When the Red Wings called Michael Rasmussen's name at the NHL Entry Draft this summer, it was the first time the organization picked a player in the top 10 since 1991.
Detroit selected the 6-foot-6 forward ninth overall, hoping he can be a part of a new era of success after slipping out of Stanley Cup contention the last few years.
"I wanted to go to the Red Wings," Rasmussen told WXYZ on Thursday. "I grew up watching them a lot, seeing how they developed their players. My combine meeting went well, so kind of a combination of those two things."
Rasmussen has scored two goals in three preseason games with the Red Wings. His goal on the powerplay during the team's win over the Penguins finished with a hard fist pump and leg kick. The 18-year-old's demeanor off the ice is much more reserved.
"This is where I want to play. I want to show them that I can, so that's the only goal," he said.
The NHL is filled with young stars leading teams deep into the playoffs. Rasmussen's approach is to be quiet, learn from the veterans, and prove: 'Why not me?'
He said he's watched young guys like Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin, and has skated with leaders like Justin Abdelkader.
"Everyday I come here I try to get better. I try to just focus on myself."