With the San Jose Sharks' 59th pick acquired in an earlier trade, the Florida Panthers selected Swedish defenseman Rasmus Bengtsson. 18-year old Bengtsson played 45 games scoring 9 points (2G/7A) with Rogle BK of the second highest professional league in Sweden (HockeyAllsvenskan).
From The Next Ones:
Rasmus is just back from the U18’s where he led all Swedish defensemen in plus-minus at plus eight and was third overall for defensemen behind the two Russians, Yarullin and Nesterov. Rasmus has the nice size at 6’2, 196 lb., the strong skating and passing expected of a Swedish defender, the "you’d better get out of the way" booming shot from the point and the good hockey sense necessary to be a top notch defender. Sure, like most Swedish defensemen, he is going to need to get a little more physical and a little stronger and to improve some other facets to his game when he crosses over to this side of the pond but those are just refinements - the essentials are already in place.
Rasmus is just another piece of the extensive depth of the Panthers organization in defense. Bengtsson being European will need to make the switch to the north American style of play and should not be expected in a Panthers jersey for a few years unless he makes huge strides like Alex Petrovic did after being drafted last year. Anyhow, Bengtsson is considered a bit of a sleeper pick and is a good acquisition for Dale Tallon.