Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

It’s Detroit’s Day At NHL.com

NHL.com is providing in-depth roster, prospect and fantasy analysis for each of its 32 teams from Aug. 8-Sept. 8. Today, the Detroit Red Wings.

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the NHL website,

The Detroit Red Wings hope to be more competitive in their fourth season under general manager Steve Yzerman after adding a new coach and several new players.

"We're definitely poised to take a big step this season," center Andrew Copp said after signing a five-year, $28.125 million contract (average annual value $5.625 million) as an unrestricted free agent July 13.

The Red Wings (32-40-10) finished sixth in the Atlantic Division last season and failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight time, while ranking at or near the bottom of the NHL in each major category -- goals (227, 25th), goals against (310, 31st), power play (16.3 percent, 26th) and penalty kill (73.8 percent 32nd).

They will look far different after the offseason additions of coach Derek Lalonde, goalie Ville Husso, defensemen Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta and Mark Pysyk, and Copp, Dominik Kubalik and David Perron at forward.

"I think we've addressed some needs," Yzerman said. "I'm hoping we're a better team. I think we're progressing slowly in this rebuilding of the Red Wings. Are we good enough to make the playoffs next year? I don't know.

"I'm hopeful that we'll score more goals, we'll give up fewer goals. I'm hoping our power play will be a little bit better, our penalty killing is a little bit better, our goals against is a little bit better, and that pushes us higher up the standings."

continued, plus...

Red Wings 32 in 32: 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown

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KK- I Waited Too Long

I should have posted this earlier today but it's summer, it's slow and I had a brain freeze.

Reoprts from members to me stating they cannot comment and/or sign in.

Work on the issue has been on-going and I hope to have a resolution soon.

The issue is being caused by the hack and I hope this is the last time I have to say that.

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Ottawa Or Detroit?

Dan Rosen of NHL.com answers some fan mail,

Based on what they have done, who do you think is more likely to make the playoffs, the Senators or the Red Wings? -- @punmasterrifkin

That's a tough call because I don't think either is ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, but I like the Ottawa Senators' chances slightly better because of their high-end scoring.

Ottawa's expected top-six forward group of Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux, Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Drake Batherson and Tim Stutzle combined for 367 points (166 goals, 201 assists) in 427 games last season, for per-game averages of 0.39 goals, 0.47 assists and 0.86 points. Each of the six has a chance to score at least 30 goals this season, and Tkachuk, DeBrincat and Norris each could score 40.

The Red Wings are solid up front with a projected top-six forward group of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, Jakub Vrana, Andrew Copp and David Perron. They combined for 317 points (145 goals, 172 assists) in 386 games last season, per-game averages of 0.38 goals, 0.45 assists and 0.82 points.

So, it's close if you just go by those numbers, and it's certainly reasonable to think Raymond, who had 57 points (23 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games as a rookie, will take a big step, and Vrana, who had 19 points (13 goals, six assists) in 26 games, will make a big impact if he stays healthy. But the upside of Senators' top-six is better because of the expected continued growth from Tkachuk, Stutzle, Norris and Batherson, plus the additions of Giroux and DeBrincat.

continued

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No Change For Tyler Bertuzzi Playing In Canada

The NHL/NHLPA released their COVID protocol beginning today and for the NHL season.

It is in a PDF format but here is what Detroit fans are interested in...

Currently, the Canadian-U.S. border continues to have travel quarantine restrictions in place that are related to a person’s vaccination status. Given this, and absent receipt of an exemption from the relevant U.S. or Canadian health authorities, unvaccinated Individuals (as defined by CDC and/or Health Canada) may not be allowed to travel across the Canadian-U.S. border or may be required to quarantine, which would obviously limit their ability to participate in Club activities (e.g., playing in Games, Club travel, and training activities) (hereafter “Club Activities”). As of the effective date of this document, neither Canada nor the U.S. requires a negative COVID-19 test (rapid antigen or molecular) prior to entry. As a reminder, individuals who are COVID19 positive remain subject to the isolation restrictions set forth below as well as those imposed by local health authorities.

added 5:16pm, more details below...

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NHL Network Talks Ben Chiarot

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Hakan Andersson On The Swedish Prospects

from The Malik Report,

Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson spoke with HockeyNews.se’s Simon Eld today, discussing the Red Wings’ trio of prospects taking part in the World Junior Championship (Edvinsson, Niederbach and Wallinder) as well as one more propect making their North American pro debut this season (Elmer Soderblom). Here’s a rough translation of the interview:

Hakan Andersson on Edvinsson and Wallinder: “Phenomenal”

For 30 years, Hakan Andersson has been the director of European scouting for the Detroit Red Wings. During his years with the team, he’s been a key when the team signed players such as Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula and Gustav Nyquist.

