sportsnet.ca

Fantasy Summary

Intelligent two-way defender with a heavy shot and great offensive awareness. Plays a physical game for his size but could stand to add some explosiveness to his stride.


Observations

Click to Expand

May 2022 – Sandin made the Leafs out of camp in 2021-22 and played a regular role for most of the season, putting up excellent underlying numbers while playing mostly third pairing minutes. His offensive production was modest but he had begun to find the scoresheet more regularly before a knee injury forced him to miss the end of the season and playoffs. For the season, he got into 51 games and scored five goals to go along with 11 assists. Perhaps more importantly, he looked far more comfortable handling the pace and physicality of the NHL. There is still room for improvement, especially in terms of defending the net-front area, but his instincts and offensive abilities are obvious. Sandin is a pending restricted free agent and a cheap, short-term bridge contract with the Leafs seems likely. If he is able to continue on an upward trajectory and reach his potential as a top-four defenceman, his next contract should be more substantial. Nick Richard

May 2021 – The hockey gods have repaid Sandin after his cruel start to the season. As he returned from injury, an NHL opportunity quickly arose and he hasn’t looked back. Down the final stretch of the regular season he managed 3 points in 8 games but most impressive was his unintimidated physical play that has translated reasonably well to the NHL. This, in addition to his powerplay usage, is giving Sandin huge multi-category fantasy potential; he is already averaging roughly 1 shot, hit, and block per game and those numbers will all increase as he becomes more of a regular. He has started the playoffs in the lineup which is a huge sign of faith from a team that has other options available. Hayden Soboleski

March 2021 – Sandin blocked a shot in his first AHL contest and has been out with a fracture ever since. He is scheduled for re-evaluation in mid-March, with a timeline hopefully to be shared after that. His AHL demotion was hoped to be just a short-term blip but now that he is out and will require some time to get back up to speed upon returning, his chances of seeing fantasy-relevant NHL time in 2020-21 are worsening. Hayden Soboleski

February 2021 – To many fans’ chagrin, Sandin has seen just 1 game of action through 14 Maple Leafs contests so far in 2020-21. After watching Dermott and Lehtonen rotate in and out of the lineup in front of him, the 20-year-old has been loaned to the AHL Marlies to get some real ice time. In his single NHL appearance he played just 5:00 but he did pick up a secondary assist in that span on an offensive zone faceoff. It is truly disappointing that we don’t get to watch Sandin develop in the big league, but the log jam in front of him makes this a complicated situation and has certainly but his fantasy value on pause. Fear not – this is not due to lackluster play on his part and he still has a clear NHL future ahead of him. Hayden Soboleski

January 2021 – Sandin appears to be starting the 2020-21 campaign on the Maple Leafs’ ‘taxi squad’. Despite having 7 other blueliners in the full-time mix, Sandin has just played too well to deny a spot in the rotation. He is smart enough and strong enough and will contribute multi-category fantasy value right away. That being said, the left side is deep in Toronto so his ice time (combined with his rotation in and out of the lineup) may not be high enough to see the peripheral production worthy of one-year multi-cat leagues. Hayden Soboleski

October 2020 – After such a promising Leafs audition during the 2019-20 campaign, seeing the team bolster their blue line has to hurt for Sandin fantasy owners. At the conclusion of last year he looked close to being a lock to get close to full-time minutes in 2020-21, but that is much foggier now that Dermott has re-signed to a cheap deal and the team has added Lehtonen, Bogosian, and Brodie who are all worthy of regular roster spots. Plus Martin Marincin is still around on a cheap deal to sit in the press box until he’s needed. He is NHL-ready and ready to produce multi-cat fantasy value, but unless a body is moved off the roster and a remaining body is moved to the right side (this has been mentioned as a possibility for Dermott), Sandin’s jump to full-time will be on pause. His value isn’t going down, the payoff may just be delayed. Hayden Soboleski

August 2020 – Sandin spent a total of 28 games with the Leafs thanks to various injuries on the back end, and he will be exceeding that number in 2020-21. He proved to be NHL-ready with a respectable 8 points but more importantly was much more of a physical presence than most 19/20-year-olds jumping to the big league. His shooting, hitting, and blocking rates (all slightly over or under 1/game) are already fantasy-worthy in deeper leagues, and those counts will increase as his ice time does. That being said, the left side of the blueline in Toronto is a long jam and unless he grabs 2nd-unit PK or PP time (the former is more likely) he is unlikely to see a major increase in aTOI from the 14 minutes he saw in 2019-20. This was evident in the play-in round where he was not used at all, as coaches leaned towards a veteran presence when selecting which low-minute defensemen to dress. Sandin will be a reliable stat producer for multi-category leagues for years to come, but is currently a bit of a long-term investment only because of the bodies on front of him. Hayden Soboleski

