NHL draft pick joins Lumberjacks
January 11, 2012
Rasmus Bengtsson, 2nd round selection of the Florida Panthers last June, arrived in Muskegon this week. Read more about the newest Jacks reinforcement!
by Matt Gajtka
MUSKEGON, Mich.– Add another NHL draft pick to the Muskegon Lumberjacks’ blueline.
The Lumberjacks are pleased to announce defenseman Rasmus Bengtsson has been loaned to them by the Rogle BK hockey club in Sweden. The Florida Panthers selected the 6-foot-2, 196-pound prospect in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Bengtsson arrived in Muskegon Tuesday afternoon and will participate in his first practice with the Lumberjacks Wednesday. It is uncertain whether he'll be in the lineup this weekend when Muskegon hosts Des Moines and Green Bay on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The 59th overall selection from last June joins fellow lefthanded-shooting defenseman Nick Seeler, who went in the fifth round to his hometown Minnesota Wild, on the Muskegon blueline.
“We are very excited to add a player of Rasmus’ caliber,” said Lumberjacks Head Coach/GM Kevin Patrick. “Rogle BK’s reputation for developing elite players is well-earned and we appreciate their cooperation in giving him this opportunity.”
Rogle BK is part of the HockeyAllsvenskan, one of the top Swedish leagues, where the 18-year-old Bengtsson played 18 games this season and 45 last winter, accumulating 12 points while competing against much more mature players.
“Rasmus is a great talent, and in consensus with our coaches, we welcome this move,” said Rogle BK CEO Peter Hedlund. “It’s about finding an individual development plan for each player, and in the USHL he will play many games against America’s best juniors.”
In addition to being held in high regard by the NHL’s Panthers and Rogle BK, Bengtsson participated in this August’s World Junior Championship evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., as part of team Sweden.
“Rasmus will have a chance to further develop his talents here in Muskegon and he will certainly bolster our blueline, especially on the offensive end,” Patrick said.
The website Eliteprospects.com calls Bengtsson (pronounced BENKT-sun) “very solid on the blueline and with the potential to become a good power-play quarterback. [He] passes the puck well and has good on-ice vision.”
The native of Landskrona, Sweden has skated for his home nation in international junior competitions in each of the last three seasons. Bengtsson is slated to join the Lumberjacks in the near future.
The Lumberjacks host the Des Moines Buccaneers Friday night at 7:15 p.m. on another $1 Beer/Hot Dog Night presented by John Morrell. The Meijer Pregame Show begins at 6:45 on the radio home of the Jacks, 92.5 The Outlaw.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’ organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit muskegonlumberjacks.com.