Several weeks back I did a piece on the 2017 NHL Draft Rankings. In that report included Michael Rasmussen which was slotted on our list as the number 4 Canadian born hockey player.

Originally according to projections that Rasmussen would be selected at 12th overall in the 1st round of this year’s NHL Entry Draft. However, his positioning has jumped him inside the top 10 at number 6 according to NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman.

Expansion Franchise Draft History Past 30 Years

When the Vegas Golden Knights participated in their first ever NHL Draft Lottery they secured the 6th spot in the draft selection order. In prior draft cycles that featured a new expansion team many of teams were awarded picks in the 1st round within the top 5.

For the Golden Knights, they become the first to select outside the top 5 going into this year’s draft as an expansion franchise in last 30 years.

Expansion Teams Draft History
(Digital photo by @Mass_Insight)

More On Rasmussen

This season with the WHL’s Tri-City American’s, Rasmussen had a career high campaign in his goal production with 32. His previous record came the previous season when recorded 18. As for his assists this season it slightly dipped from 25 last year to 23.

During the 2016-17 hockey season with the Tri-City Americans Rasmussen suffered an injury late in the season that was rated as a lower body type in nature (fractured wrist). The injury he sustained from when he got it would keep out of action for three months.

For Vegas, they are scheduled to start their development camp this July at the Las Vegas Ice Center which will serve as their home base until the Summerlin Practice Facility is complete by mid-August.

If General Manager George McPhee does indeed select Rasmussen in the upcoming draft he is projected to be ready and healthy when camp comes around.

Michael Rasmussen WHL
(Table by Josh Khalfin/@Josh_Khalfin)

Rasmussen’s Career Stats

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(Table by Eliteprospects.com)

Highlights Of Rasmussen

Scouting Report

Rasmussen is reported at 6’6″ and 215 pounds. He hails from Surrey, BC, Canada which is outside of Vancouver.

The biggest asset that he brings to table is his overall size as well as being a good skater. With his legs allows him to get a good stride on the ice which enables him to generate decent speed for mobility.

His frame does give him the ability to play the game with strength especially along the boards during puck battles near the icing line of the ice. He also uses his size as an advantage to protect the puck.

Another thing that Rasmussen offers is his amazing upper body strength, in particular, the core area of his body he uses causes opposing players problems to knock him off of the puck.

He has the knack of showcasing his speed to attack the net in the offense zone of the ice. Rasmussen like San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton uses his long reach that makes it very challenging to the opposition when playing the puck with his gifted hands in stickhandling.

His cycle game is an asset due to his skating skill set that allows for his teammates time to set up and keep the playing going.

Ramussen’s defensive side of the ice is showcased with his willingness to display that sandpaper type grit which is needed in a very tough Pacific Division and Western Conference. Along with his grit comes his tenacity that he showcases at both ends of the ice.

His positioning on the ice is also a major factor in his game because he can clog up the shotting lanes against the opposition. Something that is needed when your team is trying to kill off a penalty.

His style can be similar to that of Anaheim Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf but not the career upside though. Rasmussen potential has him slated to become a top 6 forward centre likely to play on a teams top line.

For more on Rasmussen’s scouting report click here.

Notables

“[Rasmussen] has either the best natural instinct or willingness to get to the net and go around the net,” Tri-City coach Mike Williamson said. “And it sounds simple, but a lot of guys play on the perimeter, are not willing to go there, or just are off to the side enough to make it easy for a goalie. But his natural first instinct when he gets over the blue line is to get around the net.” Per NHL.com

“I think part of it with him is that he’s playing with much more confidence this season,” John Williams of NHL Central Scouting said. “He’s adapted to playing a bigger role and playing heavy minutes against opponents’ top lines and defense. The game has slowed down for him a little bit and he’s just that much more poised. He can take that extra bit of time and understands he can take that time, make plays and score goals.” Per NHL.com

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