Detroit — The Red Wings have secured one of their young building blocks.
Forward Michael Rasmussen, a restricted free agent, signed a three-year contract extension Thursday, worth $4.38 million ($1.46 million salary cap hit).
Rasmussen, 22, took a major step forward this season.
The 2017 first-round draft pick (ninth overall) played in 40 games this season, with 12 points (three goals, nine assists) and 26 penalty minutes. Rasmussen ranked second on the team with 72 hits, and also blocked 28 shots.
After an injury-filled season in minor league affiliate Grand Rapids the year before, Rasmussen (6-foot-6, 229 pounds) came into camp healthy and confident after playing in Austria to begin the hockey season because of the ongoing pandemic delaying pro leagues in North America.
Rasmussen had six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games in Grand Rapids to begin the season, before getting recalled by the Wings.
Over his last 20 games with the Wings, Rasmussen averaged 16 minutes 46 seconds of ice time per game (fourth among forwards).
Playing with a physical edge to his game, and continuing to develop as a net-front presence offensively and a shutdown player defensively, Rasmussen cemented himself as a building block for the Wings in their rebuild.