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SCoC Draft Profiles: What’s the big deal with Michael Rasmussen?

He’s big, he’s tough, and he’s a center...but is he really all that good?

Jay Wallace ISN

Player Analysis:

You’d think a player like Rasmussen would be the talk of the town.

A 6’5, 205 pound center, a power forward who’s good on the power play, almost 50 points in the somewhat stingier WHL...what could possibly keep people pulling back on such a talent?

Well, settle down slugger. I didn’t tell you the whole story.

Before we go anywhere, I’d suggest you read this article from CanucksArmy and this profile from our friends over at Raw Charge for more info.

Michael Rasmussen is an enormous, right handed shot who went the heck off for the Tri-City Americans with a killer instinct to finish off plays, aggressive work ethic, fairly developed defensive skill, willingness to work around the net, surprisingly smooth skating for a guy his size, and of course being a nearly impossible person to move from the net due to his mass and a willingness to get into the dirty areas.

So what’s the big deal then? Well, take a look at the eye test first:

And I want you to watch this whole thing through and look for something:

Scores made off of another player’s shot. Rebounds, and tip-ins. Good skill to have, right? Many teams take these kinds of huge lads who can rebound and tip in shots, and if they have power play skill, all the better, right?

Here’s the problem: You can’t spend every game on an extended power play and cannot depend on them to realistically evaluate a talent in Junior. You have to look at the regular 5on5 play, and that’s where Rasmussen really falls flat.

Of his 32 goals this year, 15 were made on the power play. Of the 23 assists, 11 were on the power play, and half of that 11 were primary assists where he was the man who made the initial pass. Take away all of these power play points and he suddenly starts to look a lot less impressive with 17 goals, and 12 assists. That’s 29 5on5 points in 50 games.

In Junior hockey, where defense is usually not a factor.

That tends to not bode well for future talent, is what I’m getting at.

On top of that, Rasmussen outside of net-front presence tends to find himself kind of average at most other things. He’s not the best puck-handler, his “hockey-IQ” isn’t developed as much as his passing and skating are, and he’s not terribly creative offensively, preferring to be the net front presence instead of trying to open space.

His projections are all over the map due to his size, but also his consistency. Some scouts still see the fact that one can’t teach size and will worry about everything else later, but others see him dropping into the range where Boston could possibly get him due to inconsistencies in his game.

Me personally? This has all the makings of a gigantic first round mistake and I would prefer him to just keep on sailing past or even better, get chosen before Boston gets the chance to take him. There are far too many red flags on him to properly say he’s the right fit.

Player Rankings:

Ranked #15 by Hockeyprospect.com

Ranked #10 by ISS Hockey

Ranked #16 by Future Considerations

Ranked #10 by McKeen's Hockey

Ranked #5 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Stats:

Age: 19

Position: Center

Height: 6’5

Weight: 205 lbs.

Michael Rasmussen Statlines

Season Team League Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM
Season Team League Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM
2014-15 Okanagan Hockey Acad. White Prep CSSHL 28 27 23 50 36
2015-16 Tri-City Americans WHL 63 18 25 43 37
Canada Blacks U-17 WHC-17 5 2 1 3 16
2016-17 Tri-City Americans WHL 50 32 23 55 50