Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Impressions from the last day of the Red Wings’ summer prospect camp

Hockey players remain creatures of habit from beginning to end, and over the past four years of covering the Red Wings’ summer development camp, I’ve learned to expect a scene one might find after a pick-up hockey game—aside from a little speech given to the prospects by the team’s management (which I accidentally kinda barged in on), the players just get undressed, toss their still-wet gear into their hockey bags, shower, maybe grab a snack and get the hell out of dodge. There’s no moment for reflection, there’s no reality check, it’s just “move on to the next thing.”

After eight days of incredibly difficult off-ice workouts and on-ice skill-development, skating and Red Wings-system-specific drills, the finely-tuned athletes piled on the bus back to Detroit, where they’re probably engulfed another team meal or two and have completed their exit interviews, and they’ve got a little time to kill before concluding their activities by taking in Friday’s Tigers-White Sox game from Mike Ilitch’s suite.

Then they’ll begin their summ…Well, okay, the real reason the players are just “moving onto the next thing” is pretty simple: even at the Major Junior and college levels of hockey, never mind the ECHL, AHL or European pro leagues, hockey is what it is in the NHL—a 12-months-out-of-the-year job.

While the players who’d spent time with the Red Wings as “Black Aces” certainly knew how to set an example for how to conduct oneself away from the rink as nearly 40 18-to-23-year-olds were unleashed upon the Traverse City in July over the past week, saying that the players who get the farthest are usually the most humble (albeit with healthy egos so that they can do their jobs well) and hardworking, the latter part of the equation coincides with the business of hockey, and it is an honest-to-goodness profession if one really wants to make the NHL.

So the players headed back to Detroit to engage in one more team gathering before scattering to the four winds to do what they’ve either been doing all summer or really need to get into now in working out either on their own or, more and more regularly, strength and conditioning coaches and/or professional hockey players, continuing to improve their fitness levels over the nine or so weeks until the prospect tournament begins on September 10th.

After eight days of getting up at 6, heading to the rink by 8, watching players play hockey and writing about it from 8:30-5:30 at Centre Ice Arena and continuing to write about it till 10 or 11 at night, I chose to spend one more night in Traverse City to rest and recover, and while I’m still pretty beat, I’ve got to admit that my reflections upon the camp come with a stark bottom line:

The Red Wings’ hockey operations department, the team’s equipment managers and trainers, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Curt Fraser, assistant coach Jim Paek, Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer, Wings video coordinator Keith McKittrick, Griffins strength and conditioning coach Piet Van Zant, prospect mentor Chris Chelios, skill development coach Tomas Storm, power skating coach Andy Weidenbach and the Red Wings’ management—Jim Nill, Ken Holland, chief amateur scout Joe McDonnell and at least a few other scouts who I didn’t recognize showed up for significant chunks of the camp (and if you want to know how important capologist Ryan Martin is to the team’s decision-making processes when it comes to assessing talent and awarding jobs as well as dollars, you should know that he was the only member of the management team that was here every day)—spent enormous amounts of time, energy and effort to, if all goes well…

Out of the 40 players who attended the camp, develop maybe ten to twelve players who will play for the Red Wings anywhere from this year to five-to-seven or even more years down the road, including maybe three or four star players.

This is, after all, the business of hockey, and in player development, the bottom line is that more players don’t turn out than do, and of the players who don’t make Detroit’s cut, some will carve out pro careers with other NHL organizations, some will play in the AHL or ECHL or Europe, and many will become accountants or coaches or plain old everyday professionals.

There’s an art as much as a science as to how one gives a hockey player all the tools necessary to, if all goes well, physically and mentally mature while adopting professional approaches to fitness and skill development, all while growing from young men into men, hoping that life doesn’t throw the any particularly traumatic curveballs.

