The Athletic’s Craig Custance spoke with Red Wings/Team USA coach Jeff Blashill and Wings director of player recruitment/Czech team GM Jiri Fischer about the impressions made by Dylan Larkin and Filip Hronek (respectively) at the World Championship.
According to Custance, Hronek has continued to take steps forward at the Worlds:
Defenseman Filip Hronek, one of the Red Wings’ three top prospects, has emerged as an important player for the Czechs, a team that features another Detroit prospect on defense in Libor Sulak. Fischer, as the Red Wings’ director of player evaluation, talks often to team management, but after Grand Rapids was eliminated from the AHL playoffs, he called Ken Holland and Ryan Martin to get formal permission to add Hronek to the Czech national team.
He was added with modest expectations. Hronek joined the Czech Republic as a No. 7 defenseman but has quickly moved up the depth chart, where he now runs a power play that features Pastrnak and Krejci.
He’s averaging over 15 minutes per game in his first experience with the men’s national team and has impressed Fischer with his willingness to try and make plays as a young defenseman.
“The coaches are really getting to know him as a player and as the games went on, he performed and gained more ice time,” Fischer said. “Now, he’s running one of the power plays. We’re heading into the quarterfinals. He’s played with no fear of making plays. That’s the big thing for any young player, especially young defensemen really, for the first time, getting time with star players.”
Custance continues, discussing Larkin’s progress made at the Worlds…