from Mark Newman of GriffinsHockey.com,
Some vilified his predecessor for adhering to the adage of allowing players to become “overripe” in the minors before being promoted to the NHL, but Yzerman also believes that there are risks in pushing a player too fast.
The fact is the development process at the AHL level frequently takes time. How much time a player may need will vary.
“The timetable is different for every player,” Yzerman said. “My feeling is when you have young guys who are excelling in the American League for an extended period of time, they’re showing they’re ready for the NHL. When they’re really good in the AHL, they’re usually good enough to play in the NHL. But you have to look at it player by player.”
Yzerman feels that it’s in the best interest of the player’s development to put them in a position to gain from experience. The more minutes available to a prospect, the more opportunities for that player to polish their skills.
“If they’re in the NHL, but they’re sitting at the end of the bench and only getting limited minutes and struggling to meet your expectations, they’re better off playing in a place where they can be improving and excelling and their confidence can be growing,” he said. “Our goal is to help them become better players.”
Still, Yzerman won’t hesitate to promote a prospect if they can help make the Red Wings a better team without stunting their own growth.
“If they’re in the NHL and they can make the team more competitive, they’re helping the team,” he said. “If they’re excelling on the ice and holding their own – given it can be difficult, it can be a challenge – they’ll be given the opportunity to show they can play in the NHL.