The Free Press’s Helene St. James wraps up her examinations of the Red Wings’ most recent draft selections by discussing the 2017 draft, which consists of a crop of players still very much so “in progress” toward their developmental goals:
F Michael Rasmussen
Draft year doings: 32 goals, 23 assists in 50 games for Tri-City Americans (Western Hockey League).
Draft day scouting report: Goes to the hard areas. Plays the net-front on the power play. Good scoring touch around the net. Competitive. Good skater. Has got a chance to be really good.
Post-draft doings: Had 31 goals and 28 assists for 59 points in 47 regular-season games this past season with Tri-City, missing about six weeks because of wrist surgery. Finished season on a seven-game point streak (seven goals, three assists). In 2018 WHL playoffs, Rasmussen had 14 goals and 17 assists for 33 points in 14 games. He had multi-point performances in 10 games, and only went without a point in one game.
Next up: Rasmussen’s dominance down the stretch and through the playoffs have earned him a shot at making the Wings this autumn. He’s 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, so even though he’s only 19, that’ll help him as he plays against men. He’s smart, goes to the net, and a candidate for power-play minutes. He’s a center but played wing during the playoffs, and that should help him this autumn, because it’s a less demanding position than center, especially for a young player (Dylan Larkin started out in NHL as a wing, then found his footing at center).
Rasmussen has a year left of junior eligibility, so he’ll either be in Detroit next season, or juniors. The AHL is not an option. If the Wings keep him past 10 games, it’ll burn a year of his entry-level contract if they later end up sending him back to juniors.
Early assessment: Looks promising.