Michael Rasmussen, was the Detroit Red Wings 2017 first-round draft pick. Playing the 2018-19 NHL season in Detroit, because the only other option was playing junior hockey. Rasmussen, struggled that season in Detroit. He would have been better off playing in Grand Rapids with the Griffins if that was in the cards.
Last season due to the pandemic, Michael Rasmussen played just 35 games for the Griffins, as did every AHL player. Sitting idle for long periods of time is not ideal for young players. Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman lent the young center to a team in Austria this past fall.
It was in Austria that Rasmussen flashed the talent he is projected to have in the NHL. In 18 games played, Michael Rasmussen had 5 goals and 18 points. Along the way to becoming a point a game player at least in Austria, Rasmussen found his confidence.
Now in the mix for a roster spot with the Red Wings, Rasmussen entered training camp in the best shape of his career to date. Adding a little muscle, the young Red Wings prospect said he feels like he is in game shape and credits playing in Austria as the primary reason why.
Since being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, fans want Michael Rasmussen’s development to happen at a faster rate, forgetting he is only 21 years old. Rasmussen is a big piece in the Red Wings future.
Rasmussen is a 6 foot 6 inch, 220 lbs center who is strong around the net and understands how to use his size and strength, for a young player he is not afraid to block shots as well.
Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill believes Rasmussen can be a shutdown center. Meaning he can face other teams best and hold his own. That is critical for the Red Wings moving forward to have a trusted center.
Early injuries impacted Rasmussen at the junior and pro level. He is now mentally stronger and has overcome injuries, that is a big part of player development.
The Detroit Red Wings are looking and need more scoring depth. With a newly found confidence, Michael Rasmussen could provide the team what is sorely needs.
Embed from Getty Images Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond was given permission few big man get. Drummond’s head coach Dwane Casey wants the big man to shoot 3 pointers.
First things first, Andre Drummond will not be hanging out in three point land. His job is in the paint. As a both feared and gifted defender Drummond knows this full well. But teams will not be able to tell when he is going to pull up and fire a 3-point attempt.
In order to add to his already extensive list of offensive weapons the 3-pointer is something he is going to add more of. Rolling to the rim, rebounds both offensive and defensive and power moves already have been established. Andre Drummond is a very good center. This will round his game further along.
At the Detroit Pistons media day, Drummond said he has never had a coach that would allow him to grow his 3-point game. Enter Dwane Casey. Fresh off NBA coach of the year. Odds are pretty good Casey knows what he is doing. It sounds like player and coach are on the same page.
It use to be Drummond would “mess around in practice with the three.” Dwane Casey said it has an upside. “It is about taking advantage of spacing. It opens doors on the court.” It seems Casey is willing to join the current league “in thing.” That is a good thing. The Pistons could be left in the dust if they do not follow along.
More and more NBA teams are encouraging their big men to shoot. It seems both Casey and Andre are thinking in 74 3-point shots are taken during the season Drummond could make 40.5 percent of those shots.
It is another way to both get the Pistons down in the defensive end quicker as well as create space for offensive rebounds and put ins. This is a way the Detroit Pistons can generate more offensive points.
Embed from Getty Images Much the same way Filip Zadina fell in the Detroit Red Wings, lap. So did center Joe Veleno. He was viewed as a lottery pick. Yet Joe Veleno, fell all the way to number 30. The Detroit Red Wings, with their second first round draft pick ended his fall.
The 6′ 1″ Quebec native has a quick first step. He is blessed with fantastic acceleration. Joe Veleno’s skating sets him apart. He is strong on the puck and is viewed and projects as a line two center.
Veleno, is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. He has great vision and is able to get the puck to teammates in tough areas. He uses his blinding speed to open up passing lanes. Most likely headed to the Grand Rapids Griffins, Joe needs to add muscle and get power behind his shots.
He is not afraid to help out on defense. Solid on the backcheck. And a willingness to block shots make Joe Veleno, a very good pick.
His game will remind some of Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent- Hopkins. As he puts in the work and his game evolves to what scouts say he is going to be and the Detroit Red Wings and the Wings, fan base hopes he is going to be Joe Veleno should be in Motown within two year.
Embed from Getty Images Detroit Lions general manager, Bob Quinn stuck by his drafting dependable players during last nights first round of the 2018 NFL draft. Grabbing a center and helping the Lions, offensive line.
At 6′ 5″ 312 lbs. Frank Ragnow is a hulk of a center. He was captain of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He is strong and is a tough run blocker. Something the Detroit Lions have lacked at the center position.
Leading up to the draft Lions head coach Matt Patricia, said he likes to build teams from the ball out. Check. Ragnow, also is somewhat versatile in that he can also line up at right guard.
He did have a high ankle injury that lead to surgery during the Razorbacks, 2017 season. Detroit, must have been pleased with the medical records.
One drawback on Frank Ragnow is his hands sometimes get outside the pads and leads to holding penalties. With all of that the Detroit Lions, got a heck of a player. A guy who can be a fixture for a longtime to come.
Both the Detroit, passing and running game just improved as well. In an earlier blog I said I did not think Bob Quinn, would draft a running back in the first round at #20.
I could see them drafting one in rounds two or three.
Embed from Getty Images The Columbus Blue Jackets, had been searching for a first line center. They found one in rookie Pierre Luc- Dubois. His growth this season has been nothing short of remarkable.
During the 2016 NHL draft many experts full expected the Blue Jackets, to take Jesse Pujujarvi, and said to be electric scorer. Then came the shocker When Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen made the call Pujujarvi looked stunned Dubois looked stunned. But in the end it was the right pick.
Pierre, kind of flew under the radar. He started making a name for himself a month before the draft. He has elite speed great hands and is fearless on the boards. At 6′ 3″ he is a good size for center.
He plays on the first line in Columbus, with Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin. That’s realy good company. Dubois has earned the right to anchor the top line. 20 goals and new Columbus Blue Jackets rookie record 48 points tell part of the story.
His want to continue to play sound defense should not be over looked. He has improved through the season on faceoffs and forechecking. Pierre Luc-Dubois is the total package.
Fans of the Blue Jackets, should enjoy watching his career unfold as he is only going to improve. The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us. If you have not seen him play. You should tune in.