10/1/18 | Andersson was named the winner of the Lars-Erik Sjoberg award as the top rookie in Rangers training camp.
Rangers GM Jeff Gorton was asked about Andersson earlier on Monday and said:
- On Andersson , "when you go seventh overall there are expectations that are higher than when you go 21st, we have kept, for now, Brett Howden. For us, you draft them and then wherever you take them you move on and try to develop them and see when it's time for them to come to the NHL, which isn't easy. Lias is a 19-year old player, he turns 20 soon. We looked at it like this, if we can't find him 10 minutes on our team then he is better in Hartford. We could have easily put him on our team and say that he is the 7th pick overall but in the long-term what is best for him is to play 20 minutes."
- What does Andersson need to add, "He is a strong kid, wide body, plays a 200 ft agitating game with skill and just trying to develop that and not put him on a fourth line and hold him there and maybe stunt his growth. There is more upside if we just keep him playing, PP, PK, play 20 minutes in Hartford and we can take a look at him in a month or so and see where he is at."
Jeff Gorton said at a Town Hall event earlier event on 10/1, "it's a hard conversation. In his case, we could have made the argument that he made the team and played him 5-6-7 minutes but we are looking long-term at the player and the organization and he is going to benefit from playing 20 minutes, PP, PK, going against the best players and when his time comes, we like to think that the next time he comes up he isn't going back to down. That is the plan." (NYR)
9/29/18 | Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said that the Rangers could have found 5-8 minutes a night for Lias Andersson but that they would rather him play 20 minutes a night, in all situations, with Hartford than on the fourth line.
Gorton said that the Rangers are focused on the long-term with Andersson and said "he's pretty close to an NHL player but if we want to maximize where he is going and what he is going to be for us, it's the right decision."
Rangers coach David Quinn said that Andersson had a good camp and could have made the Rangers but, "having him play 20 minutes a night in Hartford is the best for right now is the best thing for him."
Earlier in camp, Andersson said that he wanted to be with the Rangers for all 82 games and was trying to show that he can play a "solid game and "be a guy you can trust out there and take faceoffs and hopefully, score a couple goals, too.' (Newsday)
Andersson said that when he spoke with Quinn earlier in camp and was told to just play his game, he felt "20 pounds lighter" after talking with the new Rangers coach. (Newsday)
Adam Rotter: Lias Andersson is an enormous part of the Rangers future and starting this season in Hartford doesn't change that. There is certainly a negative feeling around seeing a top prospect, one that was picked high and said to be NHL ready, end up in the minors, but if he is a point per game player in Hartford then this "step back" could lead to a bigger step forward in terms of what he may be as an NHLer.
There is a long-term vision at play and the Rangers want Andersson playing in a scoring role, a role that they hope he will be able to fill in the NHL for many years beyond this one. With Filip Chytil, Brett Howden, Vinni Lettieri, Neal Pionk and Tony DeAngelo with the team, the Rangers are still rebuilding and there are many more players on the way, including Andersson, Libor Hajek, VItali Kravtsov and others that will be part of the next wave. Andersson's competitiveness will hopefully help drive him in Hartford and help him develop to a point where he forces his way onto the Rangers.