The equation doesn’t come together for everybody. That nexus of physical, mental, emotional, off and on-ice development and maturity is a complicated one, and in the end, from what I heard from Jim Nill and Jiri Fischer during their extended interviews with me today, now that the Red Wings have done everything in their power to give these players the tools with which to become successful hockey players, if not solid human beings…

It’s up to them now, and the road isn’t measured in weeks or months: it’s measured in years, and it’s especially important for us to remember that when we rave about a player’s performance, their road to the NHL, at least with the Red Wings, almost always involves at least a few years’ worth (if not half a decade’s worth) of proving themselves as proficient players in Major Junior and/or NCAA hockey and then the pro ranks, usually playing for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and/or AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, before they earn a shot with the big club.

All Wings fans like you and me can do between now and then is cheer these players on and hope for the best, because, by and large, these are really quality young men and they’re going to work their butts off to become the players whose jerseys you can buy half a decade from now. Some will succeed and some won’t, but we can all cheer them on along the way.

All of that being said, the Red Wings’ prospects made some lasting impressions over the past week, including a very spirited effort in today’s scrimmage and “skills competition,” a.k.a. a shootout.  Team Zetterberg defeated Team Lidstrom 7-5, Landon Ferraro and Mitchell Callahan engaged in a kind-of-sort-of fight and more than the score—I’m sure that Nick Barnowski will write a superb narrative recap tomorrow, so I’m gonna let him take care of that because I’m honestly exhausted—the players began to look like Red Wings in terms of their style of play, urgency and execution, and especially given how utterly…amateurish…some of them looked during Sunday’s scrimmage, it was remarkable and heartening to see them digesting the drills they’d been put through and ever-so-subtly progress.

There was a plain old snicker-inducing moment or three, too, because Chris Chelios coached Team Zetterberg, and he iced
five defensemen on more than one occasion. The Travis Ehrhardt-Brian Lashoff-Piche line held its own pretty well, especially against Team Lidstrom’s very dominant Trevor Parkes-Brent Raedeke-Gustav Nyquist line, but they shouldn’t quit their day jobs! wink

For reference purposes, here are the rosters of the two teams:

Team Lidstrom:


38 Thomas McCollum
66 Tyson Teichmann*


2 Brendan Smith
32 Adam Almquist
64 Danny Dekeyser*
42 Max Nicastro
15 Richard Nedomlel
62 Ryan Sproul
3 Brad Walch*


47 Brent Raedeke
14 Gustav Nyquist
60 Trevor Parkes
70 Willie Coetzee
58 Landon Ferraro
58 Nick Oslund
68 Adam Estoclet*
24 Dean Chelios*
63 Julien Cayer
45 Casey Fraser*

Injured: Gleason Fournier

Team Zetterberg:


34 Petr Mrazek
31 Evan Mosher*


25 Brian Lashoff
54 Sebastien Piche
27 Travis Ehrhardt
56 Bryan Rufenach
61 Xavier Ouellet
75 Artem Sergeev*
77 Jake Chelios*
41 Nick Jensen


28 Tomas Jurco
53 Louis-Marc Aubry
65 Mitchell Callahan
71 Travis Novak*
50 Brooks Macek
74 Alan Quine
29 Marek Tvrdon
73 Phillipe Hudon
72 Zachery Franko*
49 Jesse Fraser*

Note: Players with an * next to their names are try-outs.

And the lines the teams employed, by and large:

Team Lidstrom:

Trevor Parkes-Brent Raedeke-Gustav Nyquist
Nick Oslund-Landon Ferraro-Williee Coetzee
Adam Estcolet-Dean Chelios-Julien Cayer and/or Casey Fraser

Brendan Smith-Adam Almqvist
Danny Dekeyser-Ryan Sproul
Richard Nedomlel-Max Nicastro and/or Brad Walch

Thomas McCollum started and Tyson Teichmann spelled him.

Team Zetterberg:

Zachery Franko-Louis-Marc Aubry-Phillipe Hudon
Tomas Jurco-Brooks Macek-Mitchell Callahan
Travis Novak-Alan Quine-Jesse Fraser/Marek Tvrdon (He didn’t play much because he’s still recovering from blisters on his feet)

Brian Lashoff-Travis Ehrhardt
Sebastien Piche-Nick Jensen
Jake Chelios-Artem Sergeev
Xavier Ouellet-Bryan Rufenach

Petr Mrazek started and Evan Mosher relieved him.

