MLive’s Ansar Khan discusses Michael Rasmussen’s attempt to make the Wings’ roster as a 19-year-old rookie:
Rasmussen, the Red Wings’ top pick in 2017 (ninth overall), will be in the lineup for Wednesday’s preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
“I feel good. I got to bring it to another level for preseason and I’m just excited to get that going,” Rasmussen said. “I got a lot of opportunity. I’m just ready for whatever games they give me. The more the merrier. It’s exciting.”
The Red Wings broke training camp Tuesday and will play eight preseason games in a span of 11 days. Coach Jeff Blashill told media at Centre ICE Arena that Rasmussen will skate on a line with Joe Veleno, the 30th pick this year, and Justin Abdelkader on Wednesday.
Blashill said Rasmussen, 19, improved as camp progressed and is more comfortable at wing, where he excelled for Tri-City in the WHL playoffs (16 goals, 33 points in 14 games) and also for the Red Wings in the Prospects Tournament. A natural center, the Red Wings want him to transition to the NHL at wing, where he won’t have quite the same defensive responsibility.
“Ras will get a chance, first earn a spot on the team and then earn those minutes in exhibition,” Blashill said.