Detroit Red Wings: A look at their past five first-round picks

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings - Michael Rasmussen
Detroit Red Wings - Michael Rasmussen /

Michael Rasmussen: GP:62 | G:8 | A:10 | P:18

Heading into the 2017 Draft, the Red Wings were looking to add size up front to an otherwise small forward group (the exception to Mantha). Rasmussen was a projected top-10 pick, and went to the Red Wings at the number nine spot. Rasmussen is a towering forward at 6’6″ 221 lbs; this was very intriguing to a Detroit Red Wings roster that consisted primarily of smaller players by NHL standards.

Rasmussen predictably was returned to the Tri-City Americans of the WHL to continue his development. Rasmussen absolutely dominated the 2018 WHL playoffs, scoring 16 goals, 17 assists, and 33 points in just 14 games, good for second in the playoffs. With his size, Rasmussen was easily able to enforce his will on players in his age bracket. After dominating the playoffs in such fashion, it was expected Rasmussen would be a likely candidate to make the jump straight to the NHL. He did just that.

Playing primarily on the third and fourth line, Rasmussen wasn’t able to consistently develop offensive chances. Jumping straight from juniors to the NHL is no easy task, and Rasmussen needs minor tweaks to his game to become a dominant force for the Wings’. Rasmussen’s ability around the net is perhaps one of his main attributes. For a player his size, Rasmussen is exceptional at tipping pucks around the net, which resulted in a handful of his goals.

Rasmussen will need to work on his skating ability to adapt to the speed of the NHL, and his puck control. Often-times Rasmussen was knocked off the puck by smaller players. If Rasmussen is able to use his size to better equip himself down-low in the offensive zone, he will become a force for the Wings’ as early as next season. Rasmussen is very effective when used on the power-play with his net-front presence as he always seems to find the puck in a scramble.

Overall, I like what Rasmussen brings to this team. I personally would like to see him receive more than his 12:05 TOI per game, and a top-six role. Rasmussen has the potential to become a consistent 20 goal, a 40-point player in this league for years to come. I expect Rasmussen to come into 2019-20 with a lot to prove after a decent season. Originally drafted as a center, Blashill has Rasmussen as a right-winger. With another season to get acquainted as a winger, Rasmussen will improve on his overall game.

Potential: Top-six forward