from Steven Ellis of The Hockey News,
In terms of young prospects with a chance to make an impact, Filip Zadina is the man tabbed with leading the way. Zadina, the Red Wings’ 2018 first-round pick (sixth overall), has had a season full of ups and downs. He had just one point for a Czech team that had high expectations at the World Junior Championships. He struggled to find his footing in the AHL out of the gate. But when he finally scored for Detroit against the Colorado Avalanche March 5, Zadina offered hope to a fan base that has been left without much optimism.
At this point, there’s nothing to suggest Zadina isn’t going to be a major factor in Detroit’s future, but he’s going to need a lot of help. The raw tools are there, and Zadina is a dynamic scoring forward who is very tough to slow down when he has the puck and has proven himself to be one of the best under-20 forwards in the AHL. He should be able to earn a spot in the top six full-time next year, even if they elect to start him in the AHL.
But if the Red Wings are going to make the rebuild work, they need to build a stronger base. The reliance can’t simply be on Zadina. Much of Detroit’s core – Darren Helm, Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek, Niklas Kronwall and Mike Green – is over 30, and the team is still without a promising young goalie for the future. It’s not like nobody saw this coming, either.
Below, Zadina, Kuffner and Blashill after today's skate.
added 5:50pm, Tonight's projected lineup for Detroit is below.