The Detroit Red Wings were positioned to select in the top 10 (9th overall pick) of the NHL Draft for the first time in decades, and their pick is in. They’ve officially selected center Michael Rasmussen from the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League.

At 6-5 and 221 pounds, Rasmussen is the prototypical power forward. He scored 32 goals with 23 assists in 50 games for Tri-City last season, and has excellent speed and a nose for the net; 15 of his goals came with the man-advantage.

“I would say my biggest strength is around the net,” Rasmussen said before the draft. “I can protect the puck and I drive the net hard.”

He models his game after former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin.

“I like the way he played,” Rasmussen said of Sundin. “He had good hands in front of the net, went to the tough areas, worked hard and skated really well for a big man,” Rasmussen told NHL.com. “If I can be a little bit like him, I think that’ll be good.”

This past November, Dennis Schellenberg of Hockey Prospectus described Rasmussen as a big body with good vision:

“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.”

Future Considerations scout had this to say about him:

“Rarely do you find a player with his size, skill and smarts. Rasmussen is a highly effective 200-foot player. Big toolsy forward that shows a great work ethic and understanding of two sides of the ice. Skates well for his size and has a power skill set. Takes play into his own hands in the tough areas with combination of muscle and puck skill. Fights through sticks and bodies to take puck to the net.”

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