By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on center Michael Rasmussen.
It was a very different season for Michael Rasmussen, who spent the entire 2018-19 season with the Red Wings because the team felt his development would be better served there than by returning to his junior team.
Rasmussen, Detroit's first-round pick, ninth overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, has played both center and wing during his career but the Wings wanted him to focus on playing center last season.
The plan was for Rasmussen to play in the American Hockey League for the Grand Rapids Griffins while doing so.
Rasmussen had some success in the preseason, recording two goals in the Wings' 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues at Calumet Colosseum in Calumet, Mich. on Sept. 26.
Video: STL@DET: Rasmussen tallies with quick redirection
That gave Rasmussen a boost heading into the AHL regular season as he had nine points in his first 10 games.
But then Rasmussen suffered a back injury that kept him out for two months.
The big forward worked hard to get back and then was able to continue playing, only to have the season paused after the Griffins' 4-1 win over the Iowa Wild on March 11.
The hoped-for long playoff run was shelved when the AHL officially canceled the remainder of the regular season and postseason on May 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like the rest of the hockey players who did not get to play past March, Rasmussen will have a head start on his summer training and skills work so when the sport does return, he will be more than ready for a big season.
35 - Rasmussen played a total of 35 games this past season. Dominic Turgeon led the Griffins with 63 games.
23 - From Nov. 12-Jan. 10, Rasmussen missed 23 games due to a back injury.
22 - In his 35 games, Rasmussen collected 22 points. He was one of four Griffins -- Turner Elson, Chase Pearson and Moritz Seider -- who had 22 points. Chris Terry led the team with 51 points in 57 games.
7 - Rasmussen had seven goals, two in the first 10 games before he was injured and five in the 25 games after his injury. Terry led the team with 21.
15 - Rasmussen also collected 15 assists, seven in the first 10 games before his injury and eight in the 25 games after the injury. Terry also led the team in this category with 30.
4 - Four of Rasmussen's seven goals came on the power play. Givani Smith and Matthew Ford each had four power-play goals. Terry led with 11 power-play goals.
20 - In the 35 games, Rasmussen racked up 20 penalty minutes. Smith led the Griffins with 75 penalty minutes in 37 games. In 62 games with the Wings in 2018-19, Rasmussen had only 29 penalty minutes.
63 - Rasmussen had 63 shots, tied with Smith, while Terry, who led the team, had 156 in 57 games.
Quotable: "I think one with Ras, he got off to a really good start for us. Obviously playing center, we got him into his more natural position. He looked good there. I think one thing that was pleasant for me to see with Ras is defensively. I hadn't really seen him play all that much center because we drafted him and he got hurt, the first season we drafted him back in juniors, at Tri-City he got hurt in the first half and then when he came back after Christmas, he moved to the wing and played the majority of the second half on the wing and obviously in Detroit he played all wing last year. So I hadn't seen that much, I wasn't that familiar with his overall game as a centerman but I was pleasantly surprised this year. I think one thing is he was really, really good defensively and he should be. He's got great size, he's got long reach and he's got a good understanding of how to defend. That's something that seems to come natural to him. Obviously there's details that we'll continue to work on with him that will even make him a better defensive centerman. The reason I like that is he's very good in front of the net, he's very good on the power play and he can produce offense so he seems to be a good center prospect that has good size and can play a good 200-foot game. The one nice thing about Ras is he's really starting to learn, he's starting to penalty kill more, he's playing situations, important situations at end of games and things like that, he's playing with other top players and he's playing a top-two center line role down there. He's doing well. He probably wants to be a little farther ahead right now then what he is. I know he wants to be in the NHL but for us, development side and as a staff, we're happy with his progression. He's really just becoming a better overall player at this point, which is good for us." - Shawn Horcoff, director of player development and assistant director of player personnel