Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Impressions from the Red Wings’ loss to the St. Louis Blues at the Wings’ prospect tournament ‘17

What does one do as a prospect evaluator--and as a biased observer--when one's "team" goes 1-and-3 at the prospect tournament that it hosts every year? Do you look for prospects to pick on? Bash the coaching? Lament the state of the organization if its prospects can only win one of four games?

I don't know how you might react, but as somone who's been watching the Red Wings' prospects for some time now, I will readily admit that Detroit's 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues was both depressing and, as Axel Holmstrom suggested, simply unacceptable from a team that was coming off back-to-back appearances in the tournament's championship game.

The Red Wings' players and coaches came into the tournament with high expectations, and there's no doubt that the Red Wings simply didn't deliver adequate performances.

That being said, I find little exercise in cranking up negativity for the sake of wallowing in disappointment. The Red Wings' prospects didn't excel as a team, but there were individual performances and performers who stood out, and even in mistake-making, the players were learning how to play at a professional level, many of them for the first time.

MLive's Brendan Savage provides a narrative recap of the Wings-Blues game...

The Blues finished fifth thanks to five unanswered goals in the final two periods after free agent invite Luke Kutkevicius gave Detroit a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.

Tage Thompson scored twice for St. Louis, which got one goal from Greg Meireles, Robert Thomas and Filip Helt. St. Louis finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.

The Red Wings, who had played in the championship game three times in the past four years and won it in 2013, had a 1-3 record.

Kaden Fulcher made 23 saves in goal for the Red Wings, who took six minor penalties. St. Louis scored once on the power play and Detroit was 0-for-5 with a manpower advantage.

There were also two fights.

Dominik Shine, who led the Red Wings with three goals in the tournament, dropped his gloves with Sean Allen in the second period and Red Wings 2017 draft pick Cole Fraser fought former Red Wings draft pick Mike McKee less than four minutes later.

As did StLouisBlues.com's Chris Pinkert:

After falling behind 1-0 in the first period Tuesday, the Blues prospects scored five unanswered goals to earn a 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Traverse City.

With the victory, the Blues improved to 3-1 in the round-robin NHL Prospects Tournament and took a fifth-place finish overall.

Tage Thompson - who was the Blues' leading point producer - added two goals and an assist in Tuesday's win. He finished the tournament with four goals and nine points - which leads all players in the tournament with two games left to play tonight (Carolina vs. Minnesota and Columbus vs. Chicago).

Robert Thomas - the Blues' first pick in the 2017 NHL Draft - scored his first goal of the tournament in the third period in Tuesday's victory and finished the with one goal and four assists overall in Traverse City.

Goalie Evan Fitzpatrick made 26 saves in Tuesday's win.

Update: DetroitRedWings.com's Arthur J. Regner added some quotes in his "Trending" recap:

Filip Hronek: At the conclusion of Red Wings development camp in early July, Detroit officials raved about the game of defenseman Filip Hronek. He showed a gritty side, a willingness to mix it up and the occasional offensive flair. Hronek will spend this upcoming season in Grand Rapids and if he continues to progress, the hope is he would compete for a spot on Wings next season. However, the timeline may be pushed back a bit based on Hronek's prospects tournament. In four games, he failed to register a point, was a minus-7 and had six minutes in penalties - all taken in the final game against the Blues.   

Quotable: "It's a combination of things, being inconsistent and trying to do too much. Last night he played really well, but with a quick turnaround today, I think he was trying to push too hard and do too much and that comes with more experience. There are things that are very teachable and blatant that we can fix by teaching him how to play the right way. It's four games in an exhibition tournament. I think we'll get a better indication of where everybody is at after main camp is over." - Nelson

As for myself and my player assessments: I'm not going to "grade on a curve" to excuse difficult performances, and I'm not going to hold back criticism, but I am going to slightly accentuate the positive and be as realistic as I can in offering decent assessments of the good and bad of the prospects who took part in the tournament:


Dylan Sadowy #44--Michael Rasmussen #27--Evgeny Svechnikov #77

Dylan Sadowy #44: Sadowy finished with 2 goals on 14 shots through 4 games played, giving the 6,' 205-pound winger a tie for second place in team scoring...and what Sadowy did during the prospect tournament was take some very big steps forward in terms of adapting his game to the style of play necessary to succeed in pro hockey. As Sadowy prepares for a season with the Grand Rapids Griffins or Toledo Walleye, the silky-smooth passer and skater started to actually shoot the damn puck, and as is usually the result of shooting the puck, one finds that simply generating scoring chances whenever possible will result in more opportunities for goal-scoring success. Sadowy is a smart player with a solid edge to him, as evidenced by the scrap he got into, and Sadowy's passing is excellent, his shot is good, though not particularly hard, and he skates superbly well as he pays attention to detail in all three zones. He had a good tournament offensively, and the 21-year-old looks to be ready to assuage his rough pro debut last season.

