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Abel to Yzerman

Grand Rapids Or Detroit?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings have several young players, forwards and defensemen, who will be competing for roster spots next fall.

Here is an early look at who’s in the mix and some projections of who’ll begin the season in Detroit and who’ll start with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Madison Bowey, defense

Acquired from Washington in the Nick Jensen trade, Bowey got off to a rocky start but got better the more he played. He moves the puck well and has decent size (6-2, 198). He is not waiver-exempt, unlike most of the players on this list, so he would likely win any close battle for a job.

As it stands right now, the Red Wings will have Mike Green, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley, Bowey and in all likelihood Filip Hronek on the back end. Dennis Cholowski and Finnish League standout Oliwer Kaski, whom the Red Wings are expected to sign, will be in the mix. They were interested in signing Niklas Kronwall for one more year; he hasn’t decided. General manager Steve Yzerman might try to upgrade through free agency or a trade.

Projected start: Detroit

oe Hicketts, defense

He plays bigger than his size (5-8) with a terrific compete level, but his offensive upside is limited, and he hasn’t been strong enough defensively to earn an extended look in Detroit (16 games over the past two seasons). He’s a restricted free agent who no longer is exempt from waivers.

Projected start: Grand Rapids

Libor Sulak, defense

A good-sized (6-2, 207) player who skates well and likes to join the rush, he had a strong camp and played the first six games before being sent to Grand Rapids (five goals, nine assists in 61 games) to work on his defensive game. He’s a restricted free agent who might opt to return to Europe feeling he won’t get an opportunity in this organization.

Projected start: Europe

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hockeyfreak13's avatar

I agree with Ansar’s projection on most of these players. However, I could see Svech making the team out of camp over Ras. If this team is committed to playing AA at center, they’re gonna need another skilled winger to put in their top 9. Hopefully, Vanek isn’t an option.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 05/13/19 at 10:47 AM ET


Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 05/13/19 at 10:47 AM ET

No way that happens with someone who hasn’t played hockey in a year due to injury. Svech is going to GR.

Posted by George0211 on 05/13/19 at 11:25 AM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Yeah, you’re probably right. I still think Ras would benefit from some time in GR.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 05/13/19 at 11:32 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I still think Ras would benefit from some time in GR.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 05/13/19 at 11:32 AM ET

Same here, if he’s not cracking the top 9 next year, he needs to be in GR. I would go so far to say I think he needs to but with his age you just don’t know how much he matures and/or grows over the summer. 
I don’t mind Svech playing 4th line, but Ras needs to play more minutes and in better roles.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/13/19 at 12:37 PM ET


I don’t think there a maturity issue with Ras, I just think he is too slow.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/13/19 at 12:49 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Let’s not forget, Ras only turned 20 last month.  He’s still a baby, especially by this organization’s standards.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/13/19 at 02:30 PM ET


Hopefully Yzerman does a better job of clearing the logjam on defense and at forward than Holland did. Holland’s theory of “you can never have too many bodies” kept too many guys from getting good NHL experience and risked losing too many to waivers.

I have a feeling Yzerman’s first stamp on this team will be how he handles this. If he really wants to bring in any veterans on defense he is going to have to move someone out.

Posted by evileye on 05/14/19 at 09:07 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com