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Road to the NHL Draft: Michael Rasmussen

Michael Rasmussen

Position: Center

Junior team: Tri-City (WHL)

2016-17 stats: 50 games, 32 goals, 23 assists, 55 points

Size: 6-foot-6, 215 pounds

Born: Vancouver

Central Scouting rank: No. 5 (North America)

What to know: If a player is big, coaches expect him to go to the front of the net. No one has to tell Rasmussen twice. He enjoys life at the top of the crease.

While some tall players are clumsy when young, Rasmussen already has his footwork in place. He finished first in the 30-meter backward skating drill at the Canadian Hockey League/NHL Top Prospects game. Given his size, he’s hard to stop when he drives through the zone. He does well at shielding the puck along the boards.

A broken scaphoid bone in his wrist ended his season and prohibited him from competing in the NHL Scouting Combine. He found the net 15 times on the power play this season, but he still needs to develop a scorer’s touch at even strength and when the zone gets crowded. He has virtually no playoff experience.

They said it: “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 to make plays and score goals.” – John Williams, NHL Central Scouting.

The Buffalo News is profiling prospects leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 23-24 in Chicago.

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