2017 Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Rasmussen has the size and skill, but will he fall in the first round?
The WHL center makes opponents pay in front of the net and scouts love his all-around ability.
Current Team: Tri-City Americans
Date of Birth: April 17, 1999
Place of Birth: Surrey, BC, Canada
Weight: 215 lbs
Rasmussen is what NHL teams crave: a scoring center with an enormous frame (6’ 5”, although some say 6’ 6”). You can’t teach size, and Rasmussen loves to park himself in front of the net to screen shots and bang in pucks, a skill that translates to any level of hockey.
Central Scouting has him at No. 5 and several others have him in the top 10 and 15. He improved his production this season for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans (55 points in 50 games) despite a fractured wrist that ended his season at the end of February.
He has showed skill on the power play to go with vision and puck ability, although his -13 and 50 penalty minutes tend to draw the eye as well. Rasmussen can skate, shoot and defend, but many have noted that he could stand to be more physical and develop an edge to complement his size.
Possible drawback? Rasmussen runs into trouble once you start looking at advanced analytics. Our friends at Raw Charge and Canucks Army dove into his problematic primary scoring rate and assist rate. At the end of the day, though, he’s a huge center with a decent all-around game that can add muscle in the professional ranks. That should be enough for someone to take him in the mid-to-late first round. Should that be the Columbus Blue Jackets? You can never have enough playmaking centers, though some project Rasmussen to be a top-nine guy if not in the top-six. In the unlikely event he falls to the Jackets, they may snap him up.
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|2014-2015||Team British Columbia||CWG||6||1||1||2||4|
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He’s playing with much more confidence this season. 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 to make plays and score goals.
– John Williams, NHL Central Scouting
Rasmussen has the size to become a prototypical power forward in the NHL someday. While we’re not ready to compare him to the best in the game who carried a similar role, he has a high ceiling on the offensive end. That being said, he might end up being a top-nine rather than a top-six forward. Keep your hopes high, but look for him to be a second or third line middle-man.
- Andrew Forbes, The Hockey Writers
A big, skilled forward who uses his size well…has improved his skating substantially from his midget days…for a player his size, he moves phenomenally well, smoothly and with impressive power…does a very good job of consistently getting to the greasy areas of the ice; he wins a lot of battles in those areas due to his size and reach…goes to the net and blocks the goaltender’s view while looking for deflections and rebounds…not flashy hands, but can carry the puck using his body extremely well to protect it…has underrated vision and playmaking ability…needs some work on his shot as he currently lacks consistent accuracy and quickness in getting it off his blade…just knows how to utilize his strengths to make a difference…uses his reach to disrupt opponents and get into lanes…willing to block shots…has a ways to go, but could be special and has loads of upside.
A wrist injury will cost him three months, but scouts still rave. Rasmussen can score goals and for a 6-foot-5 player, scouts are impressed at how well he gets around the ice. Has been great on the PP.
A big kid with strong puck protection skills. Works hard all over the ice and has good playmaking skills. Uses his good vision and passing skills to distribute the puck effectively. Rasmussen is rather a pass-first guy and feels comfortable going into traffic areas and can create havoc in front of the net.
- Dennis Schellenberg, Hockey Prospectus