Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: C/LW Lias Andersson

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Our focus this time is Swedish center/left wing Lias Andersson!

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Name: Lias Andersson

Position: Center / Left wing

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1998-10-13

Height, weight: 5’11, 198 lbs

Team, league: HV71 Jonkoping, SHL

Stats (from 






42 9 10 19 18 21


#16 by
#29 by ISS Hockey
#13 by Future Considerations
#15 by McKeen’s Hockey
#3 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Two-way center

Draft Range: Mid-first round

Scouting report

"A smart, mature, two-way center…good decision-making, leadership qualities and advanced understanding of the game…a true three-zone player…defensively responsible…will drop to block shots or get his body in passing lanes…dangerous forechecker who reads the defense and uses an active stick to disrupt…covers up the ice for his teammates on the backcheck and always gives an honest effort…doesn’t commit a lot of mistakes and plays a very calm game while in puck possession…has solid offensive instincts…protects the puck very well and uses all of his frame to hold opponents off the puck…possesses a nice, quick shot release…not a flashy puckhandler, but can carry it up ice and distributes it well…goes to the net and plays in traffic…has solid vision and the ability to set up his linemates…has good balance and generates healthy amounts of speed…a potential two-way guy in the Zetterberg mold. (Future Considerations)"


Andersson’s point totals this season won’t jump out at you the way some of the other prospects’ will.

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But there’s an excellent reason for that: he spent most of 17-year-old season playing in the Swedish Hockey League. The SHL is the highest level in Swedish hockey, and most of its players are in their 20s and 30s. Andersson was one of the very few teenagers who could make the jump.

By that measure, his 19 points and 42 games in that league look might impressive. Not to mention that he has done it while playing mostly bottom-six minutes.

What allowed him to move up to such a high level at such a young age? A lot of it was the maturity of his game. Andersson shows poise and work ethic at both ends of the rink. He’s also a highly intelligent player who see the ice very well.

While he doesn’t dazzle with the puck, he is efficient and effective on offense, using his teammates well and scoring goals with his quick shot. All in all, Andersson is one of the smartest and most complete players available.


Scouts have a hard time identifying any specific weaknesses in Andersson’s game. The one catch is that he appears to be a jack of all trades, but master of none.

Jeff Marek points out that while he is a valuable player, it isn’t because he is bursting at the seams with offensive talent. He will contribute well enough, but isn’t necessarily a game-changer offensively. That is ultimately why he is ranked in the 15-to-20 range, rather than in the top-10.

His smarts and defensive acumen give him a foundation that a lot of players his age lack. He may not need to spend as much time learning to play in his own end. But the top end of the draft is first-and-foremost for high-end scoring skill. And Andersson lacks that compared to many of his counterparts.

At just under six feet and below 200 pounds, he’ll need to continue to get stronger. He himself said that was the biggest obstacle he faced when he joined the SHL, and the leap to the NHL will be a great challenge still.

Final Thoughts

Andersson actually does have a small connection with the Canucks. He stated in an interview that he is friends with Loui Eriksson, and works out with him in Sweden during the summer.

Regardless, Andersson looks like a sure bet to go in the middle of the first round. Barring a trade up or down, he will be out of reach for Vancouver

The team that does select him should get a very useful and versatile player. While playing against his peers in Swedish junior hockey, he put up over a point-per-game. Those are the type of scoring numbers you would expect from a top prospect.

But he has also stepped up into a league where everyone is bigger, stronger and older than he is. There, he played more of a two-way role, playing the key center position against tough competition.

Next: All 2017 Draft Profiles

Both of those things bode well for his journey to the NHL. A player who outscores his peers as a teenager is likely to succeed. So, too, is a player who shows growth when stepping up a level. Andersson has already done both of those things.

He probably won’t join the Vancouver Canucks, but he could be a steal lower in the first round.