Updated at 1:57 PM: Of Red Wings prospect-related note this afternoon:
- The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted clips of Givani Smith and Filip Zadina speaking to the media after this morning’s summer development camp session:
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 27, 2018
2. The Free Press’s Jamie Samuelssen weighed in regarding the Wings’ draft class and the fact that luck played into the Wings’ selections…
The Wings brass, led by Holland prepared for every possible permutation of the first round. We all knew that Rasmus Dahlin was going No. 1 to Buffalo. We all knew that Andrei Svechnikov was going No. 2 to Montreal. Beyond that, there was some variance as to what was going to happen. But none of those variances had forward Filip Zadina falling to the Red Wings at No. 6. The Wings still used their allotted time to make the pick although the cameras showed Holland smiling and joking with Kris Draper, not having serious hushed discussions.
In other words, this was a no-brainer decision that they never thought they’d get the chance to make. Holland didn’t run to the stage to make the pick, but he didn’t waste his time either. And by all accounts, he clearly didn’t waste the pick.
The Wings are flush with young forwards in the organization, but for a variety of reasons, they’re not flush with goals. They scored 212 goals last season, which was 28th in the NHL. Zadina should help with that and that help could come as soon as this fall. If the Wings were building a fantasy hockey team, they might have passed on Zadina and taken Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes given the disparity in talent at the two position groups right now. But Zadina was too good to pass up.
That’s the point. That’s where the Red Wings are. That’s what Holland has embraced. It was reaffirmed later in the first round when he used the team’s next pick to take center Joe Veleno. Again, a talented forward who had, for whatever reason, slipped down in the first round and again the Wings swooped into grab him. The Wings badly needed defensemen. They used their first two picks on forwards. And they had a great, great draft.
3. And MLive’s Ansar Khan penned an article about Filip Zadina…
“I’m so glad I can be part of the Detroit organization because the people here, especially the fans, they’re awesome,” Zadina said Wednesday, during the second day of development camp at the Belfor Training Center inside Little Caesars Arena. “I see them at the development practice today and the rink was packed full. It’s good for me and good for us that the people are coming to see us on the ice.”
They’re also following him on social media, including Instagram.
“I had to turn off the notifications because I post a picture yesterday and if I had left the notifications on, probably my phone would just blow up,” Zadina said. “It was unbelievable, lots of comments. It’s awesome.”
The Czech native is in Detroit for the first time and hasn’t yet had a chance to see much of the city.
“I was just going through on the bus to Detroit, so I didn’t have a chance to see the city so far,” Zadina said. “I would like to do that at some point, either today or tomorrow. I’m kind of tired after practices so it was a pretty good, long practice today. It’s good for us. It’s about just making us better.”
As well as a video of Zadina dominating skill drills:
Detroit Red Wings prospect Givani Smith was raised to be aware he’d encounter racism, but the abuse became too much after the April 29 Ontario Hockey League playoff game between his Kitchener Rangers and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. After his Rangers pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory, Smith, who is black, skated by the Greyhounds’ bench and extended a middle finger. Smith was suspended two games, and wound up finishing his junior career watching his Rangers lose Game 7.
“Definitely it was a tough way to go out my last year of junior,” Smith said Wednesday after Day 2 of development camp. “We had a really good playoff run — to work so hard, and the way I got suspended, it wasn’t ideal.
“Throughout the whole year and at the end of the season, it all built up in me. What happened at the end of the game, I wasn’t thinking and my emotions got the best of me.”
Death threats on social media prompted a security guard to be present as Smith watched the series finale from the pressbox in Sault Ste. Marie.
“It was for my safety, I was getting some rude comments over social media and stuff like that,” Smith said. “Better being safe, especially in a place really far from home.”
Smith continued, “it’s 2018, nobody needs to hear that stuff. It doesn’t happen often, but it happened. I was raised to be pretty mentally tough so it didn’t really faze me too much. Me and my brothers were all raised to be mentally strong — my dad told us when we were little, down the road, wherever you go, stuff may happen. It’s just how it is. We were prepared for it, so I think we handle it pretty well.”