boss should come in the next few weeks. The team will have around 38 contracts after signing their restricted free agents, and it’s easy for Asplund to just continue his development in Sweden instead of taking up one of the allowed 50 spots.
The 19-year old was drafted 33rd-overall last summer and had an outstanding year in the SHL, scoring 19 points in 39 games. That’s an impressive number for a player who was 18 for much of the season, and bodes well for his development as a top-six forward. The undersized forward is still several years away from making an impact at the NHL level,