Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings 2nd-through-7th-round draft day updates/open post

Draft over: Wings pick Tomas Jurco with 35th overall pick; Xavier Ouellet with 48th overall pick; Ryan Sproul 55th overall; Alan Quine 85th overall; Marek Tvrdon 115th; Phillipe Hudon 144th, Mattias Backman 145th; Richard Nedomlel in 6th round; Alexei Marchenko 205th: Today, the Detroit Red Wings will get to work assembling the future of their team as they have nine draft picks to work with over the second through seventh rounds of the NHL Entry Draft (11 AM EDT, NHL Network/NHL.com).

The Wings may or may not also have determined which assistant coaches will flank Mike Babcock’s shoulders behind the Wings’ bench, and may or may not have laid the foundation for contracts to retain the services of Jonathan Ericsson, Patrick Eaves and/or Drew Miller.

Of course, a few GM’s might bend Ken Holland’s ear as Jim Nill and the Wings’ amateur scouts make picks in the hopes of making trades, and there’s no doubt that player agents will not-so-innocently ask if free agent-to-be X might intrigue the Wings at Y dollars over Z years, hoping to essentially negotiate contracts without committing tampering far before the unrestricted free agent period begins on Friday at 12 PM EDT.

After stating the obvious—the mainstream media in the forms of the Wings’ beat writers, the NHL and the Sports Forecaster, among others, will have better coverage than this scrambling blogger who’ll do his best to provide you some information about the prospects the Wings pick today, and RedWingsCentral’s Matthew Wuest and Sarah Lindenau remain our prospect gurus—I hope to crank out updates galore in this entry as we talk about who the Wings have picked with:

The 35th, 48th and 55th overall picks in the second round, the 85th overall pick in the third round, the 115th overall pick in the fourth round, the 145th and 146th picks in the fifth round, the 175th pick in the sixth round and the 205th overall pick in the seventh and final round of the draft this morning.

Draft updates will probably come fast and furious as the draft’s second day takes about the same amount of time to pick players 31-211 as it does to pick 30 players on Friday night, and I’m not going to be able to get everything, so if you’d like to add insight via comments or forward stories my way via Twitter at @georgemalik or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), I’m not going to pretend to be a draft expert—I’m just gonna do the best I can to introduce you to players who we’ll get further acquainted with as the Wings’ beat writers and RWC speak to the Wings’ scouts about them.

Hopefully, especially in the cases of the unknowns the Wings are sure to draft today—and we should expect the usual hodgepodge of NCAA-bound prospects, Major Junior Hockey-playing prospects and Europeans, as well as the occasional High School or Junior A/B player—I’ll be able to watch them and speak to them at the Wings’ summer strength and conditioning camp from July 7-14 in Traverse City, and if all goes well, some of you will watch the camp with me as it’s open to the public.

I’ve held off on asking the Wings about information regarding the public portion of the camp but will push pretty hard after today, and obviously between now and then we’re going to know whether Ericsson, Eaves and Miller are coming back, who the Wings’ assistant coaches will be, and, come July 1st, probably which defenseman or defensemen will be signed to fill the gaping hole left by Brian Rafalski’s departure, as well who will back up Jimmy Howard next season.

With all of that blather being said, here we go, folks!

Round 2:

1. Pick #35: The Wings picked Tomas Jurco, who’s described as follows by Bob McKenzie:

2011 NHL Draft

2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs League: QMJHL

Position: Right Wing Height: 6-2

2010-11 Stats: 60 GP, 31 G, 56 PTS Weight: 193 lbs.

Scouting Ranking

NHL Central Scouting: 20 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 25, The Hockey News: No. 28

TSN Scout Grant McCagg:

Followed up an impressive 51-point rookie QMJHL season with a underwhelming 56-point season on one of the most most talented QMJHL teams in memory. More was expected from the 6-2 Slovakian winger, who saw his ranking slip considerably before his redemptory Memorial Cup performance. Strengths - Has top ten skills with elite puckhandling abilities and excellent skating agility, has all the physical attributes to be a star. Weaknesses - very inconsistent, is a star one night and accomplishes little the next. Not overly gritty, tends to stay to the outside of the play. NHL Upside - Risky pick in the first round who may be a top-two winger (think a more skilled Michael Frolik), or could struggle for ice time due to inconsistencies.

Per The Sports Forecaster:

R2/35 Tomas Jurco, RW
  2010-11 Stats
HT WT Team GP G A Pts PIM +/-
6-2 187 Saint John (QMJHL) 60 31 25 56 17 46

Scouting Report: Is simply one of the most skilled players available for selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. His ability to dangle with the puck and his hand/eye coordination are among his best attributes… also boasts a projectable frame and loads of creativity… finished sixth on the Sea Dogs in scoring with 56 points in 60 games in 2010-11… must do a better job of playing in traffic to maximize his scoring upside…

Per the Wings’ Twitter account:

Want to follow Tomas Jurco on Twitter? His handle is @Jurky13

Here’s NHL.com’s profile:

• At the 2011 Memorial Cup, he had a team-leading and tournament-tying four goals in four games helping Saint John became the first team from the Maritime Provinces to win the tournament.

• Jurco helped Saint John to the 2011 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship, recording 18 points (6-12—18) in 19 games. During the regular season, the Sea Dogs tied the QMJHL record for most wins in a season with 58 and went undefeated at home in regulation (32-0-1-1) to enter the 2011 playoffs as the top-seed in the QMJHL.

• He is one of nine Saint John Sea Dogs on the Central Scouting rankings list, which also includes two of his frequent linemates – Jonathan Huberdeau (No. 3 ranked) and Zack Phillips (No. 15 ranked). All three finished the season with seven game-winning goals.

• Jurco represented Slovakia at the 2011 World Junior Championships, recording a goal in six games with an even plus-minus rating.

• His older sister, Petra, was a member of Slovakia’s Olympic women’s team at the 2010 Olympics; both players wear the number 13—“I feel better with 13. I feel like I’m home.’’ He got his start in hockey at five when his parents tried to sign his sister up to play.

• A YouTube sensation, he has several videos showcasing his stickhandling tricks and shootout moves online that have been viewed more than 150,000 times.


NHL player: Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa
Shootout move: “Spin-o-rama”
Video game: NHL 2010
Movie: The Hangover
TV show: Two and a Half Men
Actress: Emma Watson
Website: Facebook.com
Sport (other than hockey): Soccer
Breakfast food: Scrambled eggs
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau
“He’s a very good skater with size and excellent puck skills. He has all the tools of a first-round draft pick.”

Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant
“He does different things at practice some guys would view it as being cocky, but Tomas does it because he wants to score a goal doing it. I just tell him to do what he feels comfortable doing. We’re not here to show up anybody, but if that’s the move you think you could score a goal with, do it. He’s done pretty well in shootouts … he has stick handling and eye coordination to make those great plays. He’s a big-bodied guy with a great skill level and competes really hard.”

The Hockey Writers’ Cam Charron reports that Jurco’s a dangler and deker:

From the Hockey News’s Draft Preview:

When it comes to junior kids on YouTube, it was the Year of Jurco.

The Slovakian-born winger dazzled at the CHL Top Prospects skills competition with fancy stickwork that quickly went viral, though goalies in the Quebec League found all year long that he’s just as deadly during regular game play.

As a member of the high-powered Sea Dogs, Jurco had plenty of talent surrounding him, but still managed to carve out a niche in the draft class.

“Unbelievable hands and great moves,” said one scout. “You don’t always see him, but then he has two goals and two assists at the end of the game. Top-end player, all-around.”

Another scout thought Jurco looked heavy, but acknowledged the sniper still manages to get around in quick order. The sophomore was prone to offensive dry spells, but always rebounded with spectacular runs of points and that carried over into the post-season.

2. Pick #48: The Wings picked defenseman Xavier Ouellet from the Montreal Juniors.

Bob McKenzie’s description follows:


2011 NHL Draft


2010-11 Team: Montreal Juniors League: QMJHL

Position: Defence Height: 6-0

2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 8 G, 43 PTS Weight: 182 lbs.

Scouting Ranking

NHL Central Scouting: 60 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 48, The Hockey News: No. 66

TSN Scout Grant McCagg:

One of the anchors on a veteran Montreal Juniors blueline, accumulating 43 regular-season points. Added eight assists in ten playoff games. Strengths - Smart puck mover with some character, solid work ethic, plucky, really improved, appreciate him the more you see him. Gets good position on his man, strong character, competitive, very smart, uses body well, quick puck mover, a coach’s player. Weaknesses - Not the greatest quickness, feet may be a problem. Lacks typical blueliner size, limited physical capabilities. NHL Upside - Has the smarts and desire to crack the NHL as a bottom three defenceman with some offensive talents.

NHL Central Scouting has Ouellet listed at 39th overall in their rankings but they have no profile—and he was born in Bayonne, France.

Per The Sports Forecaster:

R2/48 Xavier Ouellet, D
  2010-11 Stats
HT WT Team GP G A Pts PIM +/-
6-0 174 Montreal (QMJHL) 67 8 35 43 44 27
  Scouting Report: He was named to the 2009-10 QMJHL All-Rookie Team, but didn’t develop physically as much as expected in 2010-11… can play a solid all-around game, complete with puck-moving skills, some offensive upside and poise… is somewhat undersized for the blueline position for the National Hockey League, so will he grow stronger?... was born in France…

Here’s the Hockey News on Ouellet, who they ranked 66th:

Offensive defenseman got off to a blazing start before cooling off.

3. Pick #55: Wings pick Ryan Sproul, a 6’3,” 175-lb, right-shooting defenseman from the Sault Greyhounds. Here’s NHL.com’s profile:

• In his first Ontario Hockey League season, Sproul led all defensemen and rookies on Sault Ste. Marie in scoring with 14 goals and 33 points in 61 games. He scored 10 goals after January 1, second to only CHL Player of the year Ryan Ellis (12).

• He started the season with Vaughan in the OJHL before deciding to join Sault Ste. Marie – Sproul was cut from Junior A hockey in 2009 and forced to play an extra year of midget.

• A Toronto Junior Canadiens and Vaughan Kings minor hockey product, Sproul started skating at the age of four when his dad took him out on the ice.

• His most memorable hockey moment was scoring his first OHL hat trick “because my parents were there to see it” and if he could trade places with anyone for a day he would choose Alex Ovechkin.


NHL team: Washington Capitals
NHL player: Mike Green
Shootout move: “Leg kick, forehand, backhand”
Goal celebration: “Fist pump”
Video game: Need for Speed
Movie: Fired Up
TV show: How I Met Your Mother
Actor: Adam Sandler
Website: facebook.com
Book: Sports Illustrated
Home-cooked meal: Steak
Activity away from the rink: Playing other sports

Sproul is on Twitter at @Sproully93

TSF on Sproull:

R2/55 Ryan Sproul, D

2010-11 Stats

HT WT Team GP G A Pts PIM +/-
6-3 175 Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 61 14 19 33 36 -15

Scouting Report: A defenseman with a booming slap shot and a very projectable frame (6-3), he led all OHL rookie defensemen with 14 goals and placed second with 33 points in 63 games in 2010-11… defensively, he is still a work-in-progress rearguard who needs to make better use of his projected size… was named to the 2011 OHL Second All-Rookie Team…

The Hockey News didn’t have Sproul listed in its top 100.

Sproul per the Sault Star’s Peter Rucci:

“Whatever happens, happens,” said Sproul, a six-foot-four, 190-pounder, who expressed how thrilled he is simply to be rated so high.

But while Sproul said he’d be happy “just to have an opportunity to prove myself,” Hounds general manager Kyle Dubas said NHL teams are telling him Sproul “could be a first-round pick.”

And further, Dubas added: “I don’t think he gets past the 50th pick.”

Being taken in the first round would mean Sproul would know his NHL destination sometime Friday night. Round 1 will be completed on the first day of the draft with the final six rounds slated for Saturday.

“It’s very possible he could be the first Greyhound player taken,” Dubas said of Sproul, who scored 14 times, including eight on the power play, and added 19 assists in his rookie season.

Asked about the possibility of going that high, Sproul said: “I’d be absolutely shocked.”

Mainstream media update time: Okey dokey, here’s the take on Jurco, per MLive’s Ansar Khan...

The Detroit Red Wings have selected right wing Tomas Jurko from the Saint John Seadogs with the 35th overall pick, in the second round, of the NHL entry draft on Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Jurko (6-foot-2, 187) had 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points, along with 17 penalty minutes, in 60 games for the Seadogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Here is what NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau said of Jurko on NHL.com:“He’s a very good skater with size and excellent puck skills. He has all the tools of a first-round draft pick.”

