The Detroit Red Wings were questioned by some when they selected Michael Rasmussen in last season’s draft. A strong preseason showing poured a little cold water on some of the criticism, and Rasmussen’s playoff performance with Tri-City has amped up the excitement surrounding the young prospect. Through 11 games in the WHL playoffs, Rasmussen has 29 points (14-15) and recorded yet another multi-point game in an 8-4 loss Tuesday evening. The Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James writes that the Tri-City captain is making a very strong case to crack the Red Wings roster in the fall. The 9th overall pick in the draft has spent time on the wing during the playoffs, and seems to be developing into the big bodied, scoring forward Detroit envisioned when they drafted him. Of course, the NHL game is entirely different than juniors, but it’s a positive development for a team that has finally seemed to embrace the idea of a rebuild.
- MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that defenseman Niklas Kronwall is looking forward to a mentoring role next season in what will be the final year of his contract. Khan predicts that next season will be Kronwall’s final year in Hockeytown, as the 37-year-old has been playing on a wonky knee but still managed to defy Father Time with a stronger than expected season. Now, Kronwall will be counted onto mentor the younger defensemen rising through the system, namely Filip Hronek, Joe Hicketts, Libor Sulak and Dennis Cholowski. Khan writes that while some of those dmen could reach Detroit next season, he quotes Kronwall as saying:
“It’s time for these young guys on D to take another step and get a shot at playing for the team. It starts with hard work. Have a good camp. Both Hronek and Cholowski seem to have had really good years. It will be awesome, and I very much look forward to watching them play.”