Philadelphia Flyers writer Bill Meltzer has reported the team is scouting versatile Swedish forward Dennis Rasmussen at the World Championships.
Rasmussen is a 23-year-old who can play left wing or center. EliteProspects.com has the scouting report:
A big and strong player. Reads the game well. Good defensively. Somewhat limited offensively, but valuable as a role player. Drives the net, strong along the boards and in front of the crease. Has good hands and a good release. Good penalty killer.
This breakdown of Rasmussen has Sean Couturier and Matt Read written all over it. The third line was a turnstile for left wingers throughout the season. While Steve Downie served admirably, he committed several dumb penalties and injuries sidelined him.
In his Quick Hits piece today, Meltzer focused on Rasmussen and his accomplishments in Sweden.
His Lakers teammate, former Flyers forward Tomi Kallio, told Hockey Sverige earlier this year that he is “one hundred percent certain” that Rasmussen has what it takes to play in the NHL and will be in the NHL as soon as next season.
One of the top penalty killing forwards in the SHL, Rasmussen also ranked in the league’s top 10 in scoring with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) while centering the top line. Rasmussen is currently playing for Team Sweden at the World Championships in Minsk, Belarus. He has dressed in two games but has played sparingly.
Rasmussen scored 16 goals to go along with 40 points through 52 games in the SHL, which is regarded as one of the toughest professional leagues in the world. The Vancouver Canucks have also reportedly shown interest in Rasmussen. If the Swede does sign with the Flyers, it opens the discussion of what the bottom-six will look like when training camp opens. With how well Jason Akeson performed in the playoffs, he will get at least a chance to make the roster.
Adam Hall is an unrestricted free agent and could re-sign with the Flyers. He made $600,000 during the 2013-14 season and served as one of the team’s best penalty killers and best faceoff men. The 33-year-old Hall also brings a veteran presence to the locker room.
The versatility of Raffl comes into play as well. If Vincent Lecavalier is traded in the offseason, it is possible for Raffl to move up to the second line as the left wing and Rasumssen to fill his spot on the lower lines.
The Flyers seem to have a nose for discovering talent that other organizations have overlooked. If any examples are needed, look down the Flyers roster for Read, Raffl. Oh and there is also this one guy named Sergei Bobrovsky who was discovered by the Flyers, too.
Read is the jack-of-all-trades for the Flyers, and Raffl has provided steady confidence no matter the situation. Once he adapted to the North American style of hockey, Raffl was one of the bright spots for the Flyers, playing on every line and on the penalty kill.
Rasmussen’s game fits into Berube’s strategy of team-defense. His versatility only heightens his appeal. Should he sign with the Flyers, keep an ear open for how he performs in training camp.