I'm not even talking about superstar talent. I'm talking, like, "very good 2C, serviceable 1C on a bad team" (e.g. Matt Duchene, Jordan Staal, younger Martin Hanzal).
I've been pretty clear on this point for the past couple of months: Michael Rasmussen is the one player I did not want us to WANTED us to NOT TAKE with the ninth overall pick. If you dig into his stats and read more than just one or two of the credible scouting reports, you find major red flags. Or, if you're short on time, you can just read that report I linked. Excerpt:
Just how bad are Michael Rasmussen's numbers, you ask?
In 50 games at 5v5:
14.98 min/GP (about 750 minutes of ice time)
12 goals (37.5% of his total goals scored)
3 first assists (yes, you read that right. Three first assists in 50 GAMES. Three first assists in 750 minutes of ice time at 5v5. That was also 25% of his total first assists for the season)
4 second assists (40% of his secondary assists)
.96 G/60 (19th out of 87 forwards)
.24 A1/60 (9th worst of any first-time eligible forward in the WHL that played 50 games or more)
-8.44 GF%Rel (16th worst)
From where I stand, Michael Rasmussen has "middle-six NHL winger" written all over him. I'm not saying he's guaranteed to be a bust. I'm saying there were better options, safer bets. And I'm saying all of this as someone who's seen most of the consensus North-American first-rounders -- and some of the Euros -- in person.
"So I take it you hated the Mantha pick. Yes?"
Mantha is a big body, but it was clear that we was a high-end talent, a natural scorer blessed with God-given gifts -- a low-risk, high-reward selection. I don't see that with Rasmussen. I see a power play specialist. And even then...
He's much bigger than 99% of his peers, which won't be the case at the pro level
I don't feel the net-front position ranks among our power play's biggest problems
I sincerely hope Michael Rasmussen is the real deal. If he becomes a bona fide 60-point centerman at the NHL level, I'll gladly eat crow. (Though, again, my complaint is not "There's absolutely no way he'll ever become a really good NHLer." My complaint is that Rasmussen was not the best player available at #9, that taking Rasmussen inside of the top ten was a misguided reach.)
I'm going to hope for Martin Hanzal/Nick Foligno but set my expectations at Nick Bjugstad/Jimmy Hayes. I'm also going to remind myself that we're in the beginning stages of a rebuilding effort that will probably take the better part of the next ten years to complete. Rasmussen is but one piece of a puzzle.
I did my HYSTERICS! bit, got it out of my system, settled down. Now I'm trying to keep things in perspective and convince myself to trust in #TeamHolland.
Let's see how the rest of this draft shakes out for us.