It wasn’t long ago that Michael Rasmussen seemed like an enigma to the fanbase and analysts. The Detroit Red Wings’ ninth pick in the 2017 NHL Draft wasn’t finding the net, and at times didn’t seem like the player Detroit thought it was getting as a top-10 pick.
What a difference a year makes.
Rasmussen had a strong second half to close out the 2021-22 season and then parlayed it into an even stronger start to this season. He’s been one of the most consistent players on the roster and though he might not always show up on the scoresheet, he’s making the small plays that have led to some big results for Detroit.
Rasmussen Stepping up for the Red Wings
Take for example his goal against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Rasmussen muscled his way to the net and in one full swoop, wristed a shot through a screen that found its way past Anaheim goalie John Gibson.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) November 16, 2022
Or more recently, another play against San Jose. With the Sharks trying to clear the zone, the puck squirted loose in the circle. Rasmussen dove and poked the puck to Jake Walman, who rocketed an absolute missile into the net. It was Rasmussen’s second point in as many games, and a well earned one that gave Detroit the lead.
An absolute blast, courtesy of Jake Walman. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/r7nBe0TZ7n
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 18, 2022
Rasmussen’s Role Defined with Red Wings
He may not put up buckets of goals but he’s following in the footsteps of role players from Detroit’s successful past. Rasmussen has grown more into his frame and been stronger driving to the net. He’s unafraid to jump in front of a shot and finds himself playing in the tense moments of tight games.
He’s even seen the metrics fall in his favor.
The Red Wings have experienced their share of struggles at 5 on 5, but it Rasmussen has held his own. His Corsi For/60 is 48.2, a career high, while his Points/60 is 1.7.
He’s been a presence on both the power play and penalty kill. The start of the season saw him centering the “massive” line with Elmer Soderblom and Oskar Sundqvist.
Though that line was dismantled due to injuries, it hasn’t slowed Rasmussen.
The rugged center continues to impress.