In Red Wings Land
But perhaps the biggest accomplishment for Rasmussen was the trust he garnered from the coaching staff, earning a much bigger role last season, averaging almost three minutes more ice time per game than in 2019-20 and ranking second on the club with 72 hits and fourth with 134 face-off wins.
He continued gaining trust throughout the season, jumping from 12:50 of average ice time in his first 20 games of the season to 16:46 per game in the final 20 contests.
The biggest thing to remember here is that an article that appears on the Red Wings website is absolutely not at all gunning for anything resembling objectivity, but there’s nothing in here that’s necesssarily untrue.
I mean, we’ve recently seen the team refuse to qualify an RFA so it’s not like it’s a foregone conclusion for a player to “earn” a contract extension from Rasmussen’s position, but you have to admit the bar is pretty low all things considered.
Now that I’m done crapping on the rainbow here, I’d like to take an opportunity to see that I really like Rasmussen. The kid has a great attitude and work ethic. I think he’s going to end up above the third line before he’s all done and that it’s going to be an actual good thing. There’s literally nothing I can do about his draft position and nothing I can say about the regret that a 9th overall pick went to a guy who looks like he’s got 3C written all over him (if he even ends up at center, which I think he will). What I can base things off with my opinion of him is how he comports himself going forward.
Around the League
Perhaps Zadina will have a breakthrough performance in 2021-22 with more playing time among the Wings top six. However, if he once again has difficulty finding the back of the net, he could face a questionable future in Motown. A move to a club with more experienced scorers for Zadina to skate alongside and learn from could help him find his scoring touch.
I had a knee-jerk reaction to the first read through of this that I’m not exactly proud of, but the more it’s stewed, the more I’m reminded of the old Scotty Bowman nugget that he’d rather trade a kid a year too early than a year too late.
All said, I don’t have to put anything in stone right now. I agree with the author - the upcoming season is going to inform a whole lot of how I feel about Zadina going forward. This might come as a surprise to you, but I’m rooting hard for him.