from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
In the glimpses he caught of defensemen Filip Hronek and Oliwer Kaski at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, coach Jeff Blashill saw how each could make the Detroit Red Wings better.
Hronek already has his foot in the door having played 46 games for the Wings last season. But Hronek looks poised for a bigger role after a standout performance for the Czech Republics in May at the World tournament. Hronek produced three goals and eight assists in 10 games. Fellow Wings teammate Anthony Mantha likewise had a stellar showing, as he helped Canada win silver, scoring eight goals and tying Mark Stone for a team-leading 14 points.
The Wings signed Kaski, who helped Finland win gold, after the tournament ended to a one-year deal. He has a great shot, shoots right, and starred last season in Finland’s top hockey league for the Lahti Pelicans, where he led the team with nine goals and 51 points in 59 games. The hope is he can translate his game to the NHL. The Wings tried to boost their defense last year with Czech free-agent signee Libor Sulak, but Sulak wasn’t able to grasp how to play defense at the NHL level.
Hronek has earned himself a spot as a regular, but there is uncertainty about the defense as a whole.