And this is where I’d usually write about five pages of player assessments, but on a Thursday night where I’d love to wrap everything in a tidy little bow so we can all start worrying about Chris Osgood and Kris Draper’s futures, and especially given that the reason I’m here is because you’ve paid for it…

I’m beat. I’m not quite sure what to say other than that I can reassess players or provide more in-depth analysis over the next few days (I’ll be traveling home on Friday in the early afternoon), and if there are players you really want me to focus a good page on, I can do that, but eight days in, I’m sorry because I’m only going to be able to give you a few sentences on each player tonight. That’s what I can give ya because there are 39 of ‘em and I just don’t have the energy to go till 2 or 3 tonight.

And I guess that’s where I need to say the other thing—obviously it’s not about me, and I’m only one pair of eyes here. I got Parkes wrong last year (I didn’t see his skill set fitting in) and the Wings liked him—instead, I thought the Wings were going to sign Darren Archibald, who the Canucks picked up—and it’s an art for the Wings, too. We’re making educated guesses, and here are my cursory ones for this evening:

Thomas McCollum: McCollum’s at the point in his career where Jimmy Howard was three years ago and Chris Osgood was in 1992 or 1993—and he might need to talk to Chris Osgood, if not his hockey hero, Dominik Hasek, to get over the fact that he starts giving up more and more bad goals after he can’t put the last one behind him. He’s 6’2” and 210 healthy pounds of ever-improving athlete, his hybrid technique is fantastic, the puck just seems to hit him when he’s on and his glove, blocker, stick, lateral mobility, you name it, they’re damn good. On top of that is a big brain on his shoulders, and it’s the cause of, and solution to, what’s holding him back.

Tyson Teichmann: I’ve seen Daniel Larsson make small look big and I’ve seen Tyson Teichmann, who is all of 150 pounds soaking wet, make small look big, and what he does differently is that he gets to the top of the crease, keeps his hands up and in front of him and, when he’s got pads that are suitable to block the puck without leaving bruises, he moves around the crease superbly well and stays square to the shooter, and doesn’t overcommit. But there are holes from time to time because he is, well, small.

Evan Mosher: Mosher does overcommit on occasion, and when he does, it’s trouble, because the goalie with a Hasek-tight glove and blocker plays a classic Quebec Butterfly style. He’s technically perfect at what he does, but there also isn’t anything about him that really stands out, which is why it was so bloody hard to get a read on him. All I can say is that he’s beatable in a somewhat predictable fashion, and he’s going to have to show more during the prospect tournament.

Petr Mrazek: Mrazek gave up a bad goal by trying to turn his glove over a-la Marc-Andre Fleury during the scrimmage, but he usually looks like anything but. Mrazek’s not overly big but he’s a fine hybrid netminder who doesn’t get flustered (ironically enough) and has both an excellent technique and superb athletic instincts. He’s come miles and miles from where he was last year in terms of physical shape and he’s going to get better.

Brendan Smith: Elite puck-moving defenseman who can skate superbly, take charge of the rush, make plays, pinch properly, and possesses quite the edge as well? You bet. A sort of Niklas Kronwall in the making, except at a lanky 6’2?” Yep. NHL-ready? Not sure yet, especially in the upper-body strength department. Let’s see how he performs in the fall prospect tournament before the Wings’ most talent prospect is handed a roster spot based on theory.

Adam Almqvist: He played much, much better as the camp went on and was outstanding paired with Smith during scrimmages, but he remains a highly-skilled defenseman who’s as small as Smith is large, from his stick to his body to his…Everything. He definitely has professional experience and he’s a fantastic playmaker and subtle shooter, and he’s not bad in board battles, either, but he also struggled somewhat to deal with the faster pace on the North American-sized rink.

Danny Dekeyser: Dekeyser is simply a solid stay-at-home defenseman who’s mobile, physical, moves the puck well and won’t be seen again till next summer at the earliest. He’d make a pretty solid free-agent signing if he wasn’t more likely to grow back with Western Michigan. It might take another year’s worth of work for him to get an opportunity to prove that he’s more than a very soli wrench.

