ROCHESTER – Overlook about Rasmus Asplund’s late-season scoring binge or that he centered one of many American Hockey League’s prime traces as a rookie.
Asplund’s maturity has impressed People basic supervisor Randy Sexton greater than anything.
“He’s nonetheless very younger however he’s extraordinarily mature,” Sexton mentioned of the Sabres prospect. “He’s very targeted, he’s very coachable.
“If you sit with Rasmus and also you speak to him, you possibly can have interaction in a two-way dialog.”
These conversations helped Asplund, 21, modify to the AHL and buoyed his improvement final season following his arrival from Sweden.
Asplund has morphed into one of many Sabres’ greatest prospects. The 2-way heart simply loved a terrific coaching camp, making a robust case to stay within the NHL earlier than the Sabres despatched him down.
“When he received to Rochester, he embraced it. He knew that he nonetheless had work to do and he put the time in instantly,” mentioned assistant coach Toby Petersen, who’s in control of the Amerks’ forwards.
Sexton and interim Amerks coach Gord Dineen each mentioned Asplund is near incomes his first recall.
“From the maturity stage that he’s proven, management that he’s proven in his peer group, that’s there,” Dineen mentioned of Asplund’s NHL readiness. “His recreation is so well-rounded, he’s gotten higher that manner.
“It’s simply getting off to the beginning right here the place he punches a gap within the lineup up there.”
Asplund mentioned: “I simply need to experience the wave I constructed up in coaching camp. I had a superb coaching camp.”
To this point this season, Asplund, a former second-round decide, has compiled two assists in 4 video games. A yr in the past, he recorded his first objective and second level in his 17th outing.
Asplund struggled offensively early in 2018-19 as he adjusted to North American hockey, mustering solely two targets and 15 factors in his first 46 video games.
“Regardless of how good or how excessive his hockey IQ is, it’s going to take a short while for him to get used to the smaller ice floor and the frenetic tempo that you simply typically see over right here,” Petersen mentioned.
Different prospects may need panicked or began overhauling their recreation. However Amerks coach Chris Taylor stored telling Asplund he preferred the best way he was taking part in.
Taylor stored the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Asplund between Victor Olofsson and Danny O’Regan, his common linemates.
“(Taylor would say), ‘You’re taking part in nice, you’re taking part in good,’ and he stored me on the identical line and gave me loads of ice time and each PP and PK,” Asplund mentioned. “So my confidence was good.”
Asplund, who performed 4 years of professional within the Swedish Hockey League, mentioned the boldness Taylor confirmed in him “was large for me.”
“He talked to me rather a lot and simply let me know what he was pondering,” he mentioned. “We shared our ideas there.”
Asplund shares his ideas brazenly, in accordance with Sexton.
“If he doesn’t fairly perceive or he doesn’t essentially agree, he’s snug stating his viewpoint, which is nice, as a result of as administration and coaches, you need to have the ability to have that dialogue together with your gamers,” he mentioned.
By February, Asplund began trying extra snug. He started capturing the puck commonly and taking part in extra aggressively.
Asplund scored seven targets and 23 factors within the closing 22 regular-season video games and completed with 10 targets and 41 factors in 75 contests.
“The most important factor for him was he simply began to suppose extra within the offensive manner,” Petersen mentioned. “Most of the time, (he’s going to be) on the correct aspect of the puck, he’s going to have good stick place and (be) taking part in the sport the best way that we wish him to play defensively.”
Asplund mentioned: “If you put in loads of work, typically it’s going to repay.”
As Asplund caught hearth, his line turned one of many AHL’s greatest trios.
However Olofsson, an in depth pal Asplund mentioned is sort of a “brother” to him, is now scoring targets for the Sabres. O’Regan, in the meantime, is taking part in for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate.
Asplund has been centering Remi Elie and prospect Tage Thompson this season.
“You’re going to have new linemates just about yearly,” Asplund mentioned. “I couldn’t be extra blissful for Ollie being up in Buffalo and for Reegs to have had an awesome final yr. I’m going to recollect it for all my profession.
“It was only a nice yr. I believe all of us helped one another out rather a lot.”
Dineen mentioned the Amerks recalled goalie Michael Houser from the ECHL on Monday as a result of starter Andrew Hammond is sick. Hammond, who has began three of the primary 4 video games, is enhancing. … A “paperwork concern,” in accordance with Dineen, has prevented rookie ahead Brett Murray, who’s Canadian, from taking part in within the first 4 video games. Whereas Dineen declined to elaborate, that doubtless means Murray’s work visa hasn’t been completed. Murray signed a one-year AHL contract earlier this month. … Dineen mentioned ahead Taylor Leier, who underwent unspecified offseason surgical procedure, plans to hitch the Amerks quickly. … The Amerks host Cleveland on Friday and journey to Utica on Saturday.