On Tuesday, June 10, the Chicago Blackhawks announced the signing of Swedish center Dennis Rasmussen two a one-year contract. At 23 years old, Rasmussen spent last season with Vaxjo Lakers of the SHL, producing 40 points in 52 games. He is not a favorite to make the Blackhawks’ roster after training camp, but shows a lot of potential both on offense and defense.If he does crack the roster, however, Rasmussen will be in a fight for a forth line spot with the likes of Jokim Nordstrom, Marcus Krueger and Ben Smith, who made a name for himself in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. Smith will probably begin the season as the Blackhawks fourth line center. Rasmussen is a big center at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds; for his size, he is a player who is not afraid to get his body in the corners and park himself in front of the net.
Rasmussen skates very well for his size, and he has good control of the puck. In Sweden, he was used on the power play and penalty kill, which he proved he can play. If he can get a chance with the Blackhawks after training camp, he could potentially become a dangerous player with the skill set he possesses, especially on the power play and penalty kill. I would like to see what the Blackhawks would be able to do with a center of his size. The more big bodies in front of the opposing goaltender, the better.
The Blackhawks are a young team filled with a lot of swedish talent. While coach Joel Quenneville likes players who drive to the net and battle in the corners, Rasmussen will have to prove he can skate with the big boys of the NHL and show his effectiveness on the special teams. If he does make the team, expect him to get some experience in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs to begin.