Max Nicastro: Needs work. He’s bigger, he’s stronger, he’s probably faster and his heads-up playmaking and puck movement are matched by good positioning and a healthy dose of grit, but he needs to go back to Boston University and become a dominant offensive defenseman at the NCAA level.

Richard Nedomlel: Frickin’ gigantic, frickin’ raw. Got much better as the days went on and his antibiotic treatment waned. He’s got loads and loads of potential as a gigantic stay-at-home physical defenseman with good mobility and solid puck skills, but he’s got a lot of filling out to do in terms of both his conditioning, skating and fundamentals of his game.

Ryan Sproul: At all of 18, 6’2” or 6’3” and skinny as can be, this heads-up-puck-mover is a superb natural shooter with a wicked shot, great passing and playmaking abilities and a bit of an edge…Brendan Smith II? Maybe down the line.

Brad Walch: Walch didn’t stand out and that was frustrating to watch. Walch has some skills and is more than a depth defenseman, but I couldn’t figure him out other than to issue the, “He could keep up” assessment.

Brian Lashoff: As I’ve said before, a Brad Stuart in the making. Just rock-rock-rock solid as a #3/4 defenseman who can keep up with a highly-skilled partner while serving as a penalty-killer and physical foundational defenseman that you build your defense around. Great leader, great young man, and very driven.

Travis Ehrhardt: More of a glue guy and an Andreas Lilja-style no-frills, physical defenseman, Ehrhardt’s bulked up without slowing down and his skills have improved to the point that he and Lashoff made a fantastic defensive pair. Both need to take bigger roles with the Griffins and continue to grow, but they make quite the second pairing.

Sebastien Piche: Sigh. So much innate athletic talent, such a flair for the dramatic and such remarkable inconsistency. Is he the Brett Lebda the Wings thought they had developing into a #5 defenseman with surprising offensive flair in 2006 or 2007 or is he a career ECHL’er and AHL’er? The answer is yes and no, depending on the shift, for the speedy but small defenseman who can talk a big game and back it up when he feels like it.

Bryan Rufenach: I’m not sure whether the Wings will sign him and hope that the “equation” finally comes together or whether he’s ran out of time. He’s also an undersized but more skilled defenseman than Piche, with a really hard shot, good positioning and superb playmaking abilities, but he’s still not quite strong enough and not quite consistent enough for someone whose rights expire in the middle of August.

Xavier Ouellet: Such a prototypical Red Wings defenseman that it’s silly. Decently big and growing, Ouellet has a rocket of a shot, is a good skater and a natural puck-mover who didn’t need to be prompted to play the way Curt Fraser and the Wings prescribe. Lots of potential and tons of time to grow into himself and to become a better player. He’s three weeks into his career as a member of the organization, but the way he plays, the Wings may as well have had his rights since birth.

Artem Sergeev: A wild card in more ways than one because he’s so slick and so Russian at times and so very ordinary at others. His skills are clearly there and he’s mobile, very well-built and he’s smart but after a year playing with the Val-d’Or Foreurs, Igor Larionov’s client needs to learn more English and French, feel a little more comfortable doing his own thing and hopefully showing some grit during the prospect tournament.

Jake Chelios: Bigger and scrappier than his brother, Jake could either become a silky-smooth offensive defenseman or an agitating forward with good passing and shooting skills, but what he needs more than anything is two more years to grow into his body and earn more ice time at Michigan State.

Nick Jensen: Somewhere between Nicastro and Sproul, Jensen’s also pretty darn thin and pretty darn mobile for a right-shooting, collegiate defenseman but I really like what I’ve seen from him from last year to this season. He was tremendously talented but both waif-thin and didn’t have much confidence at all last summer, and this time around, he looked like a heady defenseman who could keep up with, if not dictate the tempo of his team’s breakout at times.

Gleason Fournier is both under contract and will turn pro with the Grand Rapids Griffins this fall, but as he had shoulder surgery, I only saw him once or twice, working out with his teammates. Whether the sleek-skating slick-playmaking defenseman starts out with the Griffins or Walleye will be determined in September.

