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Abel to Yzerman

The Improvements Martin Frk Needs To Make

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"He's made lots of steps forward in terms of the completeness of his game, but I think it's going to come down to just making sure he executes at a high level on a game by game basis, not losing any opportunities, especially on the power play, with decision-making," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Making sure that when he comes in the zone, the decision-making's great, that there's no easy giveaways. That's going to allow him to have more time in zone. He's got to be a little bit better in those situations where we make sure we get in the zone and that he has the puck and he can use his skill."

Frk, the team's top pick in 2012 (49th overall), got off to a good start, with three goals in the first four games and six in his first 17 games. He wasn't as productive the second half and scored only one goal in his final 23 games.

"I wish I scored more goals," Frk said. "I was having kind of bad stretches. It's a hard league and I got to find a way to be better with that. You're also playing with great players on the power play. I learned a lot and I bet I will learn a lot in this league when I play more games."

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Primis's avatar

I really wish writers would stop using the term “top pick” in reference to second rounders.  Just because they were DET’s first selelction that year doesn’t mean you should use the term.  At least in this case Khan does then note he was a second rounder (though again indirectly by pointing out 49th Overall).

“Top pick” carries weight with it that is then unfair to place on a second rounder.  Rasmussen is a “top pick”.  Larkin was a “top pick”.  Cholowski can be a “top pick”.  If you’re picked outside the first round, there’s really no point in calling you that.  If DET traded all their 1st - 3rd rounders, would these writers call the 4th rounder the “top pick”?  Can guarantee you they wouldn’t.

Frk seems to be a slow burn developer.  I think it’s completely fair to give him another season here and see.  DET is going nowhere next season anyways, and DET also doesn’t have a bunch of forwards in junior and Grand Rapids beating down the door of the NHL.  People doubted Frk would even end up here after initial time in the minors, but he adjusted and found a way and here he is now.

I don’t know that he has much more to give before his ceiling, but you figure he had consistency problems and still potted 11 Goals this year.  If he can get that up around 20 I’d say he’s then a success for DET.  The question then is where he’s going to fit in for DET in the future, but if he can get up near 20 Goals if nothing else he’s then an attractive asset to trade to someone starved for goals.

Posted by Primis on 04/16/18 at 07:34 AM ET


Posted by Primis on 04/16/18 at 07:34 AM ET

Semantically yes he is the 2012 top pick, but I see your point.
I had plenty of issues with Blashill last year, but his deployment of Frk wasn’t one of them. He seems very well suited for PP1 and sheltered 5v5 minutes and I think a full off season of improving his accuracy and puck control, along with knowing he’ll have a spot on the roster, should be good for him. I don’t think 15-20 goals is a far fetched goal for next year. If he can be an effective PP specialist he would definitely be an attractive trade piece, or he stays on as a relatively cheap goal scorer.

Posted by Manthanasiou87 on 04/16/18 at 08:58 AM ET


Martin Frk will be 25 at the start of next season. Even when he was drafted his junior stats weren’t /that/ great, and it was definitely an open question how much of Frk’s performance was a product of playing with MacKinnon and Drouin.

To be honest he has already progressed further than I expected him to. I do think it’s reasonable to give him another season to round out his game more, since the Wings ain’t going anywhere in the standings.

But it’s probably unrealistic to expect him, at this stage, to develop into any kind of consistent 5-on-5 scoring threat. And while he definitely should continue to work on his all-around game, I don’t think there’s much benefit to converting him into a grinder either.

If he can round out a little more to the point where he’s an effective PP specialist and isn’t a total liability in limited minutes on the third or fourth line, I think I’d be happy with that.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 04/16/18 at 09:21 AM ET


Using him 5v5 in a 4th line checking role is pointless.  Frk’s not capable of generating offense alone, he needs support.  He’s not going to get that when slotted with the likes of Booth, Witkowski, LGD, etc.  I wouldn’t mind seeing him on a 3rd line with Nielsen as his center and AA on wing…maybe the 3rd line could actually generate some offense.

Posted by Steve1306 on 04/16/18 at 10:07 AM ET


I hear what you’re saying. Especially since I too have been frustrated over the years by guys like Tatar, Nyquist, Mantha, AA etc. getting the fourth line treatment when it seemed like they were more than ready for a bigger role.

The difference is that I don’t think Frk is nearly as good as any of those players, or has much of a future in the NHL as a top six option. There’s a reason he’s been waived and lost twice already in his career.

Obviously playing on the third or fourth line isn’t going to do much for Frk’s scoring totals, but I’m not convinced he has the chops to get regular reps in the top six either. His decision making isn’t great. His skating is sometimes suspect. He is a poor defender. If he’s playing 15+ minutes against other team’s top talent and forces his higher-skilled linemates to work harder to cover for him, I’m not sure he helps more than he hurts. Maybe he gets that big shot off and scores a few more goals, but at what cost?

The powerplay is one obvious situation where, with just a little smarter decision making, he can really use his strengths to their fullest. At even strength though? That might be more about putting him where he can do the least damage.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 04/16/18 at 10:42 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Central Scouting released their final draft rankings.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/16/18 at 11:18 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I think Frk can be the guy on a 3rd line that’s a scoring threat, and then a PP specialist.  He may not become that, but give him another year and see.  Like I said, what is there to lose?

He certainly is wasted on a 4th line.

I wouldn’t mind seeing him on a 3rd line with Nielsen as his center and AA on wing…maybe the 3rd line could actually generate some offense.

Posted by Steve1306 on 04/16/18 at 10:07 AM ET

Yes, this.  Exactly.

DET will eventually need support players and at only 25 if he can develop just a liiiiiittle more, he might be one of Those Guys.

Posted by Primis on 04/16/18 at 11:29 AM ET


Since I don’t ever see him as a top 6 guy, the goal has to be to make him a better two-way player and a better forechecker so a spot on the 3rd line would be a good fit. Even him he maxes out at 15-20 goals that would decent for the number of minutes he’d be playing.

How long he stays in Detroit is really a matter of whether or not they can find a better, more rounded option to fill his spot.

Posted by evileye on 04/16/18 at 11:39 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press breaks down Central Scouting Final Rankings.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/16/18 at 12:14 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Needs to work on getting his shot on net with more consistency, see if he can get hot and get himself on a pace for 20 goals next year, and give Kenny an opportunity to get something for him at the deadline.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/16/18 at 12:40 PM 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