Sweden’s Rasmus Dahlin is the Future Star of 2018 NHL Draft
You don’t have to be a scout or even a hockey fan to notice Rasmus Dahlin. You just need a set of working eyes.
As the only player on his team wearing a full-face mask, Dahlin sticks out. But even if he wore the same half-visor as everyone else, you would be hard-pressed not to see why the Swedish defenceman is someone worth watching. He’s the 16-year-old with moves like Erik Karlsson; one NHL general manager said Dahlin “always has the puck on a shoe string,” and could be the No. 1 pick in the next NHL Entry Draft if he wasn’t so darn young.
In that way, the full cage — which conceals a pubescent face with the usual acne — also acts as a harbinger.
It means that Dahlin, who is not old enough to wear a half-visor at the world junior hockey championship, must be a special talent to be playing in an under-20 tournament. But his age also suggests that he might be prone to intimidation, something that Switzerland captain Calvin Thurkauf tested the other day.