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The Case To Keep Rasmus Andersson

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An Analytical Outlook

NHL: Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As with most hockey rumours I catch wind of they typically initiate on the platform for chaos that is the depths of Leafs twitter. This week’s rendition saw Kasperi Kapanen come to CGY for Rasmus Andersson. At first instance I brushed it off, but then came the doozy of a new rumble that the Flames were looking to package up Dube, Andersson, and a first (In the best draft year since McDavids?!?!) for the rental of Taylor Hall. Such and absurd rumour has prompted me to come to the absolute defence of one of the Flames best defence, Rasmus Andersson.

A 2nd round pick acquired in the deal that sent Sven Beartschi to Vancouver, Andersson was quite the coin flip in development despite being a first team OHL all star the first year after being drafted. According to @Baderader’s NHLe model (https://nhles.com/) Andersson only yielded a 51% chance of being a regular NHL player when drafted, posting an NHLe score of 23.* His 3rd year after being drafted was where the first major step took place, earning AHL All-star honours and bumping his NHLe score to 32. The next season he would play the full year in Calgary and virtually cement himself as a solid piece for the foreseeable future.

*For those who don’t know NHLe stands for NHL equivalency and provides a score for what that players production would’ve looked like in NHL points compared to how many they actually scored in the league they were playing in. In Andersson’s case 64 points in 67 OHL games would’ve translated to 23 NHL points.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Fast forward to this year which has so far been less than ideal for a lot of reasons, but jumping to the conclusion of needing to trade our 23 year old right shot dman is a little drastic, especially when his numbers are actually quite good. Andersson has easily, far and away, the best corsi numbers on the D corps. Right now he boasts a 6.72 Avg. cd60 (Corsi differential per 60 minutes) which is 3.57 higher than our next best guy, Mark Giordano. This means that for every 60 minutes Andersson plays he sees 6.72 more chances going towards the offensive end of the rink. Very beneficial especially when you calculate those numbers came despite a 6 game losing streak and a 10-13-2 record.

This year he’s providing positive value across the board as evidenced by his current 0.3 WAR rating (from Evolving-Hockey.com) and a 1.7 GAR. (WAR is Wins above Replacement and GAR is Goals above replacement. Both values compare what a current player can provide when compared to a replacement level player. AKA positive numbers yield positive results) Razzmatazz sits 2nd and 3rd on the Flames D in those regards. Constantly competing with Giordano on a nightly basis to see who the Flames best Dman is going to be, which is no hard feat seeing as Gio has a bit of hardware in his trophy case now. Having him grow and excel, year after year is an excellent thing to watch, and very fun to see unfold on the ice.

While I know most of these rumours don’t initiate out of the Calgary fanbase, in the age of twitter things can gain traction fast. Im jumping in front of them now saying trading Rasmus Andersson would be a large mistake, and it’s no surprise why other teams armchair GM’s are targeting him as a potential want, but unless the return yields another young defender that can provide even more, I’m not interested, not even remotely.

*All Stats listed were from on 11/25/2019

Corsi Numbers from https://www.chartinghockey.ca/daily-charts/daily-skater-charts/ and @ChartingHockey

Flash Stevens // @Flash_33