from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Yzerman will be watching prospects and veterans as training camp commences next week in Traverse City, his first since taking over as general manager in April. Players young and old would do well to remember what Yzerman said this summer: Nobody is getting handed a position. Spots must be earned.
There are spots up for grabs for forwards and defensemen, which should make for a competitive camp and exhibition season. Veterans should feel vulnerable, because there are a handful of prospects ready to challenge for jobs.
Here is a camp primer.
Top prospects in line for jobs
Defenseman Filip Hronek, 21, has secured a lineup spot with a strong rookie season followed by a stand-out performance for the Czechs at the 2019 World Championship. He embraced two assignments to Grand Rapids, improving his defensive play and penalty killing. Look for him to absorb some of Niklas Kronwall’s minutes at even strength and on the penalty kill. Forward Taro Hirose, 23, impressed with his savvy passing during the 10 games he played after signing out of Michigan State, giving him an edge going into camp. Defenseman Dennis Cholowski, 21, needs to use exhibition game to show his demotion to Grand Rapids in the second half of the season paid off similarly, and that he can be trusted to make good decisions with the puck. Forward Christoffer Ehn, 23, has demonstrated he is a solid (and cheap) fit on the fourth line.