After a disappointing stint at the NHL level last season, Asplund must show he belongs in 2020-21.
The Top 20 Under 24 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of five staff writers and over 300 readers that ranked prospects under the age of 24 and have played less than 125 NHL games.
As we finally reach the top-10 players in our Top-20 Under-24 rankings, we find a familiar face in Rasmus Asplund. Last season, the 22-year-old got an extended look at the NHL-level after a strong start in his second season with the Rochester Amerks.
Though he started out strong, posting an xG rate of 59.1-percent over his first five contests, he struggled mightily overall. In the 24 games that followed, Asplund’s xG mark plummeted down to 46.7-percent overall. His base statistics were even less impressive, managing only three points in 29 appearances in blue-and-gold.
With 22 points in his first pro season in North America, 2016 second-round pick Rasmus Asplund is fitting right in with the Amerks. pic.twitter.com/bUCVg3Tbdn
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 5, 2019
Last season was a big opportunity for the Swedish forward, and fans were hoping for more. In an organization that isn’t exactly flush with forward depth on the farm, a big developmental leap from Asplund would have inspired some confidence. With the addition of players like Tobias Rieder and Cody Eakin and the emergence of Arttu Ruotsalainen, the bottom-six in Buffalo is now very crowded.
In order to get another extended chance to in Buffalo, Asplund will need to put up monster numbers with the Amerks in 2020-21 (assuming the AHL season isn’t cancelled). Currently, Asplund is on loan in Sweden’s second-tier league, Allsvenskan. In 14 games with Västerås IK, he’s posted nine points, good for third on the team.