It’s another defenseman on day two of the 2023 NHL entry draft for the New York Rangers as they draft Swedish defenseman Rasmus Larsson 152nd overall in the fifth round with the draft pick that they got for trading Jayden Grubbe to the Edmonton Oilers before his rights expired. Whether or not that was a good idea, time will tell but the Rangers have drafted well in the past when talking about Swedes taken late in the NHL draft.
Larsson is going to be playing for Northern Michigan in the NCAA as he comes across to North America from his native Sweden. He’s going to be adjusting to the different dimensions of the rink. This is a solid bet because there’s a lot to like with Larsson. He’s going to get confused with Adam Larsson when he does eventually make the big leagues, but the Rangers have some more depth in the defensive prospect pool.
At 6’3, 200 lbs, this is a man mountain at the age of 19. That is something that should be noted, Larsson is an overager, but that means he should be further along in his development at this point in time than some of the other options available. Whether that is a bad thing because it isn’t a completely blank slate or a good thing because he’s closer to the NHL, only the future holds the answer.
Larsson put up 16 goals and 18 assists for 34 points in 50 games in the Swedish under-20 league. He’s got some offensive talent but he’s going to take time. He’ll need 3 or 4 years before he is ready to compete for an NHL job if he ever is in a position to do it. But that size and offensive skill is certainly not going to go unnoticed. He’s a project pick, but if it’s done correctly, he could be a nice prospect to have.