Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: C Michael Rasmussen

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Today, we look at Surrey’s own Michael Rasmussen!

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Name: Michael Rasmussen

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1999-04-17

Height, weight: 6’5, 203 lbs

Team, league: Tri-City Americans, WHL

Stats (from 






50 32 23 55 55 -13


#15 by
#8 by ISS Hockey
#18 by Future Considerations
#3 by McKeen’s Hockey
#5 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 3/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Top-two center

Draft Range: First round

Scouting report

"A big, skilled forward who uses his size well…has improved his skating substantially from his midget days…for a player his size, he moves phenomenally well, smoothly and with impressive power…does a very good job of consistently getting to the greasy areas of the ice; he wins a lot of battles in those areas due to his size and reach…goes to the net and blocks the goaltender’s view while looking for deflections and rebounds…not flashy hands, but can carry the puck using his body extremely well to protect it…has underrated vision and playmaking ability…needs some work on his shot as he currently lacks consistent accuracy and quickness in getting it off his blade…just knows how to utilize his strengths to make a difference…uses his reach to disrupt opponents and get into lanes…willing to block shots…has a ways to go, but could be special and has loads of upside. (Future Considerations)"


Rasmussen is a towering presence, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing over 200 pounds — and he only just turned 18.

He describes himself as a “hard-working power forward”, and his coach in the WHL agrees with his assessment. Rasmussen skates surprisingly well for a player his size, and uses his size and skating to drive the net and create havoc for goaltenders.

He protects the puck well, and plays big minutes head-to-head with opposing teams best players. In addition to power play time, his coach also trusted him with some penalty kill time this season.

All-in-all, Rasmussen is physically mature, but also a well-trained skater and hard worker on the ice.


There’s an important question needing to be asked about Rasmussen: is he scoring bucket loads of goals because of his hockey talent, or just because of his size?

Jeremy Davis of Canucks Army raised some concern with Rasmussen’s numbers back in February. At even strength, it turns out his goal numbers are not impressive — below the WHL league average, in fact. His dominance on the scoresheet comes exclusively from power play goals.

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Now, Canucks fans have watch two straight seasons where the team could not score on the power play. Any and all goals must be good, right?

Well, not so fast. There is a case to be made that Rasmussen himself has been a passenger on the Tri-City power play. A 6-foot-5 frame gives him a huge physical advantage over most players in the WHL. He may be using that advantage to its fullest by parking himself in front of the net and scoring off rebounds generated by his teammates.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But being a power play specialist at such a young age is not a great sign — ask Linden Vey.

Scouts also point out that his shot needs improvement, as it currently lacks both consistent accuracy and power. Two foot tap-ins are one thing, but to score at the NHL level you need a shot that is good enough to beat an NHL goaltender. Right now, it appears Rasmussen’s needs work to get there.

Final Thoughts

By all accounts, Rasmussen has the potential to develop into a good NHL. The question is how good, and there’s not much consensus. Most rankings see him as a first-rounder, but that’s as precise as it gets. McKeen’s ranks him third; Future Considerations has him 18th.

If the Canucks fall to fourth or fifth overall, they may be tempted to take a local boy. But the ongoing saga of Jake Virtanen should give them pause. There are plenty of forwards with at least as much talent and fewer question marks than Rasmussen, so Vancouver will have better options with their first pick.

Next: All 2017 Draft Profiles

However, there is a chance that Rasmussen, who is currently rehabbing a wrist injury which ended his season, falls considerably on draft day. If that happens, there’s a slim chance he’ll be available at 33rd, which is Vancouver’s next pick (barring any trades or a San Jose Sharks Cup victory).

The Vancouver Canucks could certainly use a hefty prospect with a penchant for scoring goals. But it looks like Rasmussen may be out of reach given where they will be picking.