Michael Rasmussen #27: Michael Rasmussen would be a more effective offensive player if he afforded himself an ego, but at 18, there should be very few limits placed upon the potential of the 6'6," 221-pound Tri-City Americans captain. Rasmussen was so incredibly focused upon making the safe, steady and smart play during the tournament that he became something of a Valtteri Filppula-like player--someone over-committed to playing safe defense--and Rasmussen never really displayed his net-crashing abilities as a result. He tried to helm his line as a puck-distributing pivot (something he is very good at doing thanks to his smart passing and stronger-than-expected skating), never really shooting the puck or charging after rebounds in front of the net (which he is supposed to be very good at doing as well). Playing in his first professional-level games that weren't part of the one World Junior Summer Showcase game he got into, Rasmussen looked a little rusty after half-a-year off, and yes, Rasmussen looked like somebody who needs to add a step to his stride and another ten or fifteen pounds to his frame. But Rasmussen is incredibly driven and remarkably serious for his age, and I fully believe that there's a lot more offense there than we have been led to believe by both Rasmussen's naysayers and the player himself.

Evgeny Svechnikov #77: Evgeny Svechnikov had an admirable tournament in everything but the results department, finishing with an assist on a second-on-the-team 15 shots taken over the course of 4 games played. Svechnikov is very evidently ready to score at the professional level, but whatever Svechnikov did at the tournament didn't go in the net, and when you get snakebitten in a short-format tournament, things can snowball. At 6'3" and 206 pounds, Svechnikov has more than enough size and strength to mash and grind his way to the net; Svechnikov has an excellent, hard shot, passes superbly, wants the puck and can play solid defense as well...But I would argue that half-a-season to a full season playing in a scorer's role in Grand Rapids of the AHL would be most beneficial to him. At this point, Svechnikov needs to get his confidence rolling, and when you're talking about a player who can realistically score 15-20 goals at the NHL level, you want him to "stay up for good" as confident in himself as possible.

Axel Holmstrom #49--Luke Esposito #58*--Dominik Shine #56*

Axel Holmstrom #49: After four seasons with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish SHL, Holmstrom is making his "North American pro" debut, and he does so as someone who is already a polished, professional hockey player, on and off the ice. Holmstrom isn't overly big at 6'1" and an optimistically-listed 219 pounds, but he's stocky and steady on his skates. He moves those half-white Reeboks quite well, and while he's never going to be labeled a speedster, Holmstrom finished with a goal and an assist on 7 shots because he does what Rasmussen doesn't (at this level) yet--he goes to the slot, shoots pucks from the slot, and chases after the rebounds. He's not going to be a goalie-screening machine like the first Holmstrom to play for the Red Wings, but I believe that Axel's all-round skating, shooting, passing and two-way abilities will eventually bring him to the NHL level. Whether that's as a grinder or a scorer, I'm not sure yet, but from a maturity standpoint at least, Axel is already ready. He just needs to play a season or two of North American pro hockey to get used to the scheduling grind and level of play.

Luke Esposito #58*: I can't say whether Esposito will make the NHL, but he's certainly impressed his potential coach. With 2 assists and a +2 on 8 shots (on a team full of "minus" players), Esposito is a little (5'10," 183 listed pounds) speedster and puck-carrying dynamo who wins faceoffs, generates scoring chances and distributes the puck as well as he lugs it up the ice. The 24-year-old graduate of Harvard is no shrinking violet despite his size, and there are hints of grit to his game. He had a very good tournament....

