The Toronto Maple Leafs won their first game back from the All-Star break with Rasmus Sandin displaying great potential scoring his first career goal.
When Rasmus Sandin was sent down to the Toronto Marlies, there was no telling whether the Toronto Maple Leafs had any plans to bring him back this season.
After impressing during his time with the Marlies and team Sweden during the World Juniors, Sandin earned a recall when Morgan Rielly suffered a broken foot. Since returning, the Leafs have seen a confident Sandin showoff his value that couldn’t have come at a better time.
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Considering the position the team is in, burning a year off of Sandin’s entry-level contract is the last thing the Leafs should be worried about considering he is one of the team’s top options for the backend. It will be interesting to see how the Leafs navigates the roster when Rielly returns but it’s clear that Sandin has earned some rope.
If you have to ask the Leafs whether they would prefer to play Sandin over options like Martin Marincin or even Travis Dermott, many would probably pick the young Swede.
What has made the 19-year-old a valuable part of the lineup is the puck-moving ability that he showed on William Nylander’s breakaway goal. Then, Sandin was rewarded for showing his poise scoring his first career goal.
This is what the Leafs were hoping to have when they drafted Sandin in 2018 and maybe it alters how they approach the trade deadline. There is no questioning the Leafs need to add a defenceman but maybe they can focus on the right side which is clearly still an issue.
With Jake Muzzin back, the Leafs don’t have to play Sandin more than he has to as they limited him to 15:42 which became easier with the Leafs up 4-1 in the third.
The Leafs have a tough test when they travel to take on the Dallas Stars before hosting the Ottawa Senators and get a chance for revenge against the Florida Panthers. Sandin wasn’t on the team when they were embarrassed in Florida and hopefully his presence gives them a better chance at avoiding that.
Do you think the Leafs should increase Sandin’s role? How long should he remain with the Leafs? Let us know in the comments below.