Red Wings reward Michael Rasmussen with a new 4-year contract

Red Wings rewarded Michael Rasmussen with a new 4-year contract.
Vancouver Canucks v Detroit Red Wings
Vancouver Canucks v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The Detroit Red Wings and forward Michael Rasmussen have agreed on a 4-year/$12.8 million extension. The 6-foot-6 and 221-pound Rasmussen has earned a new deal based on his play the past two seasons.

Drafted ninth overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, Rasmussen was used to playing against smaller competition, using his size to gain an incredible advantage. He then participated in the Red Wings development camp and then training camp, soon before making his NHL debut.

After playing with the big club, he looked sluggish, slow, and defeated due to playing against players his size and the speed difference. He was not yet ready for the big time and it showed in his play.

He would be sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League to work on his game and his speed.

Michael Rasmussen has been amazing for the Detroit Red Wings

Over time, he showed enough improvement that he was called up to Detroit. He did show that he was getting better but right now he would only see a few games until he was fully ready for a roster spot.

Fans and media were starting to question if he was a bust based on where he was drafted and his performance thus far.

After he had dominated the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Tri-City Americans and proved himself after a stay with the Griffins, it was now time to prove he belonged in Detroit and make the roster.

Rasmussen was slowed a bit at first but then started to play a physical style that allowed him to create offensive chances. One could see the little improvements in his game and he was starting to show he belonged. He was better but still had some work to do.

Last season was the big showcase as he was getting ice time along with an increased role on the team.

He greatly improved his skating and defensive play which led to a tremendous transformation in his overall game. His game along the boards and in front of the net was much better and he was allowed to be on the first penalty kill unit, which he exceeded at.

This season, he has 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 55 games, seven points shy of career-highs in points. At points this season, he was promoted to the top line with captain Dylan Larkin due to his improved play, and high praise from the coaching staff.

He has grown into a solid middle-six forward, which was not thought of after his first two pro seasons. He has come a long way and worked hard to earn a spot and transform his game to fit the mold of a Red Wings player.

Rasmussen's incredible work ethic allows him to be effective in a regular shift or the penalty kill. He never gives up on any shift and is willing to take a hit on a play to make a play.

His physical game has also grown as he is willing to get his nose dirty when he feels the opposition is taking it to his teammates. This version of Rasmussen is not the same version of two years ago, as this is the type of player they were expecting with the ninth overall pick. He is also only 24 years old.