Now, the next batch of Swedes are on their way over to the Michigan-based team. For HockeySverige.se, he gives his thoughts on the WJC tournament, and tells how he sees the Swedish defensive duo’s rocket-like development.

“Their efforts in the WJC have been okay. Simon Edvinsson is 3rd, William Wallinder is 2nd. Both had phenomenal seasons last year. I haven’t gone through in detail, but I can’t imagine that there are better defensive prospects anywhere.

much more

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Two Detroit Prospects Once Did Not See Eye To Eye

from olan Bianchi of the Detroit News,

There was a time when Carter Mazur and Redmond Savage hated each other.

But that was before Mazur, a Jackson native, and Savage, who was born in Arizona but moved to Michigan when he was in the eighth grade, were both selected as middle-round draft picks by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2021 NHL Draft.

"Carter and I used to have some battles in our U15, U16 years; our teams were pretty big rivals. I was on Compuware and he was on Little Caesars," Savage told The Detroit News.

"Mr. (Kris) Draper was coaching their team and Kienan (Draper, a fellow Red Wings prospect) was on that team. We had a pretty stacked team ourselves ... and it got pretty heated a lot of the times, so I actually grew up hating (Mazur). But now that he's on my team, I'm a pretty big fan of him."

continued

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Simon Edvinsson Is Just Getting Started

from Steve Ellis of The Hockey News,

"He can break you down all by himself."

USA coach Nate Leaman couldn't have said it better about Simon Edvinsson, the 6-foot-6 hulking blueliner from Sweden. He was drafted sixth overall by Detroit in 2021, and with Calder Trophy Winner Moritz Seider already in the lineup, he's not far from giving the Red Wings one of the most feared 1-2 defensive duos in the NHL.

It pays to be bad in some cases. And the Red Wings aren't far away from escaping the bottom.

"Congrats to Detroit," Swedish coach Tomas Montén said with a smile after Sweden's victory over Switzerland to open the 2022 World Junior Championship....

"He's a unique talent," Montén said. "I think it's his size and how he moves, that's what first comes to mind. He's big and can skate and can handle the puck. Usually, those size defensemen are more like stay-at-home D and just rim it off the glass and things like that. Not him... He's an '03, he has some experience, but he's always cool. I think it's a strength."

Edvinsson has made his mark as one of the top players to watch in Edmonton, and that'll sentiment will only continue to grow as the tournament wears on. It can't be understated how good of a prospect he is right now -- like his coach said, he has the speed and size you're looking for, but plays with the mobility you'd expect from someone standing six inches smaller. Throw him beside the 6-foot-4 Seider on the Wings blueline and you've got one tough group to penetrate. Edvinsson's size alone is intimidating, even ignoring the other attributes of his game.

"You see how he handles the puck and just on the blueline how he stands there, it's huge," Austrian forward Ian Scherzer said.

more

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Elmer Soderblom’s Growth

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Detroit Red Wings prospect Elmer Soderblom is what hockey scouts like to call a late bloomer. Selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL entry draft at 149th overall, Soderblom today stands out in the crowd amongst the club’s top NHL hopefuls – both literally and figuratively.

At 6-foot-8 and 249 pounds, it’s hard not to notice Soderblom. After a 21-goal season for Frolunda in the SHL, it’s difficult to contain the excitement of what might lay ahead for the 21-year-old Swede.

“He’s a mountain,” fellow Red Wings prospect Simon Edvinsson, his teammate at Frolunda, said of Soderblom. “He likes to score goals. He’s a good goal-scorer, a great protector of the puck. He’s a great skater.

“In general he’s had tremendous development last year. When you see him here for the first time you’re going to recognize him. He’s a really great player.”...

When it comes to tapping into Soderblom’s potential, it might be wise for everyone to tap the brakes. History shows that Soderblom doesn’t take steps up the hockey ladder in one giant leap. He tends to be more about making baby steps into every level of the game.

“He’s kind of got a profile that is a bit all over,” explained NHL prospect expert Byron Bader of HockeyProspecting.com. “He’s kind of up and down, which is not very common.”

The evidence is backing up this assessment. At the U16 level in Sweden, Soderblom’s goal production jumped from two in his first season to 23 in his second year. Moving to U18, he went from zero goals to 15 in consecutive campaigns. At the U20 level, Soderblom’s season-by-season goal output was 0-9-29. Finally, in the senior SHL, Sweden’s top level, Soderblom’s three-season goal output was 0-3-21.

more

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Videos- A Nice Night For Carter Mazur

from David Morassutti of Sportsnet,

2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA
Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver.

While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

read on for the 3rd and 1st star of the night...

Below, watch both of Mazur's goals.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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