from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Anyone who would have wagered that Erne would be leading the Red Wings in goals when this season ended is likely a very, very rich person today.
But given a larger opportunity — not necessarily just personal improvement — as the season progressed, Erne flourished with it.
“If you asked him, it’s more about getting more opportunity and he’s done a good job with it,” Blashill said. “With him, it’s getting more opportunity and he’s capitalized with the opportunity.”
Erne, 26, was a 2013 second-round draft pick of Tampa Bay, so there was always potential of being a good offensive player.
But his best season in three years in Tampa was a seven-goal season, before being traded to the Wings in one of general manager Steve Yzerman’s first moves in the summer of 2019.
Erne only had two goals and three assists last season with the Wings, but he heads into this final weekend with a career high in goals (11) and having tied a career high with 20 points.
As for Rasmussen, it is a case of a young player putting in the work during the long offseason and improving on the ice.
“From a year ago, and you include the summer as part of it, he’s clearly a better skater, clearly playing with more confidence and clearly a better defensive player,” Blashill said. “He’s come one of the furthest in terms of development.”