Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Your Opening Night Roster & A Look At Taro Hirose

07/08/2019 at 7:55am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Here are projections for the Oct. 5 opening night lineup.

Defense

Pair 2: Patrik Nemeth and Filip Hronek

Nemeth was signed for his sound defensive style. He could be a good partner either for Hronek or Green, and however it shakes out, it gives the Wings a right-shot and a left-shot on their top two pairings.

Pair 3: Trevor Daley/Jonathan Ericsson and Dennis Cholowski

Given their injury history, it seems doubtful both Daley and Ericsson make it through preseason. Cholowski, 21, logged 52 games last season before his defensive lapses (he was a team-worst minus-20) earned him a learning stint in the minors. He played 25 games with the Griffins, producing 12 assists and an even rating. Playing him on the third pairing (instead of last season’s baptism as a top-pairing guy, a result of injuries to veteran defensemen) should ease Cholowski’s growing pains.

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from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Now the 5-10, 160-pound left wing must show he deserves to stay in the NHL. His impressive play during a late-season audition gives him an inside track, but there will be a lot of competition in training camp from the likes of former first-round picks Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Michael Rasmussen and Evgeny Svechnikov.

All, including Hirose, can be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins without going through waivers, so nobody is going to be handed an NHL job by default.

“Just play my game, keep it simple and not try to do too much,” Hirose said. “Just try to have a mistake-free game and like (coach Jeff Blashill) always says, try to have your positives outweigh your negatives. Towards the end of the year, I might have been a little careless with the puck at times, so just cleaning up my game at both ends of the ice and doing whatever I can to make the team.”

The Calgary native, who at 23 was one of the older prospects at development camp last month, will spend most of the off-season in metro Detroit, training and working on his game and, as he put it, “show them I can play at that level.”

Hirose, dubbed “Taco” by teammates, is trying to be shiftier on the ice.

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