Winging It In Motown
Kyle went back to school and did his impression of a teacher:
All-in-all, the Red Wings had an extremely underwhelming weekend in Chicago. They kept all of their picks, which is probably smart, but didn’t make many fireworks with their selections. We’ll see how Rasmussen pans out over the next year, and the rest of the prospects will likely be long-term projects. It’s tough for me to give Ken Holland and Tyler Wright a good grade this time around. The way players fell down the rankings, they could have easily achieved an A+.
All that being said, at this moment, I’m giving the Red Wings 2017 draft haul a D+.
Maybe Michael Rasmussen ends up becoming the dream power forward the Red Wings are hoping he’ll be after selecting him with the No. 9 overall pick. But there are massive red flags in Rasmussen’s production at the junior level that beg questions about picking him in the top 10 with guys like Gabriel Vilardi and Owen Tippett still on the board.
Rasmussen recorded 55 points in 50 games with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, but 29 of his points came on the power play. Just 24 of his points came at even strength, and even fewer at 5-on-5, which isn’t a good sign for his ability to translate production to the NHL level.
There’s a ton to like about Rasmussen’s game as a 6’6 forward who’s comfortable with the puck, solid defensively, and knows how to use his size to win puck battles. Bob McKenzie ranked him No. 9 in the class, so it’s not like it’s a pick totally out of left field.
But it’s hard to get over the lack of even strength production in the WHL from a top-10 pick, particularly given the other talent still available.
The mothership did not like the choices Ken Holland & co. made this weekend in Chicago. You’ll notice a trend throughout this post... Michael Rasmussen is a polarizing draft pick. We, of course, won’t know for awhile just what the gigantic centerman will become as an NHL player, but we do know right now this pick is not looked upon as favorable from the internet hockey community.
LOSER: Detroit Red Wings
The consensus weakest draft of 2017, for a team that can’t afford a dud. They had the quantity, but not the quality.
Michael Rasmussen was a reach at No. 9, an attempt by Ken Holland to find his Holmstrom or Franzen 2.0 at a time when the League’s going smaller and more skilled. As for the rest of the draw, everyone we pestered about “who had the worst draft?” inevitably circled back to what the Red Wings did. As Scott Wheeler put it:
The worst draft of the weekend, by a landslide, belongs to the Red Wings (relative to my ranking). Keith Petruzzelli the only good pick.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 24, 2017
That’s about what was said here in Chicago as well.
Once again, it’s a “winners and losers” article that lists the Wings in the loser category... and once again Rasmussen is at the center of it all. This take not only is critical of the team’s first round pick, but the overall draft. It’s just one man’s opinion, but not super encouraging when the team you’re a fan of could really use some true, top end young talent.
They did both a winner & losers for the 1st round AND overall grades.
Detroit Red Wings
Ken Holland is clearly not used to picking this high.
Michael Rasmussen wasn't a brutal selection at No. 9, but the Red Wings had better options on the board, arguably including Gabriel Vilardi, who went to the Los Angeles Kings two picks later.
Detroit hasn't picked in the top 10 since 1991, but that doesn't excuse a choice that could have been better.
Rasmussen is a 6-foot-6 center. Every team covets a big center. However, Rasmussen's skating is a major question mark. He had 55 points in 50 games in the WHL this year (pretty low for a top-10 pick), and just 19 of those points came at even strength. That's extremely alarming. This pick has bust written all over it.
Despite the red flags over the first-round selection, Detroit had an astonishing six more picks in the top 100, gathering a large quantity of high-end talent, including three, 6-foot-2 European defenseman with upside.
Welp... at this point we might as well make Beck’s “Loser” the official song of the Detroit Red Wings 2017 draft class.
Much of the same here. Holland is a loser for passing on Gabriel Valardi in order to select Rasmussen. The usual 5-on-5 production question marks for Rasmussen and his poor skating ability brought up as well.
Detroit Red Wings, B+
Center Michael Rasmussen, Detroit Red Wings
Rasmussen is not the kind of player who is going to jump into the league and dominate in the next year or two. He has plenty of tools to work with—most notably size and strength at 6'5" and 221 pounds—but he needs to work on his skating to get up to NHL speed.
That's the only part of his game that is lacking at this point. He can go in the corners and win the battle against smaller players, and he has a wonderful pair of hands that allow him to deliver sensational passes to his teammates.
Rasmussen is an excellent defensive center who understands how to get in the passing lanes, steal the puck and start the transition game. Rasmussen brings his talent and size to a Red Wings team that needs to get bigger, stronger and better.
At this point in the game, I’ll gladly take a that grade. It’s not too bad considering most the world seems to think we’re losers. In addition to the decent grade, Rasmussen wins the superlative of “most powerful.”
Detroit Red Wings: B-
Organizational assessment: There was criticism, some of it warranted, directed to Detroit for the Michael Rasmussen pick. I don't hate the pick -- he's a good player, after all -- but I wouldn't have taken him that high based on his pure upside. Gustav Lindstrom was a riser this season and is skilled, but No. 38 also seemed generous to me. In the middle of their class they targeted a lot of boring low-upside types that just doesn't do a lot for me. For the amount of picks the Wings had, they could have done more, and they don't seem to be drafting like the skill/IQ Wings of the days of yore.
This grade probably matters to me the most out of all of these (except Kyle’s grade, of course). I’m a fan of Corey Pronman’s work and read as much of his work on prospects as I could leading up the to draft. I was actually pleasantly surprised and happy to see a B- grade. He doesn’t hate the pick. I’d say that’s a win? However, it does scare me a bit that Pronman thinks a lot of our picks have low-upside. The last comment doesn’t surprise me much. While watching the draft it was obvious the team was emphasizing size. The smaller, skilled players we are used to seeing drafted were not part of the equation this weekend. The shift in philosophy was quite obvious and the Red Wings really need this draft to pay off big time in a few years,
How would you grade the Red Wings draft?
This poll is closed