Welcome back to Hockey Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2017 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Michael Rasmussen.
A fractured wrist, suffered in late February, required surgery and cost Michael Rasmussen the remainder of his season. He had surgery in early March, and the injury was said to keep him out for three months, so he should be ready to go for training camp next year. Prior to his injury, he scored 32 goals and 55 points in 50 games for the Tri-City Americans. He also played for Team Canada at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament putting up four points in four games.
Rasmussen was also part of Team Canada Black at the 2015 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He scored two goals and three points in five games in the tournament. He also scored a goal for Team Orr at the CHL Top Prospects Game.
Michael Rasmussen Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #11
Center — shoots Left
Born Apr 17 1999 — Surrey, British Columbia
Height 6’5″ — Weight 200 lbs [196 cm / 91 kg]
Rasmussen is a towering 6’5″ centre who has put up good numbers this year. With that size, and stat line, its no surprise he is getting plenty of attention from NHL scouts. Rasmussen is a pretty good skater for his size. He has a strong stride which gives above average speed and good agility. While he is not the biggest hitter, he plays a powerful game. He uses his size to win board battles and protect the puck down low on the cycle. A strong core, and good balance make him difficult to knock off the puck. Rasmussen also has the power in his stride to fight through checks and take the puck to the net. His agility and edge work could use continued improvement.
Rasmussen’s long reach makes it very hard to get the puck off of him, and he has the slick hands to control it in tight areas, or make plays in close to the goalie. This, along with his skating help him to extend plays in the cycle game, waiting for teammates to get open. His vision is very good, as is his ability to pass the puck through tight spaces. If Rasmussen is put on a line with at least one other forward who can work this style, he will be able to maintain possession and control the puck down low for long periods of time. When scoring chances present themselves he can take advantage with a good pass.
Rasmussen can also establish body position in front of the net and use his size as an effective screen. Rasmussen has the talent to bang in rebounds and tip-in shots. He also has a very heavy wrist shot, with good accuracy and an excellent release. When he does not have the puck, Rasmussen is relentless in his fore checking and puck pursuit. He uses his size and strength to effectively lean on opposing players, and win battles for loose pucks in the corner.
While it is Rasmussen’s offensive numbers that have turned heads this season, he is also very good in his own zone. He brings the same grit and tenacity to the defensive end that he does to the offensive end. He also has very good positioning and his long reach and big size helps him to be very effective at cutting down passing and shooting lanes. Rasmussen is able to contribute on the penalty kill. He must continue to work on his face-off skills.
Projection and Comparison
Rasmussen has the potential to be a top line centre if everything goes well, but it is more likely that he settles into a role as an strong two-way top six centre, with excellent size. His style of play is reminiscent of Ryan Getzlaf, but this is not a talent comparison.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our board.