2016-17 Team: Tri-City Americans (#15)
Date of Birth: April 17, 1999
Place of Birth: Surrey, British Columbia
Ht: 6’5” Wt: 203 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
Twitter: No account
- THW Alternate Rankings: 19th (January)
- Future Considerations: 18th (Spring)
- ISS: 8th (April)
- McKeen’s Hockey: 3rd (February)
- Bob McKenzie: 7th (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 16th (March)
- Jeff Marek: 9th (March)
Michael Rasmussen is a big boy with a long reach and he sure doesn’t shy away from using either of those qualities on the ice. In 50 regular season games with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans this season he scored 32 goals and 55 points.
His physicality does get him in some trouble sometimes – having racked up 50 penalty minutes this season. That, along with his minus-13 rating, were his downfalls this season, but he should still be a solid first-round pick for one NHL club.
He will have some things to work on as he looks to make the jump to the NHL at some point in the coming seasons, but his 0.86 point-per-game average in two season with the Americans is an example of how effective he can be on the offensive end of the spectrum. He likely has a little ways to go before he’ll land on an NHL roster, but don’t be surprised if it happens in a few years.
NHL Draft Projection
He’s not a top-10 pick by any means – even though some scouts have him in the six to eight range. That being said, he should go at some point in the top 20 of this year’s NHL Entry Draft. I would look for his name to get called somewhere between 18 and 20, but he could fall as far as 22nd overall.
“[Rasmussen] has either the best natural instinct or willingness to get to the net and go around the net. 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.” – Americans’ head coach Mike Williamson
“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
“He knows how to use his 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame to his fullest advantage…Does a fine job getting to the dirty areas to provide screens and get deflections, and knows how to protect the puck with his reach.” – Mike Morreale, NHL.com
- Playmaking ability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Stick-handling in tight
- Skating needs some work
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.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7.5/10, Defence – 7/10
His awards (or achievements, depending on how you want to refer to them) are few and far between so far. That being said, the native of Surrey’s one major accomplishment so far came back with the Okanagan Hockey Academy White Prep team in 2014-15 when his club won the CSSHL championship.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.