Dominik Shine #56*: But not as good as Dominik Shine's tournament. Shine led the Wings in scoring with 3 goals and 2 assists for 5 points in 4 games, he led the team in shots with 16, and he got into a spirited bout against the Blues (and tried to get in a second fight as the clock wound down). Shine had a dream tournament for a player who is fighting for an AHL job, displaying fantastic skating speed, a hard, accurate shot that he is unafraid to unleash on a regular basis, he's a good passer (good enough that he played point on the power play) and has two-way awareness. At 5'11" and 175 pounds, the 24-year-old graduate of Northern Michigan University gives no quarter to anyone, and while his NHL upside may be somewhat limited, at the AHL level or ECHL level, he's going to score.

Givani Smith #48--Dominic Turgeon #23 "A"-- Zach Gallant #64:

Givani Smith #48: Givani, another of the Wings' fighters against the Blues, did his best to intimidate, instigate and otherwise agitate throghout the tournament. The question regarding the 6'2," 206-pound Guelph Storm forward is whether there is more to him than a forechecking, backchecking, cross-checking and clutch-and-grabbing pest in there, and at 19, there is some maturing to be done for Smith on the ice and in terms of his tendencies to want to muck and grind his way to the puck when he's got the skating chops to simply beat players in a race between two points. Top nine? Top six? Fourth-line grinder? It's hard to say with Smith, and the trajectory of the remainder of his Major Junior career will help determine where he slots in.

Dominic Turgeon #23 "A": Turgeon finished "even" with an assist and 11 shots in the prospect tournament, and while his offensive results were somewhat lacking, Turgeon showed that he can in fact succeed as more than a consummate checking forward who loves nothing more than mucking, grinding, mashing, crashing and otherwise doggedly out-working, out-hustling and out-grinding his opponents in puck battles in open ice, along the boards, in front of and behind the net, in the faceoff circle and anywhere else that there can be a puck battle to be won. The only forward on the team who wore "shot blockers" on his skates, the 6'2," 200-pound 19-year-old is tremendously mature for his age and he excelled as a checking forward in Grand Rapids last season; now he's trying to add some offense to his game, and I'm not sure what the results will be, but Turgeon is at the top of the heap of checking forwards in the Wings' organization, and he's not going to give up his title any time soon.

Zach Gallant #64: I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not sure I would have put Gallant in given that Lane Zablocki had such good chemistry with Smith and Turgeon, but: Gallant had a good game, and the 6'2," 198-pound Peterborough Petes center looked a lot steadier and calmer playing on the wing. Gallant is a checking center who wasn't quite able to physically keep up with the pace of play or the size of his opponents at the prospect tournament, but he sure worked his ass off trying to do so. He finished at -4 because he was on a checking line that tended to get overpowered.

Sean Josling #76**--Luke Kutkevicius #78**--Isaac Johnson #75**:

Sean Josling #76**: Josling proved to be the smoother, slicker and more offensively inclined member of the Josling-Johnson duo, and the 5'11," 166-pound free agent from Sarnia of the OHL worked very hard to keep up with both the pace of play and the size of his opponents. For the most part, Josling succeeded, but there were times that he was part of a line that just got out-classed by its opponents.

Luke Kutkevicius #78**: Kutkevicius managed to score a pretty goal on Tuesday, an the 6'1," 162-pound Windsor Spitfires forward brought a good attitude to the tournament, but he's just not very strong in the 160-pound range, and there were times that he got knocked off the puck or plain old demurred to bigger, stronger and more experienced opponents. For Kutkevicius and most of the try-outs and first-year players, the prospect tournament was a baptism by fire, and nothing good can come of that. That doesn't speak to Kutkevicius's potential or the lack thereof; the fourth line and third defensive pair tended to struggle, and that happens.

Isaac Johnson #75: Johnson hacked and whacked his way through the Blues, and the 6'2," 174-pound winger earned his slashing penalty and then some after a tournament spent hounding his opponents. The 18-year-old from Tri-City of the USHL was physical throughout the tournament, and fast, for that matter, but there were also times that he got caught up in trying to do too much defensively.


Dennis Cholowski #53--Filip Hronek #24

Dennis Cholowski #53: Cholowski leaves the prospect tournament and heads for main camp with a goal and a +3 on 6 shots, and Cholowski leaves the prospect tournament and heads for the main camp having impressed a lot of people and turned a lot of heads. He remains very much so a work in progress, and a player whose disparate tools require a toolbox, but the 6'1," 200-pound Cholowski is an excellent wide-legged skater who can make plays with superb vision, lug the puck up ice himself with well-timed pinches, shoot hard shots at the net and skate tremendously well forward, backward and laterally. Cholowski's biggest problem is a lack of experience, and that lack of experience led to some scoring chances against because he's still learning how to sort out the right angles with which to steer opposing players away from the net. With time and patience, Cholowski should blossom into a top-four offensive defenseman. I'd like to see him get a little pissed off from time to time, however--Cholowski is almost too cool a cucumber, and playing in the WHL should remedy that.

