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Red Wings go big with Bodin in final round

Published Saturday, June 23, 2012, 11:57 p.m. under 2012 Draft Coverage
Rasmus Bodin

Rasmus Bodin (Credit: Tommy Jonasson)

The Detroit Red Wings went big — bigger than anybody else — late in the 2012 NHL draft in Pittsburgh.

The Red Wings, on the advice of director of European scouting Hakan Andersson, chose 6-foot-6, 207-pound giant Rasmus Bodin in the seventh round, 200th overall, giving them the tallest player in the draft with their final pick of the weekend.

Although Andersson guesses he might be the only NHL scout who watched Bodin play last season, he didn’t want to pass on the big Swedish left-winger’s combination of skating and work ethic.

“For his size and age, he’s a very good skater — he’s not awkward like some guys are that age when they get big,” Andersson said. “He’s got good speed and he really works hard all the time. He plays with good intensity and he works, he works, he works.”

Bodin played in his hometown of Ostersund, which has a third-level pro team and a second-level under-18 junior team — hardly a hotbed for scouts. He averaged a point per game at the U-18 level, picking up seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 17 games.

Andersson saw Bodin play twice after receiving a tip from a friend — the same friend who tipped him off about another Ostersund native, Alexandre Edler, in 2004 — and liked what he saw. That convinced Andersson to get Bodin a tryout with HV-71 in Jonkoping, and Bodin made a big enough impression to earn a contract with the well-known organization.

“I wasn’t sure where he stood, so I got him a tryout … he did two days, on-ice and off-ice, and the coach there really liked him and wanted him right away,” Andersson said.

So just what are the Red Wings hoping for with Bodin?

“At this point, I would say I’m hoping he becomes a bigger version of (current Red Wings forward) Justin Abdelkader, a guy who works hard, uses his body and is a useful guy for the team,” Andersson said.

Andersson said Bodin has grown a great deal over the past year and is still adjusting to his bigger body. At the same time, the added size has hampered his ability to play a physical game at Sweden’s junior level, where he often finds himself whistled for hits to the head.

“He said himself, ‘I quit hitting because every time I hit somebody, my elbow ends up in their head, they go into the boards, and I get penalized,’” Andersson said. “But according to him, he likes to compete, he has no problem playing a physical game, and I think he has it in him. We’re going to find out.”

Bodin will likely play for HV-71’s J-20 SuperElit squad in 2012-13, but could see time in the Swedish Elite League if he comes along quickly.

Andersson’s final-round picks range from legendary — Henrik Zetterberg and Jonathan Ericsson — to unsuccessful — Jesper Samuelsson and Mikael Johansson. Where Bodin will fall remains to be seen, but the foundation is there for an NHLer.

“My thinking was, if nothing else, you’re going to have a big guy who can skate and work,” Andersson said. “If we do get some upside in terms of points? Exciting. It’s a bonus.”

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6 Comments
  1. ScottD says:

    I guess you never know about guys like this. Obviously Zetterberg panned out. The jury is still out on Ericsson in my opinion. However Henrik Lundqvist was an unknown and look at him. If he pans out great if not oh well it was a 7th round pick anyway. Good luck to Bodin I hope he does great.

  2. ugslick says:

    Hmm definately. Seems like a good final round pick well just have to see how fast he picks up the higher level games and adjusts.. and how fast he gets better.
    Imo ericsson really panned out well. Last season he really went from being a turnover and mishandling machine to a pretty reliable guy.. I’m hoping he still gets better (I’m almost certain he will surprise those willing to accept him next year with better play..) of course there are those dimwits too stuck in lashing out to see any good in some players..

  3. Joakim says:

    The biggest guy in the draft, with good speed and intensity; sounds like he’ll be able to put the opponents’ d-men’s faces hard into the glass. The red wings organization has time to let Bodin get comfortable in his big body.

  4. Wes Nichols says:

    imo Ericsson panned out great. he was the last pic in the draft and is a player who plays everyday. and a 6’6 justin Abdelkader sounds AWESOME!!!!

  5. Scott says:

    At his height, once he fills in he’ll probably be around 240-245+lbs. A winger that big that skates well would be tough to handle in the corners.
    When I watch Chara play it adds another dimension knowing that any big collision will squash the opponent. Hopefully 5 years from now a Chara-like winger for the Wings will be pounding D-men into the boards and creating turnovers. (would be great fun)

  6. Steve says:

    Would love to see him and Nedomlel on the ice together. He’s one of the most underrated prospects that the Wings have.



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