The Detroit Red Wings made a blockbuster deal Monday just before the 3 PM Est. NHL trade deadline. It was a deal that sent Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a first-round pick in 2021, a second in 2022, plus forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik.
Yzerman had himself a busy few days leading up to Monday’s deadline but was able to fetch a plethora of much-needed draft capital.
After trading Patrick Nemeth, Jon Merrill, Brian Lashoff, and Mantha in four separate deals, the Detroit Red Wings have now stockpiled 12 draft picks in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft plus an additional 10 choices in the 2022 NHL Entry Level Draft.
Yzerman continues to fill the empty cupboards he inherited from former Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
Here are four players that will immediately benefit from the Anthony Mantha deal.
The 6-foot-6 power forward should see an immediate increase in ice-time with Mantha being shipped out of Detroit.
Michael Rasmussen, a 21-year old forward the organization decided to keep rostered two years ago rather than sending him back to junior, where he dominated as an 18-year old. Rasmussen struggled to adapt at the NHL level, and it was obvious he’d be best suited to play with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League. NHL rules prevent players with junior eligibility remaining to play in the AHL.
Rasmussen played 62 games in his rookie season, scoring eight goals totaling 18 points while averaging just over 12 minutes of ice-time per game.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, Rasmussen, like many NHLers, continued to play professional hockey. He played in Austria for Graz EC, appearing in 18 games scoring five goals, totaling 16 points and 42 penalty minutes.
Upon returning, Rasmussen has played primarily in Detroit but did spend seven games in Grand Rapids, recording six points in seven games.
With the Red Wings this season, Rasmussen has appeared in 28 games scoring just two goals and nine points. I expect Rasmussen to immediately replace Mantha in the Red Wing lineup, playing as a top-six forward, in fact, playing on the top line alongside Dylan Larkin while Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi remain injured.
Rasmussen should see plenty of opportunities on Detroit’s top power-play unit, and hopefully, the offense starts to come around, and he can carry some momentum into next season.