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Topic Of The Day Is Joe Hicketts

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

Joe Hicketts got a call Sunday morning from Jeff Nelson, head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Red Wings wanted him....

“Nellie called. He just said I was going up,” said Hicketts, a diminutive, offense-minded defenseman, who is listed at 5-8, 180 pounds. “I didn’t know I was going to play at that point.

“It’s just something that – it was a dream come true, almost.”

One of Hicketts’ models is the retired Dearborn-native Brian Rafalski, who listed at 5-10, 194 pounds by the end of his career.

read on

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Martin Frk sized up his newest Detroit Red Wings teammate with affection.

A lower-body injury to veteran Trevor Daley prompted the Wings to call up defense prospect Joe Hicketts on Sunday, and he’ll make his NHL debut Monday at New Jersey.

Hicketts, 21, stands out with his passes — and for how physical he plays for a guy generously listed as 5-foot-8, 180 pounds.

“A little small,” Frk said Sunday. “But he plays like he’s tall guy.”

Hicketts hasn't had a particularly good season so far with the Grand Rapids Griffins, with just six assists and eight points in 43 games, but he earned the call because of the impression he made last season, when he helped the Griffins win the Calder Cup.

continued

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Comments

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Rafalski could skate. So does Krug. So does Ryan Ellis.

I’ll be cheering for Hicketts…but being an average skater at a midget size will land you a nice career in Europe or the AHL. He has no chance here.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 03:53 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Had a great time watching him out here in Portland after the Red Wings signed him… here’s hoping he rises to the challenge.

LGRW!!


P.S. He can skate.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 01/22/18 at 04:00 PM ET

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Scouting reports I’ve read about him all say he is very good skater, but I’ve never seen him play.

Posted by George0211 on 01/22/18 at 04:14 PM ET

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He has no chance here.

The mere fact that you can’t imagine him succeeding is enough for me to assume he’s going to have a long NHL career..

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/22/18 at 04:31 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

I’ve never seen him play.

I’m not so sure FS has either. I’ve said it before: doubt Hicketts at your own peril. I would put him as an above average skater. Probably not as fast as the guys FS mentioned, but certainly faster than any of the other defensemen on last year’s calder cup winning roster. He knows how to escape forechecking pressure as well. Something this team’s been missing. Every time I go to a Griffs game, he’s the most entertaining player on the ice. I’m really excited.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 01/22/18 at 04:34 PM ET

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Hey Joe! Apparently you are a midget at 5-10. Guess what? I guess most of America I are midgets.

Did I say something stupid again?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 04:45 PM ET

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When I say Hickett’s can’t skate, that’s an expression meaning it’s not a strength. Obviously he can skate. So can Cleary. So can the girls that scrape the ice.

What I mean is Hicketts isn’t an elite skater. He’s average. Some guys that are average skaters can make it in this league. Dekeyser is average. Quincey was average. Ericsson and Kronwall at this stage are even worse than that. So it’s possible to make a living as an NHL d-man as an average skater.

But when you add in his size (listed at 5’8, 177) then his average skating becomes a major problem. I’m not calling him a wimp. He’s tough. He hits. He’s fearless. He will battle anyone. But larger forwards can shield the puck from him. He has no reach. So the only thing smaller d-man can do to compensate is quick feet and perfect edge work. And Hickett’s just doesn’t have elite skills here. So go ahead and claim that “FS probably never watches him play”. That’s cool. I’m not insulted. But I know what I know.

If you’d like a nice comparison, watch Sami Vatanen tonight. He’s just 5’10, 183…so only slightly bigger than Hicketts. But he is an ELITE skater. One of the smoothest on the ice tonight. Vatanen survives at his size because of this skill.  If Vatanen skated like say, Dekeyser or Ouellet, well he’d be in the AHL. But because he “can skate” Vatanen can play a top 4 role in the NHL.

I’m not a hater. I really hope Hicketts plays the next 30+ games and proves he belongs. But I doubt it.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 05:05 PM ET

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When I say Hickett’s can’t skate, that’s an expression meaning it’s not a strength

Ahhh… that’s such clear communication. Now we are all idiots for not understanding what was meant from what was said.

Usually when someone isn’t clear about what they said they take responsibility for the misunderstanding…..oh shit, Trump is teaching us that isn’t the case anymore. So much for MAGA becuause it never was?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 05:16 PM ET

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Also, for what it’s worth…in the opening post I did describe Hicketts as being an average skater.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 05:18 PM ET

Paul's avatar

In other news, Taylor Hall out for tonight’s game.  He has a hand issue and will at least miss his next game too.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/22/18 at 05:22 PM ET

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Trump is teaching us

Paul, just as a suggestion, can we eliminate politics from the hockey forum? I just do not think it belongs here. We cannot even agree here whether Hicketts can skate or not.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/22/18 at 05:34 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agree VP and it is a good point.

Of course, politics and hockey mix at times and I do post on occasion, but this is not one of those posts.