Here is what Saint John head coach and former Red Wings forward Gerard Gallant said of Jurko on NHL.com:“He does different things at practice some guys would view it as being cocky, but Tomas does it because he wants to score a goal doing it. I just tell him to do what he feels comfortable doing. We’re not here to show up anybody, but if that’s the move you think you could score a goal with, do it. He’s done pretty well in shootouts … he has stick handling and eye coordination to make those great plays. He’s a big-bodied guy with a great skill level and competes really hard.”

Jurko, a native of Kosice, Slovakia, had four goals in four games to help lead Saint John to the 2011 Memorial Cup championship.

His profile on NHL.com says, “A YouTube sensation, he has several videos showcasing his stickhandling tricks and shootout moves online that have been viewed more than 150,000 times.’‘

Here’s the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness...

With the Wings’ first pick of this year’s NHL Entry draft they selected right winger Tomas Jurco of Slovakia.

Jurco, who played for Saint John in the QMJHL, was the 20th player ranked by NHL Central Scouting after being ranked 24th at the midterm. He’s 6-2, 187 pounds and shoots left.

NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau said, “He’s a very good skater with size and excellent puck skills. He has all the tools of a first-round draft pick.”

Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant said, “He does different things at practice some guys would view it as being cocky, but Tomas does it because he wants to score a goal doing it. I just tell him to do what he feels comfortable doing. We’re not here to show up anybody, but if that’s the move you think you could score a goal with, do it. He’s done pretty well in shootouts … he has stick handling and eye coordination to make those great plays. He’s a big-bodied guy with a great skill level and competes really hard.”

And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

The Red Wings have finally made a selection in the Entry Draft.

With the 35th pick overall, one they received from Ottawa last night, the Wings picked right wing Tomas Jurco.

With Saint John (Quebec League) last season, Jurco had 31 goals and 25 assists (56 points) in 60 games.

The Slovakian-born Jurco (6-foot-2, 193 pounds) had one goal in six games during the World Juniors.

Here’s what one scout told The Hockey News about Jurco: “Unbelievable hands and great moves. You don’t always see him, but then he has two goals and two assists at the end of the game. Top-end player, all-around.” You can catch some of Jurco’s best moves on You Tube. He dazzled during the Canadian Hockey League’s skills competition.

Repeating, here’s Khan on Ouellet...

The Detroit Red Wings have selected defenseman Xavier Ouellet from Montreal (QMJHL) with their second pick, 48th overall, Saturday in the NHL entry draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

The 6-foot, 174-pound native of Bayonne, France had eight goals and 35 assists for 43 points, along with 44 penalty minutes, in 67 games last season.

Here is what TSN scout Grant McGagg said Ouellet on tsn.ca:“One of the anchors on a veteran Montreal Juniors blue line, accumulating 43 regular-season points. Added eight assists in ten playoff games.

“Strengths—Smart puck mover with some character, solid work ethic, plucky, really improved, appreciate him the more you see him. Gets good position on his man, strong character, competitive, very smart, uses body well, quick puck mover, a coach’s player.

“Weaknesses—Not the greatest quickness, feet may be a problem. Lacks typical blueliner size, limited physical capabilities. NHL Upside - Has the smarts and desire to crack the NHL as a bottom three defenceman with some offensive talents.’‘

Pleiness on Ouellet...

With the second pick the Wings received in a trade with the Ottawa Senators in the first round, they take defenseman Xavier Ouellet.

Ouellet, of France, plays for Montreal of the QMJHL. He had eight goals, 35 assists and 43 penalty minutes last season in 67 games.

His NHL Central Scouting ranking slipped from 39th at the midterm to 60th.

Ouellet is 6-0, 174 pounds and shoots left.

And Kulfan on Ouellet...

The Wings have picked defenseman Xavier Ouellet with the 48th pick in the 2nd round.

Ouellet (6-foot, 182 pounds) is an offensive defenseman who played 67 games with Montreal (Quebec League) with 43 points (8 goals, 35 assists) with 44 penalty minutes.

The Wings have one more pick in the 2nd round, their own.

Finally, for now, here’s Khan on Sproul...

The Detroit Red Wings selected defenseman Ryan Sproul from Sault Ste. Marie with their third and final pick of the second round (55th overall) of the NHL entry draft Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

In his first OHL season, Sproul (6-foot-3, 175) led all defensemen and rookies on Sault Ste. Marie in scoring with 14 goals and 33 points in 61 games. He scored 10 goals after January 1, second to only CHL Player of the year Ryan Ellis (12).

Here is what TSN scout Grant McGagg said of Sproul on tsn.ca: “After January 1, the only OHL defenseman to score more goals than Sproul’s 10 was CHL Player of the Year Ryan Ellis with 12. Started the season with Vaughan in the OJHL before deciding to join the Sault Ste. Marie instead of going the NCAA route.

“Strengths—Scored most of his 14 goals with a heavy slapshot. Game improved substantially over the second half of the season, raw offensive tools, sees the ice well and finds shooting lanes.

“Weaknesses—Needs work on his quickness and lateral agility. Very raw, not overly physical. Decision making needs work, as well as his defensive game. NHL Upside - Skating will be a key to his development. If he makes the NHL he will contribute goals on the power play.’‘

Pleiness on Sproul…

The Wings took defenseman Ryan Sproul from Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL with their last of three picks in the second round.

Sproul, born in Mississauga, Ontario, shot up the NHL Central Scouting rankings. His final ranking was 54th after having a midterm rank of 124th.

Sproul is 6-3, 175 pounds and shoots right.

He had 14 goals, 19 assists and 33 penalty minutes in 61 games last season.

And Kulfan on Sproul:

Ryan Sproul, a defenseman from Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario League), completes the 2nd round for the Red Wings.

Sproul is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound defenseman who grew four inches over the last year or two and sprouted into being a draft sleeper.

He’s another offensive defensmen - just like Ouellet, a Wings selection a little earlier - who has great skating ability and a booming shot.

Scouts like the fact there may be a lot of untapped potential from Sproul, a late bloomer.

Round 3: Per the Sports Forecaster, the Wings have selected Alan Quine:

R3/85 Alan Quine, C

2010-11 Stats

HT WT Team GP G A Pts PIM +/-
5-11 178 Peterborough (OHL) 69 26 27 53 8 -36

Scouting Report: Splitting time between Kingston and the Petes in 2010-11, he totaled 26 goals and 53 points in 69 games… has very good goal-scoring instincts and hand/eye coordination… will need to get stronger in order to survive the pro game, since he isn’t a physical player at all… was rated 72nd among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings…

NHL.com had Quine ranked 74th overall.