Filip Hronek #24: The same is true for Hronek, but Hronek learned the hard way far too regularly over the course of the prospect tournament, finishing at an ugly -7. Everyone who speaks about Hronek agrees that the 6,' 164-pound defenseman has the most raw skill of any of the Wings' defensive prospects, but Hronek's dangerous and dashing puck-rushes, absolute rocket shots from the point, his seeing-eye passes and mean streak a mile wide don't make up for the fact that he's undersized, underpowered and far too willing to make dangerous plays at the wrong time. He's going to have to learn over time and with experience how to properly strike a balance between his tremendous offensive capabilities and the fact that he is playing the defenseman's position. If he can put his shit together, Hronek has the biggest potential of anybody on the team, but whether he puts his game together is up for debate. He's such a horse.

Libor Sulak #47--Vili Saarijarvi #29 "A":

Libor Sulak #47: I hate to make predictions based upon a four-game-in-five-night prospect tournament, but if I look at Sulak's -6 in 3 games played and I look at the way the lanky 6'2," 207-pound cowboy-bowlegged defenseman played against what was essentially pro level competition, I would suggest that Sulak will probably head back to the Lahti Pelicans of the Finnish Liiga and get bigger, stronger and more experienced at the professional level of hockey. There's nothing to dislike about Sulak's game other than the mistakes he makes due to inexperience and a still-developing body at 23 years of age--which is to say that he skates extremely well, he passes superbly with a stick as long as his lanky arms and legs, he lugs the puck up ice with aplomb, his shot is accurate if not hard, and his vision and gap control especially are quite good...But Sulak was making the same sorts of mistakes as both Cholowski (wrong angles, this time because Sulak had never played on the North American-width 85-foot rink) and Hronek (making dangerous individual plays when simpler, safer, steadier play will do). I expect Sulak to remain one of the Wings' brighter prospects as he matures and "turns North American pro" next year.

Vili Saarijarvi #29 "A": The affable Saarijarvi is the most well-rounded of the Wings' offensive defenseman prospects, and for that reason, Saarijarvi is the closest to making the NHL, even though he's still 5'10" and a muscular 174 pounds. Saarijarvi's vision yields excellent gap control, smart poke-checks, strong puck-tackling (soccer-style separation of puck from stick via a bodycheck) and superb all-round defensive play; Saarijarvi, like Hronek, can seem to float above the ice as much as glide on it, so his skating is superior, and he passes, head-mans plays via passing or puck-carrying, shoots and even checks with aplomb despite his lack of size. Saarijarvi isn't going to get much bigger, but the fact that he worked out with NHL'ers and basically spent the summer in Metro Detroit showed that he's willing to put in the extra mile(s) necessary to physically mature. He's just turning pro at 20, and he's going to have a good rookie pro seson in Grand Rapids--for starters.

Cole Fraser #74--Reilly Webb #50

Cole Fraser #74: Fraser displayed a massive set of cajones by fighting 6'6," 250-pound Mike McKee, getting the upper hand, and the 6'2," 191-pound Peterborough Petes defenseman was at his best when he was himself--mean. Fraser made his share of mistakes, and there were times that even the 2SP-trained Fraser got overpowered in physical battles, but at 18, there's a little more forgiveness to be had because he was taking part in his first prospect tournament. He was steady as he possibly could be, and that was generally enough.

Reilly Webb #50: Another 2017 draft pick, Webb had more trouble with physical battles despite his 6'3," 201-pound size, and Webb displayed that he's more of a project going forward. The Hamilton Bulldogs defenseman finished the same -3 that Fraser did, but Webb didn't make as much of an impact. His tremendous wingspan is intriguing and he's got more to give.


