The Buffalo Sabres have signed a top prospect, inking Rasmus Asplund to a three-year entry-level contract. The 20-year old forward has spent the last four seasons playing in the SHL, but could now begin his North American career.
Asplund was selected with the 33rd pick in the 2016 draft, just 25 picks after the Sabres had selected countryman and international teammate Alexander Nylander. The pair had shared the ice together at the recent World Juniors and would do so again the next year. There was hope that they could develop together and provide support to Jack Eichel in the coming years, something that still could happen as they enter their twenties. Asplund especially has experienced solid growth in the SHL, scoring 28 points in 50 games this season while even wearing an “A” as an alternate captain despite his young age.
The 5’11” 176-lbs center can do a little bit of everything on the ice and helps linemates by allowing them room to use their offensive talents. Though he may not have the ceiling of someone like Eichel or Casey Mittelstadt, there is plenty of hope that he could carve out a two-way role on the Sabres, contributing offensively while being a do-it-all defensive option. If he does come over to North America next season, expect him to suit up with the Rochester Americans to polish off his game before any NHL debuts are in order.