Brent Raedeke: A consummate professional grinder with more to give. Raedeke is never going to grow another two inches or score at the rate he did as a junior-aged player, but the Grand Rapids Griffins forward is much more than a penalty-killer and faceoff-winning defensive forward. He can deke and dangle on occasion and is a pretty dang good playmaker. He’s not as physical as Justin Abdelkader and not as fast as Darren Helm by any stretch of the imagination, but he has as much substance.

Gustav Nyquist: He’s going to have a hard time adjusting to the pace of play at the AHL level and the strength of the players he plays against, to the tune of some serious ups and downs in terms of his offensive output and more than a few hard checks taken, but he’s a consummate sniper. If Jurco’s a magician, Nyquist is a virtuoso. Dekes, dangles, gives and goes, is a sneaky fast skater and loves to generate offense on the cycle, get open for one-timers and lurk around the net. High-end, high-octane offensive forward with some filling out to do, he is in fact an ace in the hole.

Trevor Parkes: The Power grinder. Loves to charge headlong up the wing or toward the net, ragging the puck along. I’m not sure what his “upside” is offensively as a pro, but he’s going to score goals in bunches in the QMJHL with the Armada and is going to overpower his opponents. Hard, hard-working and conscientious enough to help Raedeke backcheck.

Willie Coetzee: The Whirling Dervish really needs…Playing time, more than anything, whether it’s in the ECHL or AHL, to bring his fantastic hands, superb skating and gorgeous goal-scoring and passing skills together. He’s got a good head on his shoulders to boot and he just flies out there, but he needs to get a little stronger and just play to continue to adjust to pro hockey, because the skill set he has offers tremendous promise if he can just put it together and get it all going in the same direction on a consistent basis.

Landon Ferraro: The Thomas McCollum of the forward lines. I’ve seen him over two summers and really don’t believe that he has an “attitude problem” in the ego department—he has an “attitude problem” in that he takes himself so very seriously and is so very hard on himself when he doesn’t dazzle offensively—and my goodness, is he a fast-skating playmaking center of the first order who has 20-goal, 50-plus-point potential at the NHL Level—that his frustration level is incredibly low, and when you let him take himself out of the game, he’s just another small, speedy forward. It’s hard to watch because sometimes it’s Landon who needs to forget that “Ferraro’s” on the back of his jersey the most. Be yourself, Landon….

Nick Oslund: Like Rufenach, he’s just ran out of time. He scored two goals in the scrimmage and was Ferraro’s faithful forechecking winger, and I’ve seen him evolve from this big hunk of meat into an all-round grinder with size and strength to spare and the hands to surprise his opponents and keep up on a scoring line when needed, but…His tools are there and the toolbox is yet unfinished, and his rights expire in August. I hope he gets to the prospect tournament and knocks people on their asses and turns some heads because he needs to do so to remain a part of the organization.

Adam Estoclet: Hands and feet, hands and feet. Ever so slight at 170 pounds, maybe, and out of college options, he’s probably going to turn pro in the ECHL or AHL and hope to latch on with an NHL team…He’s certainly got the skill and skating to do it, but he’s just not very strong.

Dean Chelios: Dean is a different kind of slick than Jake—he’s smaller, more compact (one might say stocky) and is a playmaking center whose physical conditioning needs to catch up with his skill set. He’s got three more years to do more than deke and dangle.

Julien Cayer: Going into his senior season at Clarkson, Rufenach’s one-time teammate is starting to look like Trevor Parkes. He’s a grinder with speed who pursues pucks and hunts down his opponents when he’s on. He needs to get a little more consistent as he fades into the boards at times.

Casey Fraser and Jesse Fraser: Again, the Fraser boys had fun more than anything else, but like their father, they have quite the edge to them, and at times, Casey and Jesse scored some absolutely gorgeous goals and laid their opponents out. They’re not going to be pro hockey players, but in their own way, they were real leaders because they just stayed quiet and worked their butts off.