Kaden Fulcher #60**: Fulcher came into and exited the prospect tournament as an unsigned free agent, and the 6'3," 182-pound Hamilton Bulldogs netminder admittedly had some goals go by him that he would have preferred to stop, finishing the tournament with a 4.54 goals-against average and an .864 save percentage. At the same time, Fulcher displayed admirable work ethic and work habits at both the summer development camp and at the prospect tournament, working with Wings goalie coaches Jeff Salajko and Brian Mahoney-Wilson to significantly improve his footwork and already superb technique. He's just an 18-year-old who was passed over in the draft, and he played to the extent of his present capabilities, which include an excellent blocker hand, impeccable post-to-post sliding techniques, an upright stance, a good glove, an impeccable butterfly and nice reflexes.

Matej Machovsky #68: I really don't understand why Machovsky didn't play in the Blues game. Maybe the quick turnaround caused the coaching staff to second-guess back-to-back starts, and maybe the coaches simply wanted to split starts, but Machovsky would have been better-suited for the Blues' assault. He didn't have a great tournament, finishing 1-and-1 with a 3.02 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage, but the 6'2," 187-pound HC Plzen graduate looked excellent in his win over the Rangers, and he's shown progress in terms of both his re-adjustment to North American-width ice and in terms of his adjustment to a professional pace of play. Machovsky will be best-suited to heading to Toledo to battle for the starter's spot. Machovsky's slightly scrambly style of play can cause some palpitations, but the "battling" netminder has a superb glove hand, an excellent blocker hand, solid butterfly technique and remarkably aggressive stickhandling play.


Corbin Boes #36, G**: Boes will head back to Dalhouse College by the end of training camp, and when he does, the 6'3," 225-pound goalie with a big body and a big brain will have accumulated significant time working with the Red Wings' goaltending coaches to improve his game. Boes has been nothing but an enthusiastic learner, and while he's not the quickest of foot, he's working on it.

Lane Zablocki #46: Zablocki seemed to fit in seamlessly with Turgeon and Smith, but the 6,' 190-pound winger found himself on the outside looking in on Tuesday. The Red Deer Rebels winger displayed physical panache above his weight class and safe, steady lay along the wing.

Patrick McCarron #54, D*: McCarron is battling for a spot in Grand Rapids, where the Wings' defense is stacked, and he may end up in Toledo to start, but the 6'3," 201-pound graduate of Cornell should graduate to Grand Rapids with a strong performance. Over the course of the Red Wings' prospect tournament, McCarron finished "even" with an assist and shot, which ain't bad for a stay-at-home defenseman, and he looked like a more physical and more mature version of Jordan Sambrook, who's a Swiss Army Knife. I wonder whether McCarron has the same all-round adaptability.

Jordan Sambrook #63: Sambrook admittedly needs to work on his defensive play, but the 6'2," 193-pound Erie Otters defenseman played well during the two games that he got in. Sambrook can still add strength to his frame and he can still learn to defend more efficiently, but he's been a mainstay of an OHL championship team, and the 19-year-old will continue to learn, and I believe, will continue to mature.

Brady Gilmour #67: Gilmour showed flashes of potential in the two games he got in, and at 5'10" and 170 pounds, the Saginaw Spirit center was more than able to hold his own physically against players over half-a-foot taller than him. Speedy and stocky, Gilmour did a solid job defensively, but there were times that, as you might imagine, he got overpowered, but there is room to grow (although probably not vertically).

Oliver Castleman #70: Castleman was a puzzle to me, someone who looked both hurried and someone who displayed a lot of hustle despite his 5'10," 180-pound size. The Niagara IceDogs winger can haul tail up and down the wing, and he earned an assist for his speed's sake, but he was simply out of his element against both the pro pace and the size and strength of players he was competing against. He did his best but provided something of a drop-off as compared to the third-liners.

* = Grand Rapids Griffins contract, ** = Try-out.

Over the course of the past four weeks, I've been attempting to raise enough funds to cover the costs of attending and providing content from the Red Wings' prospect tournament and main camp, and with a week left to go on my trip, I've raised $1,200 of the necessary $2,000 to actually break even when I'm headed home. If you've enjoyed the content you've read or you're willing to lend a hand, head over to http://www.paypal.me/TheMalikReport to lend a hand.

Thank you for your time, your readership and your support.

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ilovehomers's avatar

Ras and Cholo are first year pros. For Cholo to come out +3, as much as +/- can be a joke, is huge. Svech and Saarijarvi did well for being guys who have been pros.

