Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Prospect Repor

03/28/2021 at 6:31am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The NHL isn’t a developmental league, so putting a date on when prospects will be ready to put on a Wings jersey is tricky. But help is on the way. Shawn Horcoff keeps close tabs on the next generation in his role as the Wings’ director of player development, and he shared his insight into how select top prospects are faring.

F Jonatan Berggren

The 33rd pick in 2018 has been the other great Wings story to come out of Sweden this season. “He has been one of the best players in the league,” Horcoff said. Berggren, 20, has added muscle to his 5-foot-11, 183-pound frame after missing significant time the previous two seasons because of injuries.

“I still believe that time off was really good for him, because he had a long ways to go in terms of his physical strength and just overall body composition,” Horcoff said. “The injuries allowed him time to focus on those areas. He learned a lot about his body and also about the deficiencies in his game that he really needed to work on. To his credit, he put in the work and he’s had a fantastic season.”

Berggren first played in the SHL in 2017-18. He came into this season having appeared in 50 games, with two goals and 13 assists. This season, he has 12 goals and 32 points in 48 games with Skellefteå.

F Albin Grewe

The 66th pick in 2019 debuted Friday with the Grand Rapids Griffins, with whom he’ll stay while he waits to find out if the Ontario Hockey League will stage a season. (If that happens, he’ll join the Saginaw Spirit, who own his rights through the OHL import draft.) The 20-year-old is a 6-foot, 176-pound barrel of grit — a personable pest who models his game after NHL über-agitator Brad Marchand. That kind of game made Grewe stand out in his native Sweden.

“He’s more your typical Canadian, really — he’s a kid who goes out there and gives it his all every shift,” Horcoff said. “He’s proven he can score as well, can play on the power play.”

Grewe tallied three goals and three assists in 39 games with Djurgarden in the SHL. This was the first season he didn’t also spend time in lower Swedish leagues. “He’s figured out the sacrifice, the dedication that it takes to be a pro and making a pro team,” Horcoff said. “He had a really, really good summer last year and it showed in his play in Djurgarden. He carved out a nice little role there and played well.”

more (paid) prospects mentioned (D Albert Johansson, D Moritz Seider, D Antti Tuomisto, Joe Veleno and D Eemil Viro)

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