January 2020 – With Morgan Rielly out 8 weeks with a foot fracture, Sandin has been called up to the Maple Leafs and will be playing on the third pairing with Cody Ceci if practice lines are any indication. With Muzzin hurt as well, it is completely feasible that Sandin could be the best LD in the lineup at the moment, which gives him very high short-term upside compared to most call-up defenseman. Invest now. Hayden Soboleski

January 2020 – Sandin was arguably Team Sweden’s best player on their way to a bronze medal finish at the WJC, named as the tournament’s top defender at the conclusion. His 10 points in 7 games was good for fourth in the tournament (first among defenders), and he was consistently leading his team (and sometimes the tournament) in ice time. His fantasy stock continues to rise, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Maple Leafs have Rielly, Muzzin, and Dermott as left-hand defenders at the moment. Be patient, he will graduate in 2020-21. Hayden Soboleski

December 2019 – The Maple Leafs have announced that Sandin will be loaned to Team Sweden for the upcoming WJC. This is huge news for both the team and the player, as Sandin now figures to be one of the top defensemen present in the tournament and having the chance to see him play against the best of his peers will be a treat. He has continued to shine on the Marlies, playing big minutes on the top-pair in all situations and putting up decent offensive numbers as well. Barring injury, he will be in the NHL no later than 2020. Hayden Soboleski

October 2019 – Sandin has been returned to the AHL.  His versatility shone through in his six game audition, making good plays and not looking out of place in many instances, even throwing a coupe unexpectedly big hits. However, he also hemmed himself into bad positions and made unnecessary giveaways occasion, and despite his generally NHL-level play he was only seeing 12 minutes per night on average which limited his fantasy value. He proved that he’ll be in the Leafs lineup next fall, and good option later this year should injuries occur. Playing big minutes on the Marlies won’t do him any harm, it just means fantasy owners will have to wait one more season before he provides dividends. Hayden Soboleski

October 2019 – After a phenomenal 2018-19 season skyrocketed Sandin’s fantasy stock, fans were ready to watch him push for an NHL roster spot out of training camp. The organization challenged him by bringing in multiple depth options such as Harpur and Gravel and hanging onto press-box regulars Marincin and Holl, but he has survived all cuts and will start the season as a Leaf. He appears to hold 3rd-pairing slot until either Dermott returns from injury or too many mistakes force the coach’s hand. Until that time comes, expect moderate point and SOG production from the rookie with obvious upside in a few years’ time. Hayden Soboleski

January 2019 – Sandin finished the WJC tournament with 4 points in 5 games, but more importantly was a standout on the Swedish blueline beside Erik Brannstrom. He saw big minutes and thrived. His adaptability to new leagues and new teammates is a strong indicator than Sandin will challenge for an NHL spot next season. Hayden Soboleski

December 2018 – Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has said Sandin (and defense partner Liljegren) will be loaned to Team Sweden for the upcoming WJC. Sandin is having a strong year in the AHL with 7 points in 12 games, but more importantly is looking smooth and smart as a rookie pro, and looks like he will push for an NHL spot as soon as next season. Hayden Soboleski

September 2018 – The Leafs have cut Sandin from the pre-season roster, loaning him to the Marlies. Normally he would need to return to the OHL, but his status as a loaned player last year lets him transition to the AHL, which greatly accelerates his development timeline. A strong campaign with the Marlies will allow him to push for an NHL spot as soon as 2019-20, and give us better insight as to his offensive upside, which is limited compared to other youngsters in the organization. He looked strong in camp, earning praise from coach Babcock for his smart play. Hayden Soboleski

June 2018 – Sandin has been drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 29th overall pick. Based on most expert rankings, this was an appropriate spot for the Swedish d-man playing in the OHL to land.

Sandin is one of the safer picks of the draft. He has all the tools to be a useful, reliable d-man, but does not project to have outstanding offensive upside. He has moved between leagues a lot without adjustment problems, which is always promising. He wont turn pro post-draft – he will either return to the SHL or to the Soo (which GM Kyle Dubas may encourage due to his ties there). Hayden Soboleski

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 8.0
NHL Certainty 10.0
Country SWE
Position D
Roster Type NHL
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth March 7, 2000
Height 5‘11”
Weight 179 lbs
Drafted 2018 Round 1; Overall: 29

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2012-2013 Sweden Selects U13WSI U139 2 13 2|        
 2013-2014 MoDo Hockey U16U16 Region11 4 37 6|        
  MoDo Hockey U16U16 SM3 0 00 0|        
 2014-2015 MoDo Hockey U16U16