Ill say it again, and in a general (no one person targeted), to rail against some of these prospects is a very strong disservice to them - the work they put in and will put in. Criticizing them because of where they were drafted, or how much they did or did not bulk up, etc.

Here’s to better days ahead. Larkin feeding Mantha and Ras feeding Svech.

I don’t have such high views for the defense but I digress. smile

Posted by ilovehomers on 09/12/17 at 10:53 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Also, for those who can throw some cash GM’s way, please do.

I am on much more lean times than normal, so donate a couple more “pepperoni dollars” on my behalf.

Posted by ilovehomers on 09/12/17 at 10:58 PM ET


Is it time to call the prospect tournament the KHL combine yet?

Posted by SlimChance on 09/13/17 at 12:23 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Much like the big club, the prospects are riddled with mediocrity. Saarijarvi was the only one that was a mild surprise. He looks like he really worked on his defensive game over the summer.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 09/13/17 at 08:14 AM ET


Much like the big club, the prospects are riddled with mediocrity. Saarijarvi was the only one that was a mild surprise. He looks like he really worked on his defensive game over the summer.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 09/13/17 at 08:14 AM ET

Agreed. Rasmussen was ordinary. Svech had his moments but certainly didn’t dominate against his peers. I imagine the Wings are pretty disappointed in how Hronek played. Sounds like Cholowski had mixed reviews. Holmstrom has pro-experience in Sweden so you’d expect he’d look head and shoulders better than these kids, but he didn’t. Skating is terrible. Turgeon appears to be a 4th line center at best. Givani Smith looked lost. I don’t see a 1C, 2C, 1D, or 2D in sight. But we have a few wingers and lots of depth.

Posted by fatsavage on 09/13/17 at 10:23 AM ET


I wonder, did some of you even watch the tournament? Or is everything you view of the Wing’s so negative that you can no longer see the positives? Does your dislike for Holland playing a factor into everything sucks until he’s gone? I watched all but the last half of the Chicago game and I didn’t see the negatives/mediocrity you guys are proclaim. They didn’t do great as a team but I saw far more bright spots individually. Can’t expect all of them to make the NHL yet the ones we do have that will make it, will definitely make the team better.

Svech, just because he didn’t score shouldn’t be a knock. He lugged the puck around like it was his, had some great defensive plays, made good passes and protected the puck probably the best next to Holmer. My knock on him is much like Ras, playing it safe.

Ras, for a guy his size, he can skate. He has a Mantha stride to him just a little sloppy. This pick will be an alright pick. Agree’d 100% with George, played it too safe and wasn’t crashing the net. Which he should as it’s a strong suit for him. He’s a strong kid and I was surprised by his passing abilities. For a kid that’s rarely played in the last half year, I thought he did great.

Shadowy, if this dude keeps up his confidence he’s gonna be a force, at least in the AHL which doesn’t hurt as the farm needs good players too. When he’s on he’s the Abby that Abby should be.

Holmstrom was great IMO winning faceoffs, very defensively sound. Has decent wheel for his size/weight. A year in GR and he’ll be ready for the Wing’s, sadly there’s no spots for him. He’s got some sweet puck supply abilities. I’m excited to watch him progress. Being in Sweden I haven’t had any chance to watch him.

Shine, man he played great in all aspects. Few mistakes but that happens to everyone.

Smith was ok but I don’t expect more than a 4th liner from him and haven’t since his draft.

Turgeon did exactly what a 3rd line center should do. He made plays, made mistakes but had a good showing.we must not be watching the same player, as I didn’t see many problems in his skating. Some more developing and he can make it to the main squad. Even if it’s a 4th liner, he was never projected to be more than a 3rd line center anyway. If you expect more that’s your problem.

While Hronek was bad, he had glimpses of being a highly impact offensive d-man. His problem as George and Nelson said, was him trying to do too much. If he slows it down he can be an extremely useful d-man. I saw lots of Ryan Ellis in him when he wasn’t trying to force the play instead of letting it come to him. He’s got tons of potential and could be a 2nd or 3rd d-man if he doesn’t let this tourney effect his confidence. A year or 2 in GR should do wonders in helping him slow his game down. His vision is great and the dudes a little firecracker something the wings have lacked of the backend since 08-09. Great passer.

Cholo was decent as well and has great poise for his age. The rest should come to him, has a good stride and made some great passes. He might be a “project” if he ends up getting it, he’ll be a good 2nd or 3rd pairing d-man and yes I know we have plenty of them in the org.

