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Red Wings hedge their bets on Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet

Within a year of drafting Soo Greyhounds defenseman Ryan Sproul and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defenseman Xavier Ouellet, the pair of defensemen have grown into two of the Red Wings’ best defensive prospects, so the Wings chose to sign both players now instead of attempting to negotiate with the blossoming offensive defensemen’s agents a year from now:


… Defensemen Were Selected by Detroit in the 2nd Round of Last Year’s NHL Entry Draft …

Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today announced that defensemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul have both been signed to three-year entry-level contracts. In accordance with club policy, additional terms of these deals will not be disclosed.

Ouellet, 18, has skated with the Montreal Juniors/Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) franchise for the past two seasons where he has recorded 103 points (29G-74) and a rating of +43 in 130 career appearances. Selected by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet was a member of Team Orr at the 2011 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, played at Toronto ’s Air Canada Centre.

Montreal’s first choice (14th overall) at the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft, Ouellet was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and represented his home province of Quebec at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario . Currently competing in the President’s Cup Playoffs with Blainville-Boisbriand, Ouellet finished third amongst all QMJHL defensemen with 60 points (21G-39A) in 63 appearances during the 2011-12 regular season.

Detroit’s third selection (second round, 55th overall) at last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, Sproul, 19, has spent the last two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds where he has amassed 37G-50A-87P-89PIM in 122 games played.  The 6’4”, 185-lb. blue-liner was chosen by Sault Ste. Marie in the sixth round (108th overall) of the 2009 OHL Priority Selection Draft after enjoying a standout season with Vaughn Kings of the Greater Toronto Hockey League in 2008-09. 

A native of Mississauga , ON , Sproul was a member of the Ontario Hockey’s League’s Second All-Rookie Team in 2010-11 and was named the Greyhounds’ Top Defenseman in 2011-12 after finishing tied for third amongst all OHL rearguards with 54 points (23G-31A) in 61 games.

Both players could get a few games in with the Grand Rapids Griffins before their regular season ends, especially as Sproul’s Greyhounds didn’t make the playoffs, but that won’t affect either player’s major junior hockey eligibility.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Any word on the Danny DeKeyser front?

Posted by RyanVM on 03/25/12 at 04:37 PM ET

George Malik's avatar


Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/25/12 at 04:54 PM ET


I hate to be that guy who claims to know a guy who heard someone say this or that or blah blah blah but one of my buddies here at WMU went to De La Salle with DeKyser and his best friend and he claims that Danny told him that he’s already signed with an NHL team in January but is not allowed to say which one. I know it’s a pointless rumor because all anybody wants to know is who he has/will sign with but I just thought that was interesting

Posted by Ron from Kalamazoo on 03/25/12 at 09:37 PM ET

Speedy's avatar

he couldn’t be signed in January,that would penalize WMU.he’d be ineligible

Posted by Speedy on 03/25/12 at 11:41 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

He can unofficially agree to terms with a team on a contract. It’s somewhat “under the table” but as long as his “advisor” (and “family advisors” magically become agents when NCAA players turn pro) has done nothing wrong and none of the paperwork is formally signed, Dekeyser and his “advisor” are more or less allowed to agree to the framework of a deal.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/26/12 at 03:21 AM ET


DeKeyser was in the prospect camp with the Wings this year.  He’s been close with a lot of Wings players including Brendan Smith, and he’s also good friends with Jim Nill’s son, who he played with growing up. AND last year his coach was, Jeff Blashill now assistant for the Red Wings.  I’m not sure if he’s completely NHL ready, but IMO, he and Brendan Smith are the future of the Red Wing defense corps.  (IF DeKeyser is signed by the Wings, which IMO is 80% certain).

As inconsistent as Smith has been, he’s still +3, and has 7 points in 14 games.  The future is bright.

Sproul and Ouellet will replace Erhardt, Exelby and Janik (all are FAs, although Erhardt is an RFA).  The scouts are looking at Almqvist and Nedomlel too.

The Wings have had a few unbelievable drafts in the last 3 years.  There are 7 or 8 players that will be NHL players in the AHL, Major Jr, and Europe.

These are not Yuri Butsayev’s.  They are more like Tomas Fleischmanns.

I have no idea how the Wings are going to find room for them all, but I’m glad the Wings have that problem and not the reverse.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 03/26/12 at 06:29 PM ET


Also, Ouellet’s QMJHL team is still alive in the Playoffs.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 03/26/12 at 06:36 PM ET

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


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