Weight: 220 lbs
Birthplace: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Drafted: 2017, 1st round, 9th overall
Current Team: Tri-City Americans
2017-2018 statline: 47 GP, 31 goals, 28 assists
Before Detroit drafted Filip Zadina with the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Michael Rasmussen was the Red Wings’ earliest first-round draftee (ninth overall) since the team selected Keith Primeau at number three in 1990. The Rasmussen pick, not the player himself, was also heavily debated as well.
It wasn’t so much of a knock on Rasmussen’s skills/abilities, but rather a fan-base bemoaning the organization for not taking more flashy centers such as Gabe Vilardi or Nick Suzuki. The criticism didn’t go unnoticed by Rasmussen and undoubtedly gave him plenty of inspiration to prove his detractors wrong.
And judging by his performance, production, and fourth overall ranking on our list of prospects, it seems like he may very well be on his way to silencing his doubters.
The six-foot-six center had an impressive 2017-18 preseason with the Wings, playing in four of the five games and scoring four goals. His four goals led all other Detroit players, including Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin, and Gustav Nyquist.
The above video is just one example how Rasmussen uses his greatest asset, his size and reach, to bull his way towards the back of the net. What he may lack in pure speed he can easily make up for by using his long strides to quickly gain the advantage.
After being returned to the Tri-City Americans of the WHL last season, he went on to total 59 points (31 G, 28 A) in 47 games played, a personal regular season best. Of his 31 total goals, 17 occurred while on the power play. He also served as the team’s captain and finished the season with a 1.26 points-per-game average.
Rasmussen also went on to further impress in the postseason, he tallied a monstrous 33 points (16 G, 17 A) in only 14 playoff games. Once again, he proved his value on the man-advantage, scoring seven of 16 goals on the power play. If you didn’t do the math, that’s good enough for a 2.36 points-per-game average.
Most recently, Rasmussen, along with Detroit’s 2018 first-rounders, Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno, helped propel the Wings’ to the championship game at the annual NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City. The aforementioned trio of players will be grouped together on Team Howe’s roster during training camp and should offer several glimpses of what’s to come.
After his impressive preseason debut last September, many would’ve argued Rasmussen had a genuine shot to make Detoit’s roster, but this year it would be very surprising to not see him make the leap to the NHL in 2018-19. His size, skill, and prowess on the power play are all factors that will most certainly help, not hurt, the Red Wings.
Do you agree with Michael Rasmussen’s ranking?
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