Jarvi, man that kid is good. I know he’s consodered a offensive d-man but his 2 way game was excellent and he made every partner he had better.

Sambrook needs work but that’s expected of a late round pick. He played great in juniors. Once he hones in his game he may be a surprise for our d-core.

For an 18 year old Fulcher was a beast in net and imo most of the goals against weren’t necessarily his fault.

Sulak should be fun to watch in his progression.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the prospect department as long as you’re being a realist. I feel for some of these kids as a good chuck of the fan base is gonna dog on them and the sad part is the dogging will most likely be due to them being Holland picks and not so much because their game. Look at the positives people and I guarrentee you will enjoy your overall life better.

Posted by benzanato on 09/13/17 at 03:18 PM ET


I wonder, did some of you even watch the tournament? Or is everything you view of the Wing’s so negative that you can no longer see the positives? Does your dislike for Holland playing a factor into everything sucks until he’s gone?

Posted by benzanato on 09/13/17 at 03:18 PM ET

Yes I watched. And I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. You can accuse me of being too negative, and I can easily accuse you of being too optimistic.

Take Svech. I said he had his moments, but for a guy who is apparently on the cusp of making an NHL impact, he wasn’t even doing that against other hopefuls. Compare that to a kid like Gurianov in Dallas. Also a 2015 1st round pick. He scored 4 goals, including a hat-trick in the final game. That’s what we hoped Svech would do in this tourney. Alex DeBrincat is another kid that stole the show.

I’m glad you were so impressed by Rasmussen. Top 10 picks should be dominating against this talent. He didn’t.

Holmstrom can’t skate. He’s a 4th line winger at best.

You said Turgeon did everything a 3rd line center should do…except score goals or generate any offense. He’s Glendening 2.0. Real exciting. Next time we need a 4th line center how about we just pluck one from waivers or sign someone for minimum wage as opposed to wasting a #63 overall pick on one.

Sulak should be fun to watch develop? Why?

I dunno. I see a couple of guys that will surely make the NHL, but likely not top tier talent. Then I see a bunch of AHL fodder.

Posted by fatsavage on 09/13/17 at 04:22 PM ET


You can accuse me of being too negative
I think you can be more negative. I believe in you. you can do it!

and I can easily accuse you of being too optimistic.
bahhhhh…..no such thing as a half full glass. no one but you takes into account there are actually spaces between the hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

Take Svech.
He was absolutely terrible. I bet he quits hockey after training camp because even he knows there’s no use in trying.

Holmstrom can’t skate. He’s a 4th line winger at best.
dang, that’s pretty positive there. I’d take him to flip burgers. that’s about all I’d trust him with.

You said Turgeon did everything a 3rd line center should do…except score goals or generate any offense.
ahhhh. Sheahan is considered a 3C on the Wings.

Sulak should be fun to watch develop? Why?
Because one leg is six inches shorter then the other…..will it catch up? who knows…...

I see a couple of guys that will surely make the NHL, but likely not top tier talent.
Me too. the Wings need people to pick up Octopi.

hen I see a bunch of AHL fodder.
so, the Wing’s entire roster. me too.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 09/13/17 at 10:23 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

I think we found a new conductor of the Holland Hate Train. smile

Posted by ilovehomers on 09/13/17 at 10:31 PM ET


funny how much this exchange is so glass half-full vs half-....or OK, 80% empty?

appreciate the measured semi-positive observations - the more eyes and thoughts on these prospects,
the merrier.

also the critical observations on the more scathingly negative side

but we do all pretty much want to cheer for these guys right?

that doesn’t require naivete or blanket support of mgmt,
or an enforced lack of candor about how someone plays.

but never understood the sports fan who seemed most passionate
when calling his own team’s players “bums”.

critical thinking is a good thing, vitriol is usually gratuitous

Posted by Lefty30 on 09/13/17 at 11:16 PM ET


but we do all pretty much want to cheer for these guys right?

I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

that doesn’t require naivete or blanket support of mgmt

couldn’t the opposite be said, that it doesn’t require blanket negative criticism of mgmt?

but never understood the sports fan who seemed most passionate
when calling his own team’s players “bums”.

unless they are Bruins’ fans. They do it all that time. they will openly admit it too.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 09/14/17 at 01:43 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.