Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. In the prospect department, part 1: MLive’s Ansar Khan penned a profile of Dennis Cholowski:
The Red Wings’ message to Cholowski after the 2017 preseason was to be more assertive. He tallied 14 goals and 52 assists in 69 games in a season divided between Prince George and Portland of the WHL. He appeared in one playoff game with the Griffins after Portland was eliminated in the playoffs.
Cholowski said being more assertive means “quicker decisions, more aggressive, always wanting the puck on my stick and being able to be the guy that’s going to make a play to create a chance or break the puck out.
“Confidence is up, I’m skating with the puck more, moving my feet and making plays,” Cholowski said. “I’m not afraid to make mistakes anymore. Things are looking up for sure.”
He took significant strides last summer in the gym and looks to do the same this year while staying in metro Detroit, training with other Red Wings and prospects.
“You feel your body is a little bigger, you’re a little stronger and you can win puck battles easier,” Cholowski said. “I think my season was really good for that. I’m going to carry that over into camp and into the season.”
Khan continues, quoting Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff and Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon…
2. In the prospect department, part 2: Craig Custance wrote an article about the Wings’ drafting of 5’8,” 154-pound Finnish forward Otto Kivenmaki:
With the 191st overall pick in the 2018 draft, the Red Wings took an 18-year-old forward who is listed 5-foot-8, 154 pounds. And that’s up from the 137 pounds he’s listed at on his hockeydb page.
The first person in the Red Wings organization he spoke with was European scout Antonin Routa, and for Routa, the pick was the completion of a process that went back to November. Early in the season, Routa was doing some scouting and getting a sense of where all the young players were in Finland.
When he’d watch Kivenmaki’s team, the kid stood out. Consistently.
“He was just a little kid who was running around and had some skills,” Routa told The Athletic from Finland this week. “He caught my eye in the beginning with what he had and how he played.”
He had something. He definitely had something. Yes, he was small, but he was a natural skater who had hockey sense and skills that can’t be taught. He was officially on the Red Wings radar.
Custance continues (paywall)…