New York Rangers former 1st round draft pick officially abandons the NHL

Hunter Bowman
June 21, 2024  (11:40 PM)

Lias Andersson with the Rangers
Photo credit: NHL.com

After seven seasons in the NHL, proving to be an unsuccessful endeavour, the Rangers 1st round flop, Lias Andersson is leaving North America.

He will be packing his bags for Switzerland as he will play in the EHC Bel-Bienne, signing a two-year contract in the top tier hockey league in the country.
This came, after an 110 game run in the NH, where he failed to live up the hype of being a 7th overall selection.
Andersson was drafted 7th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and spend his 2023-2024 season in the AHL, with the Laval Rocket, the Montreal Canadiens affilliate, playing 53 games for the team, scoring 45 points( 21 G, 24 A).

«Lias Andersson is a flexible forward who will enrich our offensive game with his versatility and skill. He is able to play in various positions up front and adapt to the requirements of the game situations both offensively and defensively,» general manager Martin Steinegger said.

Andersson's departure from the NHL and North America signifies a disappointing lack of return from that draft year for the team. As many significant players in the NHL were drafted in that time period: Martin Necas at 12th overall, Casey Mittelstadt at 8th overall, now playing for Colorado, Nick Suzuki at 13th overall, and Robert Thomas at 20th overall.
While Andersson may have been a bust with the Rangers, they did luck into Filip Chytil with the 21st pick, who has played 337 games for the Rangers.
The Rangers were sold short, as they thought they would get a mature two-way center, but would fail to take a demotion with humility and made no impact in the NHL. He would return to Sweden prior to being traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
In 2018 in the IIHF World Championships, he was seen as an immature leader, throwing his silver medal into the crowd. This despite, his star performance with 7 points in 7 games, it seemed in retrospect he was unfit to lead.
He was legitimately one of the worst first round picks by the Rangers in a long time.
Andersson would only play 66 games with the Blueshirts, scoring only three goals and nine points in 66 games.
His career totals in 110 games between the Rangers and Kings: 17 points( 7 G, 10 A).
Could he eventually revive his NHL career? It's a possibility but seems far-fetched at this point, while his chapter with the Rangers closes for good.
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New York Rangers former 1st round draft pick officially abandons the NHL

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