Red Wings Top 10 Question Marks Heading Into the Off-Season

Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Michael Rasmussen of the Detroit Red Wings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

What Can The Red Wings Expect From Michael Rasmussen In the Coming Year?

The Red Wings drafted Michael Rasmussen in the first-round back in 2017 NHL entry draft. Rasmusssen, who was the ninth overall pick that year, was projected to be one of the Red Wings top players moving forward. Which, at the time seemed like a fair projection.

Michael Rasmussen was had the traits that would make him be a huge problem for anyone who wanted to go up against him. Standing at 6’6″ and 209 lbs., Rasmussen looked as though he would be a mismatch player each and every shift. However, the production hasn’t really been there from him to this point. Which, when looking at his previous seasons leading up to the draft, is pretty pecuilar.

Leading up to the NHL draft, Rasmussen played in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans. In three seasons with the Americans he played in 160 games and did pretty well. Having produced 81 goals and 76 assists for a total of 157 points, I’d say that all the hype was well placed.

But that’s not all that he seemed to bring to the table. The skill-set that he has between the size, speed, and scoring ability, he has the ability to match a player like Brady Tkachuk beautifully. In fact, I’d say that If Michael Rasmussen rose to the name coming out of the draft, they’d be almost identical players. But, it was misplaced speculation that he would be a player like that because he has not lived up to expectations.

The Detroit Red Wings made sure to give Rasmussen a chance right away. However, it wasn’t neccessairly the best start for him. In his first 62 games with the Red Wings back in 2018-19, he only had eight goals and 10 assists for 18 total points.

Given the fact that he played in 62 games, those stats don’t really say first-round pick. Additionally, it doesn’t even really say NHL caliber player. However, if there is one thing that we’ve learned from people and teams around the league, it’s that it takes a couple years for a player to really start coming into their own. For example, you can look at players like Nico Hischier, Tage Thompson, Robert Thomas.

It takes awhile for a player to really grow in this league. I mean, Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield are prime examples. They were both supposed to be periniel all-stars and yet they are struggling to even get minutes on the ice. So we shouldn’t hate on Rasmussen especially after how he has performed recently.

How Important Will He Be Next Season?

Michael Rasmussen has always been considered a big man presence. I mean, it’s understandable right? He’s a 6’6″ forward who is physical and willing to play a little dirty.

Michael Rasmussen just went on a three-game goal streak and this is what Red Wings captain, Dylan Larkin had to say about him:

"“Pucks are starting to go in, he’s hard around the net, he’s a thron in the side of key players on the other team every night. It’s really encoraging to see the way he plays. He’s really driving the bus for us right now.” -Dylan Larkin"

Hearing that from a player like Dylan Larkin should really give Rasmussen a boost of confidence. Even though he hasn’t scored a goal in a couple games, he is still an very effective player. His size and being able to get to the net and shield the goalie and get the rebound let’s his teammates fire shots from the dot, and perimeter with confidence.

But, it still doesn’t answer the question, where does he fit on this team? Because, he seems to be the biggest wild card on the Red Wings right now. Like if the season were to start today, and the Red Wings had a new head coach, I have absolutley no idea where he would be playing.

So, my thoughts on the matter will be completely my opinion. But, here we go.

Michael Rasmussen was one of the players that really seemed to pick it up towards the end of the season for the Red Wings. Having gone on a three-game goal streak to finish the year, there was a lot of hope that going into this off-season, he wouldn’t lose a step. But, if the past has taught us anything, we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Especially with him.

Rasmussen, althogh I do have faith in that he will eventually get it figured out, hasn’t proven to be the player we think he could be. And just because he had a couple very good games to finish the year, doesn’t mean he can do it for 82 games. His role on the team will more than likely remain as a third-liner or maybe a fourth-liner. I just don’t think we’ve seen enough from him to move him up to the second-line.

But, with that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him and Joe Veleno get a shot at the second-line center position to start the year. I think whoever ends up being the head coach of the Red Wings, if they are smart about it, will try and get both Veleno, Rasmussen, and Suter a chance.