Tomas Jurco: Yes, yes, yes, he is the magician. He does indeed come from the Slovkian Power Forward Factory and he does indeed have the build of Tomas Kopecky but with better speed and much, much better hands, able to deke and dangle and give and go and mostly walk around, if not through, his opponents while charging to the net and scoring goals, or at least making his opponents look silly while he tries to generate offense. He’s also a very hard-working young man who won’t back down from his opponents, but…

He’s 18, he’s inconsistent, his big frame is underpowered and underdeveloped and he looked like the player who became the most physically exhausted over the course of the camp. If Nyquist is the ace in the hole, Jurco is the royal flush, but he’s got a very long road and a lot of hard on and off-ice work to do before he’s plying his trade for his favorite team.

Marek Tvrdon: And if Jurco is the royal flush, Tvrdon is the joker. Between not playing for eight months, blisters on his feet and his very evident need for some filling out physically, the Wings truly hope that they’ve got a more classic Slovakian Power Forward of the Kopecky-post-Detroit variety—i.e. he’s from the top side of the shelf, but not the cookie jar where Nyquist and Jurco come from—but they won’t know until Tvrdon finds out by playing a full season in the WHL, at the earliest.

Travis Novak: Hands and feet, but with much more puck-ragging ability than Estcolet. Novak carries the puck up the ice, carries it down the ice and looks like a gorgeously skilled player while doing so, but he’s skinnier than Estcolet. Hopefully he and Jensen both have excellent seasons at Saint Cloud State and hopefully Novak finds a way to put on some weight and power, because he can really fly.

Zachery Franko: Franko is also all hands and feet, and is possibly the smallest of the Estcolet-Novak crowd at maybe 165 pounds with his shoes on, but he has a little more all-round ability in addition to being a speedy puck-mover and he’s going to back to the WHL to hopefully dominate for the Kelowna Rockets, where the Wings found Franko while watching Mitchell Callahan play. Smart kid, hard worker, understands that he’s got a hard road to go.

Brooks Macek: Another Sebastien Piche of the forward lines, sometimes he’s the classic small-but-fleet-footed Red Wings playmaking center, with less grit and a little less upside than Ferraro but not much less in the skill department, and sometimes he disappears because he’s neither that strong nor that consistent.

Alan Quine: Boy, do they ever make ‘em small…But Quine is sort of a Franko-Novak hybrid. He’s faster with the puck on his stick than he is without it, he’s an excellent center or winger in terms of moving the puck up the ice, making plays, and going to the front of the net or cycling, and he’s just so damn enthusiastic about the work he has to put in, to the point that he was the player most likely to have a smile on his face not named Mitchell Callahan.

Phillipe Hudon: Hudon isn’t as big as he looks—which is a good thing. He was very evidently a step behind some players because he’d spent the past season playing in high school and pushing around kids who were smaller and younger than him, and the 18-to-23-year-old crowd pushed him around, but he didn’t back down and he knocked them around on occasion, too. He’s got a solid shot and good skills and he skates very well for someone who’s going to grow an inch or two and hopefully eventually tip the scales at 210 or 215 pounds, but he’s going to need all four years at Cornell to round into the player the Wings hope he can become.

Mitchell Callahan: Mitchell actually faded as the camp went on, which surprised me, but it might be because he’s bulked up so damn much over the past season that he needs to back off a bit. He’s never going to be particularly big and he’s never going to put up the kind of points at the NHL level that he did in the WHL, but the speedy and two dump trucks’ worth of gravel gritty Callahan’s style and substance are summarized by the fact that he’s chosen not to have permanent teeth affixed where he lost his two front incisors. He pops ‘em out for games and plays like you’d hope a toothless grinding winger would, going to the net with reckless abandon, digging pucks up in corners and just plain old ticking people off. The funny thing, again, about Callahan is that he is in fact a pretty darn serious and studious person wrapped in a goofball’s shell. He works hard and takes his job very seriously. It just doesn’t look like he does.

Louis-Marc Aubry: What a difference a year makes. This gigantic and stick-thin young man came into last summer’s camp with a barely audible voice said he was taking notes and hoped to take what he’d learn and become more than this gangly kid with remarkable defensive awareness and superb skating for someone who’d grown 4 inches. Now at somewhere between 6’4” and 6’5’ and still only about 190 pounds, he came to camp and took notes, worked hard and did his best to remain serious and studious, but this time his arms and legs were going in the same direction, he looked like a much better and more efficient skater, he did very well in the stickhandling drills and he fit in just fine in Fraser’s up-tempo puck-possession system, bumping a few bodies along the way (although his positioning and willingness to battle for the puck along the boards and in the corners outrank his physicality) and scoring some gorgeous goals from time to time. Big potential, big brain.

