As MLive’s Ansar Khan notes, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill made it clear on Sunday that Wings forward Michael Rasmussen will have to beat out several players to make the Wings’ NHL roster because the Wings believe that Rasmussen is best-suited to play center:
Rasmussen, 20, now can be assigned to Grand Rapids. That appears where he will be headed unless he excels in preseason and the Red Wings have a couple of injuries at center or decide to move him back to wing.
“If you looked at Ras’ long-term outlook, he’s a (6-6) center — those guys can be really, really hard to play against because they’re so good defensively, so if he’s a guy who can really shut down other teams’ best players, that’s a real positive,” Blashill said. “I think his ability to score net-front is a real positive. He’s got to score, but ultimately, he’s going to have to beat out (Dylan) Larkin, Fil (Valtteri Filppula), (Frans) Nielsen, Glenny (Luke Glendening), Ehner (Christoffer Ehn), (Jacob) de la Rose.
“Just got to beat guys out. That’s the NHL. You got to grab spots. I’d like to see him — Steve (general manager Yzerman) would like to see him — long-term at center, so those are the spots. You got to win one of those spots.”