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Rasmus Dahlin beginning to notice the hype, but insists on focusing on his development

We spoke to the top prospect in the 2018 NHL Draft about the first few games of his SHL season.

Patrik Bexell / EOTP

Rasmus Dahlin is one of the players in the conversation to going first overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas.

The Swedish Hockey League season has started, along with the Champions Hockey League that has some of the top teams from the various European leagues facing off against one another, and Dahlin has featured in every game Frölunda has played so far.

The defender has filled out nicely since Eyes On The Prize spoke with head coach Roger Rönnberg and defensive coach Pär Johansson during the playoffs last season. It is easy to forget that Dahlin is starting only his second season as a pro. While it has been Dahlin’s offensive output that has had scouts watching him intently, the prospect has tried to gain more confidence in his own end; something that has been obvious for everyone watching the games so far.

Still, Dahlin has logged over an astonishing 16 minutes per game in a pro league as a 17-year-old, and has contributed a goal and an assist to the team’s offence in just four games.

The expectation from both the crowd and hockey pundits that there will always be something happening when Dahlin has the puck needs to be dialed down, as the current focus is to become a better defender. That’s something, as head coach Roger Rönnberg is keen to stress, that Dahlin has decided for himself.

With Frölunda having a full week off between games, Eyes On The Prize was fortunate enough to get Coach Rönnberg, the same coach who helped develop Artturi Lehkonen, to speak about his future NHL star. Rönnberg also mentions the philosophy he has in regards to developing players in Frölunda, and the progress that Dahlin has had over the summer.

With Frölunda practising twice and sometimes three times a day this week on their break, there isn’t much time for conversations, but Dahlin himself gave us a couple of minutes of his time during his lunch break.

He describes his own progress, his goals for the season, and the media hype that he really has started to notice.