Kennewick, WA – The Tri-City Americans are proud to announce that Michael Rasmussen and Juuso Välimäki have been drafted by the Detroit Red Wings and the Calgary Flames in first round 9th, and 16th overall). All were selected on First Day of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, held today at the United Center in Chicago, IL. This is the first time since 1996, and only the fourth time ever, that the Americans have had two or more players taken in the first round of the NHL Draft.
Michael Rasmussen, the 6’6” 215-lb center from Vancouver, BC, just finished his second season with the Americans, appearing in 50 games. He racked up 32 goals and 55 points along with 50 PIM. Prior to leaving the ice due to injury, Michael was playing at a breakneck pace. He led the league in Goals and Power Play Goals for period of time and ended the season with the second most Goals on the team and most Power Play Goals on the team.
Juuso Välimäki, the 6’2” 201-lb defenseman from Nokia, Finland, just finished his second season with the Americans, appearing in 60 games. As a two-sided D-Man, Juuso finished the season 19 goals and 61 points, good for 4th most on the team. Juuso’s top qualities are his speed and hockey sense. He can easily jump into a rush, transition back defensively, and make a solid play to relieve pressure or generate a scoring chance.
Stay tuned for the 2nd day of the draft tomorrow! The Ams still have 6 players ranked in the top skaters from North America!
Tri-City Americans season tickets for the 2017-18 WHL campaign are now available. For details on ticket packages and exclusive privileges such as our Never-A-Wasted ticket exchange program, contact our office at (509) 736-0606 or visit us inside the Toyota Center.