The Detroit Red Wings may have finally seen Michael Rasmussen show what he can be. As the 2022-23 season comes into focus, there has to be hope that he can carry over his late-season success into the new campaign.
With another offseason out of the way, the Red Wings will see Rasmussen start showing that he can be a force for the team's offense, even if it is in the bottom-six. The former first-round pick has bounced around between the AHL and NHL rosters in prior years but spent the whole season with the Red Wings.
There's a good chance that he starts to click this upcoming fall, and it looks like a real benefit as the team begins to build out its roster. Rasmussen has tools; there's no doubt about that. If he can morph into this net-front presence and find ways to get the job done, the Red Wings will luck out.
If he can provide benefit in 5-on-5 and special teams situations, the Red Wings should be more than okay with Rasmussen remaining with the team. He signed a contract extension with a $1.46 million annual value that keeps him in Hockeytown through the 2023-24 season. Rasmussen will be a restricted free agent after that.
Michael Rasmussen's late-season rally sparks excitement for his future with the Detroit Red Wings.
He's coming off a season where he logged 80 games with the Red Wings, producing 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 total points. It's a career-best in all three categories and one that really showed near the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
In his last 16 games of the season, he scored seven goals, adding an assist for eight total points. Even further, in his last four games, he had four points and found ways to get the job done. The scoring rally at the end of the season was a big step in the right direction.
He settled into more of a net-front role, similar to what Elmer Söderblom is expected to do for the Red Wings in his debut. However, Rasmussen being able to anchor out front, clean up scraps, and score some goals is going to be more than worth keeping him around.
Rasmussen will play a similar role to what Söderblom brings to the table, but if the Red Wings can get that type of performance out of Rasmussen now when 2022-23 begins, there's going to be a lot to like. I'd expect Rasmussen to be able to score a little more and be able to provide some offense for the Red Wings in 2022-23.
The future looks good with Rasmussen, especially with how he finished the season on a high note. Michael Rasmussen may have taken some time to get things started, but he will be a legit option for this team's net-front role moving forward.
Especially if Rasmussen can provide depth on special teams, being the net-front guy on a power-play line would be useful. The Red Wings' power-play has been atrocious in recent years and being able to assemble a power-play unit that can get the job done only helps them moving forward.
Rasmussen finished the campaign strong this year, and with another offseason of development, I like his odds to break out in 2022-23. Michael Rasmussen will emerge as the player the Red Wings anticipated him to be.