Following the draft, Jeff Gorton said the following about trading Lias Andersson (NYR):
- On trading Lias, “Well, obviously you take a guy that high, you hope he has an impact sooner than later. At this point of his career, it’s hard to say, maybe we brought him over too soon, I don’t know. A lot of things didn’t go the way we wanted them to. He’s still a young guy, I think he needed a fresh start. We made a decision that maybe it’s best for him to move on and start over and same for us.”
- Did Lias playing in Sweden drive interest, “I think it’s helped him to go back and play. From speaking to him and his agents, he was more comfortable there, he just felt more and more confident playing there each day. I think teams were able to see him, for sure, there have been some teams that have called me and checked in on him from time to time. At the end of the day we made a decision organizationally that it was time to let him go somewhere else and try and for us to try and get an asset and go that way. The player we got with that trade we like a lot. We didn’t know if he would be there at 60, but when he was there we decided it was time.”
The Rangers have traded Lias Andersson to LA for the #60 pick in the 2020 draft.
Andersson was selected 7th overall by the Rangers in 2017 and played 66 games for the Rangers over three seasons, scoring three goals, six assists and averaging 10:33 per game.
He was sent to Hartford this past season but left the team, returned to Sweden and requested a trade.
Since returning to Sweden, the Rangers gave Andersson permission to play in the SHL.
Andersson’s father is a scout for LA.
Adam Rotter: The long Lias Andersson saga is over and someone who was thought to be a crucial piece to the rebuild is moved for the 60th pick. Andersson was miscast from the moment he was drafted as someone who could step right in as an 18-year old but, despite chances, but over three seasons he never found a stride and spent more time with Hartford than with the Rangers. There was a thought that the relationship between the Rangers and Andersson was on the way towards being mended, but once he opted against coming to the Rangers qualifying round training camp, it seemed to clinch that he would never again be a Ranger. It was a miss, a big miss, especially since he was not only the #7 pick but also the Rangers first 1st round pick since 2012. Filip Chytil passed him quickly on the depth chart and then Brett Howden did the same before the 2018-19 season. Andersson wanted a bigger role but his play never dictated that.
Overall, the Rangers have been very lucky that missing so bad on Andersson hasn’t really come back to haunt them. A lot of teams that miss on high picks are perpetually rebuilding, but the Rangers have been lucky that Chytil and Howden are regular NHLers, that Vitali Kravtsov, K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist are on the way, and most importantly, that ping pong balls have allowed them to draft Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere. Sure, it would be nice if Andersson was part of this mix and added more depth down the middle but it didn’t work out and it hasn’t hurt them. Now the Rangers can move on, hopefully learn what went wrong in the process and fix it, and continue building.
Should the Rangers have gotten more than #60 for Lias Andersson? Maybe, but not much. LA had 34, 45 and 66 so trading 60 for Andersson isn’t a big risk for them. This was the best value the Rangers felt they could get and they did it.