DETROIT -- With his future now solidified after signing a four-year, $12.8 million contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, Michael Rasmussen is enjoying the moment while embracing the road ahead.

“I love it here,” Rasmussen said Wednesday after his first post-signing practice. “I want to be here. A really, really happy day yesterday. Just looking forward to the next little while here and to keep winning hockey games, so it means a lot to me.”

In his first 55 games this season, Rasmussen has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) and leads all Detroit forwards with a plus-11 rating. The Red Wings originally selected Rasmussen ninth overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and he made his NHL debut as a 19-year-old in 2018-19.

Michael Rasmussen | Derek Lalonde | Media

“I think that’s the constant thing that I’ve tried to do, is prove it to myself and just work hard,” Rasmussen said. “Above all else, prove it to this organization and the guys in the locker room.”

Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde has repeatedly praised Rasmussen for his versatility and work ethic. And now, knowing Rasmussen will remain a key part of Detroit’s forward corps excites the second-year NHL head coach.

“Good pro, human and individual,” Lalonde said about Rasmussen. “Really happy for him, just sometimes when it feels earned and like there’s a little team success with it. We’ve improved as a group here over the last couple years and he’s been a big part of it, so really happy for both parties.”

J.T. Compher said Rasmussen earning a multi-year extension is a testament to his all-around game.

“He plays a big part of our team and can do a lot of different things,” Compher said about Rasmussen. “When he’s on and using his body and protecting pucks, he can be a dominant player out there. You always like to see guys get another day in this league. It’s hard to get a four-year contract like that. It’s awesome to see.”

Rasmussen said he was not heavily involved in the contract negotiation process, choosing to focus on his performance on the ice.

“I just kind of tried to do my job and focus on the really important thing, which is winning and doing well for the guys in the room,” Rasmussen said. “I wasn’t too active in the actual talks. I just tried to hold up my end of the bargain and play well. We’ll try to keep doing that.”

While signing his extension on Tuesday morning, Rasmussen said he personally thanked Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman for keeping faith in him.

“I obviously thanked (Yzerman) for believing in me and sticking by me,” Rasmussen said. “There’s been ups and downs in my career, so that meant a lot to me.”

After putting pen to paper, Rasmussen said the rest of his Tuesday was low key.

“I talked to my family, friends and teammates,” Rasmussen said. “That’s pretty much it, just kind of reflect on things. It’s really special to me to be here longer, so nothing too crazy. Just hung out at home and enjoyed the day.”

Rasmussen, who could have been a restricted free agent this summer, said signing a contract extension will not change his approach.

“It’s going to be a promising few years here,” Rasmussen said. “It means a lot to me to be part of it. We just got to keep going and building, but we have a lot of good pieces in this room and young players coming up.”