Top prospect Dahlin not feeling added pressure heading into draft year

Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images Sport / Getty

This time next year, Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin will very likely be in the books as one of the top picks from the 2018 NHL Draft, if not the first overall selection.

For now, Dahlin is heading back to Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League for his second season as a pro, where he'll continue to hone an already sparkling skill set.

The 17-year-old isn't concerned about the pressure that comes with being an expected top pick, and, according to Adam Kimelman of, Dahlin will focus his energy in the gym to add strength, as well as work on all areas of his game on the ice with emphasis on improving his shot.

"All I can do is play my game and be myself," he said. "All I can do is train and be better every day. Then we'll see."

Despite falling prey to illness, Dahlin put in a strong showing at last week's World Junior Summer Showcase in Michigan, and is a lock to represent Sweden at the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo.

"We're going to go with the best players, doesn't matter if they're young or old," said Swedish coach Tomas Monten. "We're just looking for the players that can make our team better. For sure he's one of them."

Monten adds Dahlin is on track to be great at both ends of the ice.

"He's always going to be recognized for his puck movement and his skating," the coach said. "He made some nice plays on the blue line as well. We feel that in Rasmus we have a player that can play both ends of the ice. He's going to play on our penalty kill. He's great at the man-on-man play down low. I think he could be a complete defenseman."

Dahlin registered one goal and two assists in 26 games for Frolunda last season.

Top prospect Dahlin not feeling added pressure heading into draft year
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