The future is brighter for the Detroit Red Wings as Michael Rasmussen, and Filip Zadina took massive steps forward in their development. Joe Veleno got a chance in Detroit near the end while Givani Smith built his early season successes into more ice time late in the year.
Here’s a look at how the potential forwards of the future did.
Top Nine Forward and a presence on the power play
2021 Season in a Nutshell
Rasmussen looked more comfortable during his second call up with Detroit. He was a man among boys in Grand Rapids, scoring nearly a point per game before sticking with Detroit. The 2017 first round pick used his frame more this season and at times, looked lighter and faster on the ice. He drove the net more and was disruptive on the power play when net front.
They said it
“From a year ago, and you include the summer as part of it, he’s clearly a better skater, clearly playing with more confidence and clearly a better defensive player,” Blashill said. “He’s come one of the furthest in terms of development.” Jeff Blashill via the Detroit News
Final Grade: C+
So here’s why it’s a C+: Rasmussen is a top ten pick and expectations come with it. However, the high praise from Blashill shows the work put in by Rasmussen paid off, and that reaching the potential of producing like a top ten draft pick could come to fruition down the road. Rasmussen looked more comfortable in Detroit than he ever has and something that will be echoed throughout this piece is that with more talented players around them, it will underscore the untapped talent many of the younger players have. He might not be able to carry the team himself, but Rasmussen still could turn some heads down the road.