On Quine, from the Peterborough Examiner’s Mike Davies:

Quine, the second overall pick in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection, saw his offensive production take off once he joined the Petes in a Nov. 11 trade which sent Ryan Spooner to the Kingston Frontenacs. Quine had 15 goals and 39 points in his first 81 OHL games in Kingston. In 52 games with the Petes he had 22 goals and 42 points.

“Coming from Kingston to Peterborough everything went uphill as soon as the trade was made,” Quine said. “I just wish I could have been in Peterborough for my whole career. I think coming to Peterborough definitely helped a lot. Being on a younger team I got a little more icetime than I was used to,” said Quine. “I got a little more opportunity and the coaches were all extremely good here at working on my game and trying to help me get better in areas they thought I needed to get better in.”

The deal gave Kingston a player they nominated as their MVP this season, while the Petes got a player they slid into the spot vacated by Spooner.

“It happened pretty quick. The GM of Kingston told me he would move me if I didn’t get the icetime I felt I deserved. We didn’t even ask for it and Spooner dropped out of Peterborough which opened up a spot for me to pretty much take his spot which was a huge plus,” said Quine.

While the cliché is for players to say they try not to think about the draft too much leading up to it, Quine says it’s pretty hard not to.

“I try to think about it the least I can, but, unfortunately, it’s always in my head,” he said. “A week from now I’ll be property of an NHL team which is pretty unbelievable. I’ll be so fortunate to say that. It’s been on the top of my head and has been my whole life. It’s a pretty exciting time for everybody in the hockey world.”
“I’ll go in with a positive attitude and hope for the best and I’m sure it will be a good day,” he said. “I have no idea where things will go. We’ll just have to see.”

Per the Hockey News, which ranked Quine 62nd:

Small but highly skilled, he battles for pucks and has great hands.

MSM Break #2 at 12:33 PM: RedWingsCentral’s Matthew Wuest weighs in:

2-35. RW Tomas Jurco, 6-2, 187, Saint John (QMJHL), 60-31-25-56-17, plus-46
RANKED: 20 (CS), 25 (ISS), 29th (TSN), 28 (THN)

Nicknamed “Tommy Toe Drag” by some observers, the 6-foot-2, 193-pound Slovak won a Memorial Cup with Saint John and is loaded with individual skill. There is extremely high upside in Jurco, who has solid size, speed and makes highlight reels with his slick moves. But he was a second-rounder because of his inconsistency and perimeter play. The Red Wings are no doubt hoping for a breakthrough from a player who TSN describes as having “top-10 skills.” [ Video ]

2-48. D Xavier Ouellet, 6-0, 174, Montreal (QMJHL), 67-8-35-43-44, plus-27
RANKED: 60 (CS), 48 (ISS), 66 (THN), 57 (TSN)

Playing on the same second-place QMJHL team as Red Wings prospects Louis-Marc Aubry and Trevor Parkes, Ouellet logged a ton of ice time and is a solid, steady defender who can play even strength, penalty kill and power play. He’s not big or a bruiser, nor will he wow you on first glance, but is already a coach’s dream at the QMJHL level.

2-55. D Ryan Sproul, 6-3, 185, Sault Ste-Marie (OHL), 61-14-19-33, minus-15
RANKED: 54 (CS), 60 (ISS), 48 (TSN)

The six-foot-three Sproul used his booming shot to score 14 goals overall, including eight on the power play. He boasts obvious size and has good offensive upside, but question marks surround his foot-speed, physicality and decision-making. Sproul might have higher upside than Xavier Ouellet, but is a riskier pick and more of a project.

MSM Break #3 at 12:40 PM: Per the Wings’ website, here’s Jurco:

And here’s Kulfan on Quine...

In the 3rd round, the Wings get center Alan Quine, from Peterborough in the Ontario League.

Quine isn’t big (5-foot-11, 178 pounds) but he’s fast, slick and doesn’t let his size stop him from battling for pucks.

In 69 games, Quine scored 26 goals and had 27 assists for 53 points.

Pleiness on Quine…

The Wings select center Alan Quine from Peterborough of the OHL with their third-round pick.

Quine slipped slightly in his final NHL Central Scouting ranking ending up 72nd after being ranked 64th at the midterm.

He had 26 goals and 27 assists in 69 games last season with Peterborough.

Quine, who shoots left, is 5-11 and weighs 178.

He was born in Belleville, Onatrio.

And Khan on Quine:

The Detroit Red Wings selected center Alan Quine of Peterborough (OHL) in the third round (85th overall) of the NHL entry draft at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Quine (5-11, 178) had 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 points in 69 games last season.

Update 12:47 PM: Let’s add Wuest to the mix:

3-85. C Alan Quine, 5-11, 184, Peterborough (OHL), 69-26-27-53-8, minus-36
RANKED: 72 (CS), 62 (THN)

Buried 13 goals on the power play as part of a 53-point season while splitting the season between Kingston and Peterborough. Central Scouting describes him as a “high-energy, two-way guy” who has a “very good skill set” and is a “dynamic skater.” [ NHL.com ]

Here’s the article Wuest is referring to:  NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale on Quine:

Center Alan Quine has had quite the impact since joining the Peterborough Petes in a trade from the Kingston Frontenacs three months ago.

Since joining Peterborough in a four-player deal in November, Quine has 19 goals and 36 points in 42 games. On the season, he has 23 goals and 47 points in 59 games, and the scouts have taken notice, as Quine was rated No. 64 on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term release of North American skaters for the 2011 Entry Draft.

“Alan might be our most improved player from the start of November to where he is now,” Peterborough coach Mike Pelino told NHL.com. “I think the opportunity to play more and in key situations helped. I don’t think he had that much of an opportunity in Kingston since they were a lot deeper than us, and for him to come here and respond the way he has says a lot about him.”

“He’s getting the chance to play on the power-play and penalty-kill units with Peterborough, something he was not doing in Kingston,” Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards told NHL.com. “He’s a high-energy, two-way guy. He has a very good skill set, handles the puck well and is not afraid of getting involved in traffic and will take the body. He has an excellent shot that he gets off quickly.”

Quine expressed an interest to Kingston in getting more ice time, and with Peterborough he slid into a role centering left wing Matthew Puempel (69 points) and right wing Lino Martschini (50 points). That combination will change, however, following a recent hip injury suffered by Puempel.

“He’s a dynamic skater, has a tremendous shot and quick release and has the ability to hang on to the puck,” Pelino said of Quine. “He’s another guy who is sort of hitting the tip of the iceberg to where his potential might take him.”

