Rasmus Sandin: “Everyone Knows What Kind Of Hockey Player He Is, But As A Person, He Is Even Greater”

Screen cap: Aftonbladet

Washington Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sandin and newly acquired defenseman  Hardy Haman Aktell spent this past weekend playing for Team Sweden in the “Czech Hockey Games”. The tournament was a tuneup for Team Sweden before this week’s 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship gets underway on Friday.

Team Sweden opened their three-game slate of games against Switzerland on Thursday in Gothenburg, Sweden. Sandin had a pair of assists in Sweden’s 3-0 victory over Tobias Geisser, Damien Riat and Switzerland. [Tournament summary here.]

Sandin met with the media following the game, where he was asked about being traded from Toronto to Washington at the 2023 NHL trade deadline.

“I was shocked when everything happened. But once I got there, it went very well,”said Sandin via Google Translate. “It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been a rekindling. It has been incredibly fun.”

Sandin is now teammates with fellow countryman Nicklas Backstrom, a childhood idol of his. It turns out, Backstrom took him under his wing as soon as he arrived from Toronto.

“It’s easy to hang out, not just with him. Thanks to him, you get to socialize with many others. It makes everything much easier. You feel safe quite quickly,” said Sandin.

“He has helped me a lot, right from the first day when I came in late at night and when I got to meet all the players the next day in the morning. When I would go down to breakfast, he would sit outside and wait for people to come down and introduce all the players and managers and everything like that. He has been incredibly helpful. I appreciate it incredibly much.

“Everyone knows what kind of hockey player he is, but as a person he is even greater,” added Sandin. “I think there are many Swedes from our age group who have looked up to him. It goes without saying.”

Sandin said he has gained confidence playing with, among others, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Bäckstrom.

“It’s awesome. They are two players you imagine playing with when you were younger and I still do. The first day when I got there and “Bäckis” and Ovechkin are sitting in there next to you… it was really cool. To get the chance to play with them, I’ll take that any day of the week.”

Team Sweden will open the The 2023 IIHF World Championship this Friday, May 12 against Germany in Tampere, Finland. [Schedule here]

By Jon Sorensen

Related: Rasmus Sandin: 2022-23 Washington Capitals Season Review

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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5 Responses to Rasmus Sandin: “Everyone Knows What Kind Of Hockey Player He Is, But As A Person, He Is Even Greater”

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Aktell will be a good addition in Hershey. Particularly if they can’t re-sign Gabriel Carlsson, who was their best defender this season.

  3. dwgie26 says:

    Aktell is young and good size at 6’3, 220. Winning pedigree. Scores. Could be a good find over time but Carlsson is more NHL ready I would suspect. Hope we sign him.

  4. Kuliah says:

    Greatest Player at his age

  5. I think he is greatest player at his age now

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