The St. Louis Blues have traded up into the Top 15 of the first round in the SBNation Mock Draft.
The Blues sent their first pick in the draft at 20th overall, and their second-round selection in the 2017 draft, to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Carolina’s pick at 12th overall, and used that pick to select winger Lias Andersson from the HV-71 system in Sweden.
Andersson, a native of Smögen, Sweden, plays both center and left wing, and is listed at 5’ 11 and 198 pounds. He is the son of Niklas Andersson, who was drafted 68th overall in 1989 by the Quebec Nordiques and played 165 NHL games (29 G, 53 A), and has been a European scout for the Los Angeles Kings for the last four seasons.
His uncle, Mikael Andersson, was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (18th overall) in 1984, and posted 95 goals and 264 points in 761 career NHL games. And grandfather Ronny Andersson was a goaltender for Malmö and Frölunda in the 60’s and 70’s.
Respected independent scouting service ISS, who had Andersson going to the Blues with their pick at 20th overall in their own Mock Draft, lists Blues’ forward Alex Steen as the NHL player to whom Andersson best compares, and rated him as “Very Good” in the areas of Skating, Puck Skills, Shot, Defensive Play, Physical Play, and Competitiveness, and “Excellent” in terms of Hockey Sense.
It’s worth noting that most of the other independent scouting services have Andersson ranked higher than the 20th overall spot. The HockeyProspect.com “2017 Black Book” has him at 12th overall, while FutureConsiderations.ca has him ranked 13th overall and McKeen’s has him at 17th. NHL Central Scouting ranked Andersson the third-best prospect in Europe at Midterm and in their Final rankings.