Update 12:51 PM: Per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

Slovakia-born Tomas Jurco went to the Wings at 35th, a pick the Wings acquired, along with the 48th spot, when they traded their first-round pick, 24, to Ottawa on Friday evening. The Wings used that selection on six-foot defenseman Xavier Ouellet on Saturday.

Ryan Sproul, a 6-foot-3 d-man, was picked up at 55.

Jurco is a 6-foot-2, 187-pound right winger, a Marian Hossa-type player who likes to model himself after Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk.

“I am so excited to play in Detroit as soon as I can,” Jurco said. “I cannot wait to meet Pavel Datsyuk. He is similar player to me – he’s got great hands. I just, I can’t even imagine that I’m going to skate with him and I see him do all the stuff I’ve been watching him do and try to do. It’s unbelievable.”

Jurco didn’t have a great regular season for Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (31 goals, 56 points in 60 games), but acquitted himself well at the Memorial Cup, where he had five points in four games, and he also starred for Slovakia at the World Juniors.

Round 5: Red Wings snag Marek Tvrdon, 115th overall. He’s a Slovak winger who’s 6’2” and 213 lbs who played for the Vancouver Giants but only played in 12 games. He was HIGHLY ranked prior to getting hurt..

The Red Line Report’s Kyle Woodlief had Tvrdon going in the first round:

As for who Red Line thinks could be surprise first round selections come draft day, here are a few names that few outside the hockey scouting fraternity will be expecting to hear so early. Huge and fearsome fighting winger Kale Kessy (Medicine Hat) elicits frequent comparisons to Milan Lucic and could be of interest to teams seeking toughness. Also up front, Swiss speedster Gregory Hofmann and Slovak Marek Tvrdon might intrigue some. Hofmann is extremely fast and aggressive, but is twig thin. And it would take a chief scout with courage (or a ton of job security) to select Tvrdon, who played only 12 games for the Vancouver Giants before going down for the season with a knee injury. He does have size and skill, though.

Here’s The Sports Forecaster on Tvrdon:

R4/115 Marek Tvrdon, RW

2010-11 Stats

HT WT Team GP G A Pts PIM +/-
6-2 210 Vancouver (WHL) 12 6 5 11 14 3

Scouting Report: As a rookie in the WHL in 2010-11, the 6-2, 210-pound winger produced six goals and 11 points in 12 regular-season games. He then missed the rest of the season because of a dislocated shoulder that required surgery… has NHL size, plenty of scoring ability and hockey sense… can play either wing position effectively… was not rated in Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American prospects because of limited viewing…

If you’re looking for pictures, Getty Images’ Red Wings search, Daylife and Yahoo Sports’ Wings page should have Wings prospects wearing hats shortly. Here’s Jurco, per Getty Images’ Bruce Bennett:

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

MSM Update time again: Here’s Pleiness on Tvrdon...

The Wings selected winger Marek Tvrdon in the fourth round with the 115th overall pick.

Tvrdon, of Slovakia, played with Vancouver of the WHL last season. He’s 6-2, weighs 210 and shoots left.

He had six goals and five assists in 12 games last season.

Kulfan on Tvrdon...

The Wings get right wing Marek Tvrdon in the 4th round.

A big kid (6-foot-2, 210 pounds), Tvrdon only played 12 games last season (6 goals) before seperating his shoulder and having his season ended.

Here’s Matthew Wuest’s take...

4-115. RW Marek Tvrdon, 6-2, 210, Vancouver (WHL), 12-6-5-11-14

Tvrdon is a risky pick after playing just 12 games at the start of the season before going under the knife for shoulder surgery.  But he’s a big, strong, power-forward type who can score — he had 56 points in 45 games at the Slovak under-20 level in 2009-10 — and could be a home-run pick if the Red Wings’ under-age scouting is up to snuff. [ Red Line Report ]

Here’s Kyle Woodlief’s article which Wuest references:

Tvrdon is a big Slovakian power winger with soft hands and scoring touch around the net — very dangerous from the circles in. He came over to North America to play in Vancouver this past season. However, a knee injury ruined his year after only 12 games, so teams weren’t able to get a lot of viewings on him. Still, he has a lot of great attributes, and Red Line expects some team with an extra pick or two in the second round to jump up and grab him.

And RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau reports that Wings prospect tournament try-out Brenden Kitchton was drafted by the New York Islanders.

Not-MSM update: Per MsRedWinger, Tomas Jurco’s sister, Petra, played for the Slovak Women’s Olympic team in Vancouver.

Round 5: Red Wings pick Philippe Hudon, a high-school-aged 6’0,” 190-lb center 144th overall…

• He will attend Cornell University in the fall of 2011.

• Hudon helped Choate to a 15-9-1 record in 2010-11, recording 20 points (10-10—20) in 22 games as one of 13 seniors on the roster. In 2009-10, he helped lead Choate to the New England Large Prep Championship with a 21-6-1 record.

• He was the only sophomore named to the All New England Division West All-Star Team, despite missing six games playing for Team Quebec at 2010 World Under-17 Challenge.

• His great, great uncle, Albert “Battleship” Leduc, played defense for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Ottawa Senators between 1925 and 1937 – he won two Stanley Cups (1930, 1931) with Montreal.


NHL team: Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche
NHL player: Joe Sakic and Alexander Ovechkin
Shootout move: “Secret”
Goal celebration: “Something humble”
Video game: NHL 2009 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Movie: Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights and Cop Out
TV show: CSI: Miami
Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
Website: NHL.com and RDS.ca
Book: The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
Pump-up song: “We Ready” by Archie Eversole
Home-cooked meal: Veal scallops
Activity away from the rink: Golf, soccer and video games

And the Wings have picked Mattias Backman, a 6’2,” 169-lb defenseman from Linkopings HC’s junior team. Ranked 39th among Europeans….

The Sports Forecatser on Hudon and Backman?

We’ve got nothin,’ man...

The Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy talked about Hudon last December:

Philippe Hudon, RW – Choate Wild Boars (Conn. HS)

An incredible student who shook off the Quebec League in favor of a future at Cornell, Hudon is thriving at the prep school level in Connecticut. A big kid who likes Milan Lucic’s game, Hudon possesses excellent athleticism and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around.

“People have classified me as a power forward,” Hudon said. “I think that is a perfect categorization. My role is to set the tone; get a quick goal or make a quick pass, but also to make a big hit.”

