I tend to assume that you’re paying attention to the prospect round-ups, but if you’ve missed Michael Rasmussen’s 9 goals, 10 assists and 19 points posted over the course of 6 playoff games for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans–or the fact that Rasmussen, who had wrist surgery earlier this season, is not taking faceoffs–the Free Press’s Helene St. James fills you in:
Rasmussen and 2016 first-round pick Dennis Cholowski will join the Griffins if their respective playoff runs end and Grand Rapids is still playing. Cholowski has four goals and six points in nine playoff games for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, who are 1-1 in their second-round series against Everett.
Rasmussen’s performance wasn’t a one-off: he has had multi-point performances in each of Tri-City’s six playoff games, for a total of nine goals and 10 assists. Four of the goals have come on power plays.
Rasmussen is listed at 6-foot-6 and 221 pounds. He usually plays center, but has been on the wing during the playoffs, which should help him make the jump to the NHL because it’s a less demanding position.
He showed promise during last year’s training camp, and is expected to push to stay in Detroit next season to help with the rebuild. Rasmussen, who turns 19 on April 17, will either have to make Detroit’s roster or he’ll have to go back for his last year of junior eligibility. Cholowski will either be in Detroit or Grand Rapids.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the NHL-Canadian Hockey League player agreement, 18-and-19-year-olds have to either make NHL rosters or be assigned to their Canadian Hockey League rights-holders. NHL teams have a sort of 10-game “grace period” in which the team can evaluate their players without tolling a year off their contracts, but come 10 games, that player’s either on the NHL roster, or he’s headed back to Major Junior for the balance of the CHL team’s regular season and playoffs.
As such, both Rasmussen and Cholowski–and the rest of the Wings’ CHL-playing prospects–can’t join the Grand Rapids Griffins until their CHL teams’ playoff runs end.
Also: Of all places, the WHL’s Victoria Royals lost 4-1 to Tri-City last night, but their YouTube channel posted a balanced highlight clip: