It’s been a while since I’ve been able to update the statuses of the Red Wings’ prospects and their developmental teams, so here’s a summary as to where things stand as of April 7th:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 3-0 decision to the Tuscon Roadrunners on Friday night, snapping a 7-game point streak, and the teams will play again in Arizona this evening.
The Griffins need to earn 3 more points to clinch a playoff spot in the AHL’s Central Division, and Grand Rapids has 4 more games on its schedule. The AHL’s playoff format is a little weird in that it involves win percentage over points as its playoff determinant.
In recent Griffins happenings:
1. The Griffins named Tom McCollum their AHL Man of the Year;
2. Grand Rapids signed free agent NCAA forwards Trevor Yates and Trevor Hamilton to contracts for the 2018-19 season. Yates signed an Amateur Try-Out with Grand Rapids for the balance of this season, and Hamilton headed to Toledo to join the Walleye;
3. As you probably know by now, Joe Hicketts and Evgeny Svechnikov were assigned to Grand Rapids by the Red Wings;
4. You may not know that Christoffer Ehn’s Frolunda Indians were eliminated from the SHL playoffs, and as a result, Ehn was assigned to the Griffins by the Red Wings;
5. And Filip Hronek was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team on Thursday.
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye have clinched a playoff spot and the Central Division/Western Conference title, and while the Walleye lost 5-2 to Fort Wayne on Friday night, the Walleye hit their 28th straight sellout and set an all-time single game attendance mark.
Of Walleye-related note:
1. Goaltender Pat Nagle was named to the ECHL’s Second All-Star Team;
2. The Walleye’s roster is fairly heavily stacked with Dylan Sadowy and Patrick McCarron joining the fray, and they may receive another player or two from Grand Rapids if the Wings assign Tyler Bertuzzi to GR.
3. From the Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe:
The 23-man playoff roster must be set at 3 p.m. Monday. Watson said he expects defenseman Simon Denis, who is on an AHL call-up, to be on it along with other recent AHL call-ups Patrick McCarron, Mike Borkowski, and Dylan Sadowy. Mike Embach, who was a scratch Friday, also will be back for Game 1.
In the USHL, Filip Larsson’s Tri-City Storm look like they won’t make the playoffs, and Larsson’s absence due to a groin injury has played a big part in Tri-City’s slide. The Storm most recently lost 6-2 to the Lincoln Stars on Friday night;
In the OHL:
1. Jordan Sambrook’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds swept Reilly Webb’s Saginaw Spirit 4-0 in the first round of the OHL playoffs, and Sault Ste. Marie is tied 1-1 with the Owen Sound Attack after two games.
On the losing side, Webb registered an assist in 4 games for Saginaw.
Smith has posted 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points over the course of 7 games played;
3. Kaden Fulcher’s Hamilton Bulldogs won 4-1 over the Ottawa 67’s in the first round, propelling the Bulldogs to a second-round match-up against the Niagara IceDogs.
Fulcher stopped 30 of 34 shots in the Bulldogs’ 5-4 OT win over Niagara on Friday, and he’s 5-and-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage thus far;
In the WHL:
Rasmussen had a goal and 2 assists on Friday, and he’s posted 6 goals, 9 assists and 15 points over the course of only 5 games played thus far;
2. On the other side of the battle, Zablocki’s Victoria Royals won 4-3 in a 7-game series with the Vancouver Giants, and Zablocki has posted 1 goal and only 4 penalty minutes thus far;
3. Finally, Dennis Cholowski’s Portland Winterhawks won a 7-game series over the Spokane Chiefs, emerging 4-3 winners, and on Friday, Portland opened its second-round series against Everett with a 5-2 win.
Cholowski did not score on Friday, but he’s posted 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points over the course of 8 games for Portland.