Hudon has switched positions several times in his young career, starting as a defenseman before shifting to center. Playing the wing maximizes his effectiveness, but the Quebec native admits he still has a pivot mentality sometimes and needs to work on staying in his lanes.

“The problem is,” he said, “I have a tendency to be everywhere on the ice.”

Despite playing a little off the map in the prep school circuit, Hudon’s high-end skill was recognized by the NHL when it held its Research & Development Camp over the summer and invited only the best draft prospects.

“I took the camp as something to show everyone,” Hudon said, “that even though I come from a prep school and a league that may not be able to compete with say, the Western League, that I can compete with those players.” Draft eligible in 2011.

MSM Update #...something…: Here’s Pleiness on the Wings’ fifth-round picks….

With back-to-back picks in the fifth round, the Wings selected forward Philippe Hudon and defenseman Mattias Backman.

Hudon, who just graduated from high school, was ranked by NHL Scouting 31st at the midterm and slipped to 74th.

Hudon, who was born in Montreal, is listed as a right wing/center, shoots rights, stands 6-0 and weighs 190.

Unlike Hudon, Backman, who was born in Linkoping, Sweden, shot up the rankings finishing 39th after having a midterm rank of 95th.

Here’s Kulfan’s take...

The Wings had two picks in the 5th round and they got two more sleepers.

At No. 145, the Wings selected center/right wing Philippe Hudon, a 6-foot, 197-pounder who played at Choate-Rosemary (Ct.) H.S., scoring 20 points (10 goals) in 22 games. He’s a Montreal native who is headed to Cornell in the autumn.

At No. 146, the pick the Wings got from Philadelphia in the Ville Leino trade, the Wings selected Swedish defenseman Mattias Backman. He’s thin (6-foot-2, 169 pounds) but one of those guys the Wings will patiently wait to fill out.

Here’s RedWingsCentral’s Matthew Wuest...

5-145. C/RW Philippe Hudon, 6-0, 197, Choate-Rosemary (U.S. high school), 22-10-10-20-44

Hudon was one of the top prospects for the QMJHL draft in 2009 but has a lower profile because of his intent to play NCAA at Cornell. Playing prep-school hockey in Connecticut, Hudon enjoyed a productive year and has shown excellent potential as a two-way forward.

5-146. D Mattias Backman, 6-2, 169, Linkoping (SWE-J20), 27-2-18-20-34.

Backman was one of the top-scoring defensemen at the Swedish under-20 SuperElit level and also has 11 games experience in the Swedish Elite League. He has a reputation as a mobile, two-way defenseman who can move the puck. [ NHL.com ]

And Wuest’s commentary references Mike G. Morreale’s articles on Hudon...and a long article about Ouellet...

6th round: The Wings have picked 6’4,” 204-lb defenseman Richard Nedomlel, a Czech who played for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.

All you need to know about Nedomlel? He has his own channel on Hockeyfights.com. Ten assists, 107 penalty minutes in sixty games.

Kinda MSM break: From JJ From Kansas...Copper and Blue’s Derek Zona wrote an extended article about big Tvrdon.

Kinda MSM break 2: Here’s the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan on big Nedomlel...

Defenseman Richard Nedomlel, a Czech playing for Swift Current in the Western League, gets picked by the Red Wings in the 6th round.

Nedomlel is a physical defenseman. He has good size (6-foot-4, 204 pounds) and last season accumulated 107 penalty minutes (after going over 200 minutes the season before). One more round to go.

And DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose spoke to Tomas Jurco, who didn’t like waiting until the second round to be drafted:

“I was kind of upset and it was kind of hard for me to sleep, but now it’s all good and I’m happy to be a part of the Detroit organization,” said Jurco, a 6-foot-2 forward from Kosice, Slovakia.

The Sea Dogs were loaded with incredible NHL-like talent this season, boosting nine players eligible for the 2011 draft. The Saint John squad had a trio picked Friday – center Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida, No. 3); defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (Montreal, No. 17); and center Zack Phillips (Minnesota, No. 28).

“We knew that four of us could possibly be first-round picks,” Jurco said. “So we knew that this would be a big thing for our team. I’m really happy for my three teammates who went in the first-round. For me, maybe it’s better that I didn’t go until the second, because know I’m with Detroit and they’re a really good team, and I hope they’re going to give me a chance.”
“I didn’t have a good regular-season,” Jurco said. “I think I had a good playoffs and Memorial Cup. I was still hoping that I could get into the first round, but it’s all good. I would have three really good games then I would have a bad game. That’s what the scouts don’t like to see, but I think there are a lot of players like that. I think maybe it was because it was my draft year and I was thinking about it. Next year will be all good. No problem.”

Yet Jurco is an amazing talent. His YouTube videos alone are worth getting excited over. He also dazzled at the CHL top prospects skills competition. Even with a team stacked with talent, Jurco managed to make a name for himself, netting 31 goals and 25 assists in 60 games for coach Gerard Gallant, the former Red Wings forward.

“He was a great player and he’s an even better coach,” said Jurco, of playing for the former Wing. “That’s why we were so successful, because he knew what to do with the team.”

Like many young, talented forwards, Jurco says he fashions his playing style after Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk. “He’s a similar player to me,” Jurco said. “It’s going to be great to see what he can do on the ice and I’m just going to learn some of his moves.”

Per the Griffins, here’s Jurco at work:

Also: Here’s Wuest on Nedomlel:

6-175. D Richard Nedomlel, 6-4, 204, Swift Current (WHL), 66-0-10-10-107, minus-15

His offensive numbers hardly jump off the page, but Nedomlel — who hails from the Czech Republic — has tremendous size and a mean streak to match. He dropped the gloves seven times in the WHL last season and projects as a rugged, stay-at-home type, if he can round out his game. [ Broncos Blog ]

Wuest links to the Broncos Blog’s Shawn Mullin:

Congrats to Richard Nedomlel as he has joined fellow Broncos 1993 born prospects Reece Scarlett and Adam Lowry on Central Scouting’s final NHL Draft Rankings for North American skaters. Scarlett and Lowry have been a part of all of these lists so far while this is the first time to my knowledge that Nedomlel has found himself ranked. While 205th is near the bottom of the list, it still shows his stock is rising.

I know a lot of scouts were high on his tools and curious about how he would develop. He’s 6’4, 202lbs, strong as an ox, mean, confident and shows signs of really developing a complete game. He went from showing very little offensively early on to manning the point on the top power play unit in the final month of the season. The results for Nedomlel were immediate as he put up 5 of his 10 points on the season in the final month.

