HSJ takes note of Rasmussen’s superb play in the WHL

If you’ve missed my prospect reports, the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes that Red Wings prospect Michael Rasmussen is kicking butt and taking names in the WHL playoffs, where Rasmussen’s Tri-City Americans are playing in the Western Conference Final:

Rasmussen, selected No. 9 overall in last year’s draft, had two goals and an assist Monday in Game 3 of the third round of the Western Hockey League playoffs. It was his eighth multipoint game in 14 playoff games, giving him 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points. Rasmussen has at least one point in every Tri-City playoff game.

The Americans ended up losing, 8-4, and trail the best-of-7 series against Everett, 2-1. Game 4 is Thursday.

Rasmussen, 19, is making a strong case to be on next year’s Red Wings squad. He had a good camp last year, and will come into this autumn’s camp on the strength of a phenomenal playoff performance and, presumably, a good summer in the gym. If Rasmussen doesn’t make the Wings, he will have to go back to juniors because he has a year left of eligibility.

At 6-foot-6, 221 pounds, Rasmussen has the ability to screen goalies and be effective down low. He’s mostly been a center, but he’s played some wing in the playoffs, and that versatility will help his audition in September.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

10 thoughts on “HSJ takes note of Rasmussen’s superb play in the WHL”

  1. I love that Razzy has put up big numbers when the pressure is on. It really gives me a lot of hope for this pick over the other choices the Wing’s had. While some have had decent CHL seasons none seems to have taken the leap Razzy has into the playoffs. I wonder if this is the “character” thing the Wing’s said they saw in him.

    1. Rasmussen averaged 1.26 points per game all season. Then went ballistic in these 11 playoff games. That’s great to see.

      But I’ll bet if we selected Gabe Vilardi you’d be full of praise for him. He averaged 1.81 points per game all season, a longer sample size than a short playoff run. In the playoffs he’s 2nd in the OHL in scoring. And unlike Rasmussen who took off when converted to a winger, Vilardi has accomplished all of this at center. And finally, Vilardi is not exploiting a freakish size advantage that Rasmussen has now, but will become less of a factor when he reaches the NHL.

      Not saying Rasmussen is a bust. Not saying Vilardi was the smarter pick. Time will tell on both players. But it’s pretty early to declare Rasmussen a great draft pick. I’d feel better about Vilardi given the importance of a 1C compared to a top 6 winger.

      1. Vilardi: last five games…2 points 32 of 86 on faceoffs. If you use ppg as a measuring stick Vilardi drops from 2nd in scoring to 9th. Granted I am only looking at his stats…….

        so back to the topic, Razzy has really stepped up his game during the playoffs while others have not.

        1. Based on those last 5 games, Vilardi sounds like a bust. Good point. So glad we didn’t pick him.

        2. “If you use ppg as a measuring stick Vilardi drops from 2nd in scoring to 9th”

          Good call.

        3. Just looking at WHL a little fuzzy, Ras is closer to a top 20 scorer based on ppg than a top 75 scorer. Over 52% face offs, mostly with a bum wrist.

      2. Typical fatSavage response. Didn’t Rasmussen switch from Center to winger to help his wrist this season? He is a center and will be a center in the show. He won more draws than he lost and that’s with a bad wrist/surgically repaired wrist(before he got switched)

    2. I’d love to know what life would have been like for him if he didn’t need wrist surgery in the middle of the season.

      I also fear that he will always be somewhat unfairly judged against how high he was picked and team need.

      The Lions didn’t really need a tight end, and definitely not in the top 10. Eric Ebron wasn’t a total disaster, but will always go down as a huge waste. He plays a part in that, what with his twitter sparring and dropped passes. However, the expectations ramp up with that high of a draft pick.

      Same case here: Ras is a 9th overall pick (right?), and was/is a center, but may end up being a RW/LW. He may always be judged against that, and it’s not necessarily fair to him.

      1. “I also fear that he will always be somewhat unfairly judged against how high he was picked and team need.”

        I totally agree. but, we could say that about any player drafted. there will always be a better player taken after……oh…..Ericsson….nevermind.

  2. I think>> KH/Blashill said they plan to start Ras on the Wing. The wing has less responsibilities (Like Larkin). It helped Larkin and now he doing well at Centre, He won’t be there long. Maybe moved when Z retires???

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