And if you didn’t hear ‘em, here are the interviews I posted earlier today:

I spoke to Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill about the prospect camp and its own development over time (in terms of both on and off-ice work), as well as his thoughts about some of the players who’ve stood out, his moves as the de-facto GM of the Grand Rapids Griffins, his takes on the Red Wings’ free agent signings, coaching changes and a little bit about Chris Osgood and Kris Draper’s futures, too. We talked for fourteen minutes. It’s a huge file as well so please be warned*

Download file

I also spoke with Tomas Jurco about his impressions regarding the camp and his summer plans…

Download file

As well as Landon Ferraro, who says that he felt around 80-85%...

Download file

Mitchell Callahan, who fought Ferraro (they’re friends)...

Download file

And Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer, who talked about the messages the Wings are trying to impart upon their prospects, the evolution of the camp over time and his status as the Czech under-20 team’s assistant coach. I believe the Fischer interview is six or seven minutes long:

Download file

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SYF's avatar

I bow to you, George.  Your writings on the Wings prospect camp is phenomenal.  No one can give us Wings fan proper insights any better than you.  I am very happy with all of it.

So a million, “THANKS!!!” for everything.  Get some R&R and a cold Shirley Temple.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 07/15/11 at 01:42 AM ET

VooX's avatar

Great work, Malik, thanks for your diligence.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 07/15/11 at 02:42 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Once again, it’s after midnight here in the Pacific time zone, and once again I’m only now caught up on today’s prospect camp news.  At the risk of repeating myself from previous posts, I’ll just echo what others have said and offer my thanks for bringing us such detailed reports. 

It’ll be fun to see how these guys will have progressed by September when the annual prospects tournament rolls around.  I’m already looking forward to it.  Just say the word and I’ll gladly contribute a few dollars to the cause.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 07/15/11 at 04:26 AM ET


Great reports George, now I just hope you remembered to turn your alarm off for this morning.

Posted by Dahrken from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/15/11 at 08:54 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

You are the man, George.

Thanks for all of your great recaps from TC!

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/15/11 at 09:25 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

You paid for my stay so I figured that you’re owed your money’s worth. I hope this was a solid enough “short” take…and please do let me know what you’d like me to do over the next few days in “review.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/15/11 at 09:31 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Adam Almqvist: ...he remains a highly-skilled defenseman who’s as small as Smith is large, from his stick to his body to his…Everything.

Um, everything? Geez, Goeorge, I think that might fall in the “too much information” category. smile

As for your reports, well, they’re phenominal. It’s what guys like Kahn(!) and the Detroit writers should be providing. But we’re all thrilled that you’re there to give us your own unique brand of hockey insight into the players who will be impacting the Griffins and the Wings in the future.

...please do let me know what you’d like me to do over the next few days in “review.”

Okay, since you asked, I think the one thing that would make future prospect evaluations more complete would be to add the following info right after their name: Position, Age, Height, Weight, Draft Status. As in…

Brian Lashoff: Defense, 20, 6’-3”, 204, signed as a free agent in 2008.

I know a lot of that info appears from time to time in the evaluations, but having it all in one place at the beginning sort of rounds out your excellent narratives. Anyway, just a suggestion.

Thanks again for all of your hard work.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/15/11 at 12:40 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Thanks, George. I’m still amazed at the sheer volume and level of detail you were somehow able to put out. Just great!

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 07/15/11 at 01:37 PM ET


Awesome stuff, George.  I don’t think I’ve posted a comment through the entire camp, but I’ve eagerly read every word.  I certainly got way more than my money’s worth. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Posted by BobTheZee on 07/15/11 at 03:12 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Just plain Holee Sh1t.

Posted by RWBill on 07/15/11 at 07:36 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.