During the Hockey Night in Canada Sportsnet Saturday Headlines segment, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet started by chatting about the World Junior Tournament. After playing a game-high 24 minutes 38 seconds, including 1:56 of overtime, but ultimately being on the losing end against Russia, it’s not all bad news for young defenseman Rasmus Sandin.
Considering how strong his play was at the tournament, Johnston said fans in Toronto should expect to see Sandin get a crack with the Maple Leafs over the next few weeks. Despite his young age and some contract considerations the Maple Leafs should keep in the back of their minds, Sandin will become an option for the Toronto Maples when he returns to North America.
Johnston noted that Sandin is still a teenager and if he doesn’t play 10 NHL games this season his contract could slide into next season. Despite that potential concern, the Maple Leafs are apparently aren’t worried about that and speculation is that he’ll get into some Maple Leafs games.
A Lot to Look Forward to With Sandin
While there’s a chance he’ll become an unrestricted free agent a year earlier than if he didn’t burn a season off his entry-level deal, there is a lot to look forward to if you’re a Maple Leafs fans. Sandin is a stud d-man in the making and he’s got a lot of insiders calling him a potential difference-maker for the Maple Leafs.
Craig Button tweeted on Saturday after watching Sandin play against Russia, “Hey @MapleLeafs fans. @Rasmussandin is clearly the best defenseman here. Not close. Every single area of the game, he’s been brilliant.” That’s some high praise for a guy who knows young prospects as well as Button does.
Button wasn’t the only one to call Sandin the best player on the ice during that game and there are many who believe if the Maple Leafs are serious about making a run for the Stanley Cup this season, especially considering the injuries they’re dealing with, Sandin needs to be a part of their lineup.
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