So please, enough ot that type of talk hah…, we don’t need that type of talk here. Thanks.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/22/18 at 05:39 PM ET

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In other news, Taylor Hall out for tonight’s game.  He has a hand issue and will at least miss his next game too.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/22/18 at 04:22 PM ET

Big break for us. The line of Hall-Hischier-Bratt is so fast. I’m sure they were salivating at the opportunity to catch Kronwall-Hicketts on the ice. Still can’t believe Shero turned Henrique and Larsson into Hall and Vatanen. Trades are hard.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 05:46 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Hicketts hasn’t had a particularly good season so far with the Grand Rapids Griffins, with just six assists and eight points in 43 games

That’s actually horrible.  He’s worst of the Dmen with -10 and has the second fewest points of the D who have played all season so far.  https://theahl.com/stats/player-stats/328/57?playerType=skater&team=328&rookie=no&season=54&statsType=standard&sort=points&league=4&league_code=ahl&position=defencemen&currentPage=1&playertype=skater&statstype=standard&page=1 

On the bright side, you look at those stats and see Hronek and Slipperyjarjelly are doing pretty well for a couple rookies with fewer games under their belts.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/22/18 at 05:56 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I’ll be pulling for the little guy.

As for his speed,or lack thereof, I’m guessing he is faster than every d-man on this roster not named Jensen or Green….but then that’s not saying a whole lot….

If the talk of his passing ability is true, then he’s already ahead of everyone else on this pathetic, decrepit, slow footed, immobile defense…. hmmm

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/22/18 at 06:30 PM ET

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The following is a quote from Custance article:

“He’s awesome,” said one NHL team executive, who seemed legitimately excited Hicketts got called up. “He’s an undersized guy with a set of balls like a bull who doesn’t give a f*** and just plays hard, smart hockey.”

I look forward to watching him.

Posted by NEWing on 01/22/18 at 07:38 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

A couple or a few months ago, we heard crying that it was Lashoff and not Hicketts that gets the callup.

Now, Hicketts gets called up, and here it goes that he is getting crushed for his skating ability, and all his flaws.

It. Doesnt. Make. Sense.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 07:43 PM ET

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A couple or a few months ago, we heard crying that it was Lashoff and not Hicketts that gets the callup.

Now, Hicketts gets called up, and here it goes that he is getting crushed for his skating ability, and all his flaws.

It. Doesnt. Make. Sense.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 06:43 PM ET

Hicketts >>> Lashoff

Doesn’t mean Hicketts has an NHL future though.

Not. That. Complicated.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 07:47 PM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 06:43 PM ET

I bet if Chycherun were called up FS would be happy…oh, dang it. The Wings traded him away with Dats’ contract for Cholo and Hronek.

whoops! scratch that. Chycherun was traded for just Cholo and G. Smith because KH would have taken Hronek anyway.

Whoops! never mind. KH sucks.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 07:56 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

Man.. I’m totally pulling for the little dude. And that quote.. Yes please. More than half the team doesn’t have a set of balls..

And fatsavage.. bruv.. The hate flows through you. Don’t get all defensive reading this either. I don’t post super often. Just read a lot and enjoy what happens here. Let the hate go. Embrace the change. We all wanted to get younger anyways.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/22/18 at 07:59 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/22/18 at 06:59 PM ET

Right!!!

Hicketts didnt have all these flaws last time we needed a d-man call up I guess. OR HE must have, but that didn’t matter for some reason until now.

 

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 08:06 PM ET

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Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/22/18 at 06:59 PM ET

woe nelly! you have been around since 2011!

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 08:07 PM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 07:06 PM ET

He’s not Chycherun.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 08:08 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Chicken run or Chick run?

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 08:10 PM ET

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Chicken run or Chick run?

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/22/18 at 07:10 PM ET

hell if I know. He’s a russian kid right? I don’t speak russian.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 08:11 PM ET

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Hicketts should have been called up over Lashoff. Because he’s better than Lashoff. And worth evaluating at the NHL level. It was true months ago. And true right now.

But being a better d-man than Brian Lashoff does not mean you belong in the NHL. It means you are better than Brian Lashoff.

Whether it was 1 year ago, 1 month ago, or 1 week ago…the truth remains the same. Hicketts is small. It’s not about being tough. He’s probably “tougher” than Ericsson. But the size means he has no reach. It’s easy to get position on him. Some small guys can overcome that with fast feet and excellent edgework. But unfortunately Hicketts is average at that. So he’s facing a real uphill battle.

I have no idea why this is so controversial. I never said he shouldn’t have been called up. I’ve always supported taking a look at him, particularly when we routinely trot out garbage like Kronwall, Ouellet, Jensen, Witkowski, and sometimes Lashoff. Just saying that he’s probably not going to make it a career here. Oh the horror.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/22/18 at 08:15 PM ET

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Hicketts is small.

whoops. is that another retraction?

...at a midget size…

Oh the horror.

every time you post I close my eyes.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 08:20 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

every time you post I close my eyes.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/22/18 at 07:20 PM ET

And yet somehow, H&H, you always end up opening them, reading what he says, and then posting some snide comment. As RorSchach said FS, “Let the hate go.”

Between you, ILH and FS, the Comments sections are worse now than when both Garth and HinHD were around. If you don’t respect one another, at least have enough respect for Paul to quit this incessant and childish bickering.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/23/18 at 01:41 AM ET

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If you don’t respect one another, at least have enough respect for Paul to quit this incessant and childish bickering.

+19

Posted by VPalmer on 01/23/18 at 12:24 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.