Michael Rasmussen wasn’t sure what to expect entering his first NHL training camp.
But in his time with the Red Wings this September, this June’s first-round draft pick has shown himself to be a legitimate NHL prospect.
“I just came in here with an open mind and just try to get better every day and work hard,” said Rasmussen, who scored a goal in Monday’s 4-1 exhibition victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena. “It has been real good.
“I want to be here and I want to play here. I’m definitely trying to make it hard on them (being sent back to junior hockey).”
Still, Rasmussen will return to juniors. Despite being impressive this entire camp, there’s still plenty to learn.
But Rasmussen has shown coach Jeff Blashill and the rest of the Red Wings front office he may not need a lot of minor-league seasoning.
“I’m excited about him as a prospect,” Blashill said. “He’s big (6-foot-6, 220-pounds), he’s smooth, he has good hands, a good offensive sense. He skates well.
Red Wings' Michael Rasmussen on his learning curve in training camp. Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News
“People have questioned that (Rasmussen’s skating) but I don’t see that at all. He covers a lot of ground in a hurry. He needs to move his feet a little more at times in the defensive zone but overall I’ve been happy with his play.”
Rasmussen played on a line with Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, and saw time on the power play.
“It gives me confidence playing with some pretty good players,” Rasmussen said. “Trying to stay pretty even keel.”
Anthony Mantha, Tatar and Xavier Ouellet (empty net) scored Red Wings goals.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 11 of 12 shots in two periods while battling a virus. Tom McCollum made seven saves in the final 20 minutes.
Scott Wilson scored the lone Pittsburgh goal, part of a Penguins lineup dominated by minor leaguers.
The Red Wings — now 2-2-1 in the exhibition season — outshot Pittsburgh 27-19.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill talks about Micheal Rasmussen. Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News