I know there was a period during the season before and after Christmas where the big Czech struggled to find his game a little. I think there was a transition for him from the runaway train he was early to improving his decision-making and knowing the right time to get physical. He also wasn’t used to playing nearly as much as he did this season. Once he got through that valley though he really came into his own.

Nedomlel clearly played his best hockey in the last two months of the year and was rewarded by the coaching staff with a ton of ice time. He still played hard and physical, but he wasn’t taking unnecessary chances that left his team to deal with an odd man rush.

As I mentioned before, Nedomlel plays with a mean streak. He had to leave Europe because his style was just too aggressive over there. Even though he’d never fought before he embraced the idea in his handful of opportunities this past season. He talks a good game but is also willing to back it up. That kind of “on the edge” attitude is a terrific thing to have for a big defenceman as long as they know the right time and place.

You can’t teach mean and you can’t teach size. Nedomlel has both of those things and other physical tools that makes him a potential steal in the late rounds of the draft. He is still a raw talent, but how many players in the 5th-7th rounds have his upside? I think someone has got to be thinking of taking a very logical flyer on him.

Round 7: the Wings’ last pick is 6’2,” 183-lb defenseman Alexei Marchenko from CSKA Moscow. NHL.com does not have a profile for him.

Nevermind, I found it: Marchenko’s played in 23 games for CSKA’s big club and registered 2 points in the KHL this past season, he’s listed at 170 lbs on his NHL profile and he shoots right. He also played in 10 games for CSKA in 2010-2011 and is an “older” player with a 1992 birthday (so he’s 19).

Russianprospect.com has a profile of Marchenko up:


2008-09: Marchenko started playing intensively for Russia 92 national team and took part in all the team’s tournaments abroad, including the Challenge Cup in Canada in which he gave three assists in five games. In 2007-08 he even played with team Russia 91. He also skated for CSKA junior farm team in the Russian first league.

2009-10: during this season Marchenko became the #1 defenseman for team Russia 92, constantly playing first line hockey in all the tournaments. He played very well both in the Ivan Hlinka tournament and in the World Junior Hockey Challenge in Canada, in which he had not penalty whistled against and showcased an excellent play both offensively and defensively. He was a key member of CSKA junior team in the newly founded MHL, serving as league’s face at the start of the season. He was thought to be the #1 defenseman at the U18s, but an injury forced him to stay at home.

Talent Analysis

Alexei Marchenko is a very good two way defenseman who can be effective at both ends of the ice. He plays an aggressive style back in the zone, but without being unnecessarily dirty. One of his top features is his ability in avoiding PIMs. He is also an excellent team player and listens to the coach’s assigned tasks. Marchenko has a very good technique and puck handling, as well as a very good skating, both forward and backwards. His passing game is well above the average too. His downside as offensive player is that he doesn’t have a great shot and he has to improve in this area. He also needs to bulk up and fill his frame for the more demanding North American game. He has a bright future in front of him.


Even if he isn’t one of the top ranked players for the draft, Marchenko can end up as one of the best defensemen of the 2010 selections. Since he missed the U18s he was probably underscouted and thus he won’t be a top pick, but he surely has a very high ceiling due to his very good two way play. He can become a reliable defenseman with a knack for offensive play, a player that can be effective in any situation and with both special teams.

And what a profile picture (giggling)...

Here’s Eliteprospects.com’s commentary on Marchenko, translated from Swedish:

An offensive defenseman with good technique and good skating. Good puck carrier. Needs to develop his defensive game (by Ulf Andersson)

Per RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau...

#redwings last pick, Marchenko, is a low risk high reward pick at the #nhldraft. He was eligible last year but spline injury held him back

Last MSM Break for the moment: Per RedWingsCentral’s Matthew Wuest:

7-205. D Alexei Marchenko, 6-2, 183, CSKA (KHL), 23-0-2-2-4

The Red Wings made Marchenko their first Russian draft choice since Gennady Stolyarov in 2004. Passed over in the 2010 draft, Marchenko — a rare right-shooting blueliner, at least for the Red Wings — is mobile and physical and has put up at good offensive numbers at the junior level. [Interview ] [ ESPN ]

Here’s the ESPN quip, from Lars Ove-Haraldsson:

Alexei Marchenko, D, CSKA Moscow, Jr.

A highly touted prospect prior to the draft last year, Marchenko was passed over due to health-related issues. He had his spleen removed, but he is back on track now after having been declared fit to play the game.

“Alexei is a very smart kid with solid positioning and a knack for taking out his opponent in one-on-one situations,” says one scout who has seen Marchenko several times this season. “He can play physical, especially using hip checks. He’s a good overall player who uses his smarts to contribute in special ways. Marchenko skates well and possesses good hockey sense. He will be a good addition to any team, a real catch.”

Another upside for this kid is his language skills. He’s fluent in English, which of course makes a transition to North America much easier. This will most likely make him even more interesting to teams come draft time.

Here’s Ted Kulfan on Marchenko:

With their last pick the Wings get a Russian defenseman, Alexei Marchenko, in the 7th round.

Scouts feel he’s a solid two-way defenseman who plays with grit. He flew under the radar of many teams because of not playing in some international tournaments.

And the Wings’ website posted a video of Jurco speaking to the media…

As well as Ouellet’s media availability…


And here’s Bill Roose’s middle-of-the-draft article:

The Red Wings used two of their three second-round picks – and four all together – on big defensemen first selecting 6-footer Xavier Ouellet and 6-3 Ryan Sproul with the 35th and 48th pick, respectively, in the 2011 NHL draft at Xcel Energy Center Saturday morning. Ouellet is no stranger to at least a few members of the Red Wings’ organization. He plays for Montreal of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League along side of forwards Louis-Marc Aubry, who was the Wings’ third-round pick last summer, and Trevor Parkes, who was signed as a free agent last September.

“I talked to them both, but not too much (about the Wings),” Ouellet said. “Maybe I’ll start this summer.”

Ouellet, 17, is a reliable defenseman, who makes good tape-to-tape breakout passes, something the Red Wings’ front office and scouting staff covet when reviewing defensive prospects.

“I’m an overall defenseman, who can do everything. But I need to get stronger,” said Ouellet, who since he was 5-years-old has idolized Nicklas Lids

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MsRedWinger's avatar

Posted by monkey from bat country on 06/25/11 at 01:43 PM ET

Wait until Babcock gets ahold of those names:

1.  Jurcie
2.  Xavie
3.  Sproulie
4.  Quinie
5.  Tvrie
6.  Hudie
7.  Mattie
8. Neddie

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/25/11 at 03:17 PM ET

SYF's avatar

ONLY the Wings completely and totally intrigue me with whom they pick in the late rounds.  No one else.

