Disgruntled New York Rangers prospect Lias Andersson is apparently still upset with his NHL club. The 21-year-old forward was loaned to the SHL’s HV71 in his native Sweden in late January after he had requested a trade out of New York in December. However, after a lengthy amount of time apart, the Rangers decided to offer Andersson a spot at training camp and on their playoff roster, according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks. However, Brooks reports that a source told the Post that Andersson has declined this invitation and will remain in Sweden. This could very well be the last straw for the Rangers and Andersson.
Andersson, the seventh overall pick in 2017, has openly expressed his displeasure with his role in New York and it eventually led him out of town. The problem is that the talented forward does not have the numbers to back up his argument. Yes, Andersson is a skilled player who flashed incredible offensive ability in the SHL at a very young age and was worthy of his draft slot. However, in three seasons in North America the young center has recorded just nine points in 66 NHL games and 39 points in 74 AHL games. The production simply has not matched the hype and few would fault the Rangers for using Andersson sparingly while they wait for his talent to catch up with the pace of NHL play.
Unfortunately, it now seems like the Rangers are unlikely to see Andersson reach his potential (if he ever does). With bridges all but burnt, Brooks expects that he will remain in Sweden until he is traded. However, The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello does point out that Andersson is under contract with New York next season and the Rangers will have the final say as to where he plays. Regardless, that is unlikely to be the Big Apple. It’s all hands on deck for the Rangers, one of the more unlikely playoff teams in the NHL’s expanded postseason, but when Andersson is needed the most, he has opted not to answer the bell. For a player lauded for his work ethic and leadership ability in the draft process, Andersson has failed the Rangers at every turn and they likely face little choice now but to try to get a fair return back for the troubled prospect.