If the Colorado Avalanche trade down the 2017 NHL draft, they might use a lower pick to select center Michael Rasmussen.
The Colorado Avalanche have the best chance of winning the first-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, but they could fall as far as #4.
The team is looking to repair and rebuild. While this isn’t considered a stellar draft year, it’s understood Colorado will get a very good player with their top-four pick.
That said, another option the team might explore is trading their top-four pick to a team that wants a specific player. Said team might be willing to give up a first rounder and later rounder or a prospect. I’d say even in that scenario the Colorado Avalanche wouldn’t drop any lower than #15, though I’d expect them to stay within the top-ten.
Center Michael Rasmussen is by and large considered a top-ten draft pick. Let’s see what he might bring to the table.
: Tri-City Americans (WHL)
: April 17, 1999 (18 years old)
: 215 lbs
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Let’s get the obvious out of the way — center Michael Rasmussen is a big boy. Mike Morreale of NHL.com calls him “one of the biggest, strongest skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.”
As Morreale further points out, he also has an impressive skill set. His own coach, Mike Williamson, says he has natural instincts and a willingness to drive the net.
Peter Harling of Dobber Prospects remarks that his powerful stride makes him an above-average skater. He further points out that he has a high compete level, as evidenced by his winning puck battles and finishing checks.
"“His offensive skills are elite as he owns good playmaking vision but is also an accomplished goal scorer. Scores a lot of goals in close to the net where he uses his size as a net presence, screen and can score on tips, rebounds and deflections.”"
Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports points out that Rasmussen’s long wing span “makes it very hard to get the puck off him.” Kerr also praises Michael’s “slick hands” and ice vision. Naturally his size also makes him a formidable net presence. Kerr compares Michael Rasmussen to Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.
Future Considerations echoes most of the above scouting reports. Concerning his skating, the site adds about his skating:
"“For a player his size, he moves phenomenally well, smoothly and with impressive power.”"
According to the NHL.com article, John Williams of Central Scouting had this to say of Ramussen:
"“I think part of it with him is that he’s playing with much more confidence this season. He’s adapted to playing a bigger role and playing heavy minutes against opponents’ top lines and defense. The game has slowed down for him a little bit and he’s just that much more poised. He can take that extra bit of time and understands he can take that time, make plays and score goals.”"
A wrist injury cost him some time last season. However, he still earned 55 points (32 goals, 23 assists) in 50 games. He’s ranked #5 by Central Scouting for North American skaters and projected to go between #3 to #18 in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Michael Rasmussen in action:
Michael Rasmussen and the Colorado Avalanche
I’m going to say it — the fast, skilled, big center would have been Patrick Roy’s dream pick. (Sorry, but that’s all I could think over and over again as I read his scouting reports.)
That said, the Colorado Avalanche recent preferences have been small, fleet skaters with elite skills. Rasmussen’s stride eats up a lot of ice, so he gets places fast, but I don’t know if he’s fleet. And it’s said that his shot lacks some accuracy.
MORE COLORADO AVALANCHE PROSPECTS:
- Nolan Patrick Brings Consistency
- Nico Hischier Offers a Spark
- Gabriel Vilardi is a Stats Wizard
- Timothy Liljegren’s Creatively Offensive Defense
If the Colorado Avalanche trade down in the 2017 NHL Draft to get more picks, I might see them taking a chance on Rasmussen. For example, they might select him between #8 to #12. I’d see Colorado picking the obvious players, like Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier, before him as well as prospects such as Casey Middlestadt, Gabriel Vilardi and maybe even the top European player, Klim Kostin.
I also don’t know how well Rasmussen would fit the new Colorado Avalanche system. He might be a project in the making, and I don’t think that’s what the team is looking for right now.
If this were a year ago, though, I’d have said the Avalanche were definitely going to select Michael Rasmussen.