I think the Wings did a nice job in the draft and hopefully, they’ll become the latest in a long line of late-rounds draft gems.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/25/11 at 03:29 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

And what a profile picture (giggling)...

He’s a hell of a lot better looking than Ovechkin. 

I also think the Wings did a great job in the draft.  Lots of D men who seem to have potential and a dangler who models himself after Dats.

OK, time to do something else with the rest of my day.

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/25/11 at 03:39 PM ET


After an uneventful first draft day (sitting around for almost two hours and subjecting myself to an abundance of douchey Mcguire/McKenzie analysis…only to see Detroit TRADE their 1st rounder), I have to say that I’m very pleased with how the Wings’ draft has gone.

Posted by godblender on 06/25/11 at 04:04 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Well, Jurco fans, you’ve got your man.  Can’t say it’s a bad pick at #35, though.  Thanks, Gerry—I just hope he wasn’t flattered by playing on your team of doombringers.

Book: The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck

He’s good by me, even if he never plays a single game in the NHL.

Marek Tvrdon—this year’s Teemu Pulkkinen?  (By that I mean a talent that was on the rise and should have gone earlier if he hadn’t been injured, leaving us with another steal on our hands).

Two Slovaks and a Czech picked.  Who said the Czech and Slovak hockey programs were in severe decline?

Well, I’d say let’s see what RedWingsCentral has to say abou them…but let’s also see what George has to say about them when he seees them in person.  (George, how’s the fund coming?  And I really hope you won’t have to live on mac & cheese for a week, man….)

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/25/11 at 04:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The theory is that yes, Tvrdon could be another Pulkkinen…

And his shoulder was just as f’ed up as Pulkkinen’s, if not worse, so the Wings might want to keep a shoulder specialist on retainer.

The issue with Czechs and Slovaks isn’t that they don’t produce hockey players anymore—it’s that there really is no Major Junior or even Junior A league in either country, which means that unless you’re Tomas Tatar, and you can play on a professional hockey league’s team at 15, you have to go somewhere else to not stagnate or plain old find a place to play.

The kids who are mature enough and/or desperate enough to head over to the U.S. and Canada to play Major Junior Hockey or go to the USHL survive, and the rest don’t.

It’s the IIHF that’s convinced that this is somehow “America’s” fault and the NHL’s doing, when the reality is that when Czech coach Slavomir Lener blathered about the gutting of his country’s hockey prospects at the IIHF hockey summit last summer, he simply ignored the fact that both the Czech and Slovak republics are at fault for not supporting their own young hockey players.

I don’t know how many of these kids will make it to Traverse City—two weeks is short notice—and the fund is pretty close to being good to go.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/25/11 at 04:53 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Marek Tvrdon—this year’s Teemu Pulkkinen?

I just read the rest of the comments—just saw that George beat me to the punch. Great minds, George…right?  Right?

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/25/11 at 05:04 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

You know, Pulkkinen’s shoulder didn’t seem to be bothering him last year—he didn’t miss many games in the SM-Liiga, and some of the moves he pulled were highlight-reel.  As I don’t know much about his shot before he was drafted, I can’t say if it’s back to full strength, but from what I’ve seen, that was never what was dangerous about his shot—it’s that he can get it off anywhere, at any time, when it doesn’t look like there’s anything available, and his release is so quick that it’s tough to read when he’s going to shoot.

To be fair to the Czech and Slovak leagues, they flourished under the Soviet system when they were status symbols of the State and had loads of money, but you can hardly to expect them to maintain any semblance of a development program when the economy is a free market and even the most vital public services are suffering.  There’s a reason Ostalgia flourishes in the former Eastern Bloc, but to blame the NHL is hubris.  And to be fair to our picks this year, sure, they may be two Slovaks and a Czech, but they all play in North America already.

And you may not see many of them (that is to be expected, you’re right), but I’m more interested in seeing the progress of last year’s picks—especially if Sheahan’s offensive touch has picked up as it seemed to be toward the tail end of last season.  If Jarnkrok or Pulkkinen can make it over, that’d be great.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/25/11 at 05:14 PM ET

All American in MN's avatar

Not trying to be too greedy, but I wonder if the Wings will be able to secure a few try-outs as well…

Posted by All American in MN on 06/25/11 at 06:12 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

this post needs a voice translator so i know how (not) to (mis-)pronounce these names—- sheesh(!)

i was just thinking i could understand “Canadien-english” babblespeak from uncle mike, now this? maybe homer can help me out?

to be honest, i’m really in the dark on how good these guys are / could be, but based on some of the comments it looks like the Wings’ ‘brass balls’ done good, eh?

next up: 07/01/11

then, looking forward to the inside scoop from TC, George.


Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 06/25/11 at 07:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Wings will probably invite a good number of try-outs to their summer camp and 3-6 to their fall camp, so it’s entirely probable that they aren’t done yet…

I think we do need a little pronunciation help. I know it’s “YER-co” for Jurco, an “Ouellet” is usually an “Oo-LAY,” Tvrdon is “TIV-r-don” (handy tip: all Czech and Slovak last names have their emphasis on the first syllable) and I’m guessing that Marchenko’s simply “Mar-CHEN-ko,” but the others…

And yes, Andrew, Great Alikes Think A Mind.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/25/11 at 07:42 PM ET


Cool, I had the Jurco pronunciation , and the first half of Oulette right. The rest I would’ve never got. I still have problems calling Tatar ‘TATER’ instead of ‘TAH-TAR’

I am super stoked on this Jurco kid, he looks amazing.

Posted by LGRWeh on 06/25/11 at 07:46 PM ET


  I was actually referring to Jesters Dead of the Kim Jong-il avatar and his/her Tomas Jurco obsession.

  Posted by monkey from bat country on 06/25/11 at 12:06 PM ET

Yes, he was relentless.  He’s probably getting drunk or jacking off, or both, known as doing two longnecks at once.

RWBill -  Haha!!!! Yes, guilty. Pretty pumped about Jurco - he’s no Huberdeau or Landeskog, but there’s undeniable upside. Didn’t think he’d be on the board for very long after the Wings moved down. Solid draft.

Looking forward to your TC trip reports, George!


Posted by Jesters Dead on 06/25/11 at 08:44 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.


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