MLive’s Ansar Khan discusses the 2018-19 season outlook for Filip Hronek this morning:
2018-19 outlook: Hronek, the team’s third selection in the 2016 draft (53rd overall), had a strong rookie AHL season, following a solid OHL year in Saginaw after making the jump from the Czech Republic to North America.
Now he’s ready for the NHL. At least, the Red Wings hope so. They have four defense prospects who are close (Joe Hicketts, Libor Sulak and Dennis Cholowski the others) and believe Hronek leads the pack.
Hronek is mobile, moves the puck well, has offensive ability and shoots right. Those are elements the Red Wings’ blue line lacks.
If the Red Wings use Danny DeKeyser-Mike Green and Trevor Daley-Jonathan Ericsson as their top two defense pairings, Hronek play alongside Niklas Kronwall on the third pairing. Hronek figures to be competing with Nick Jensen for a spot in the lineup. Because he’s waiver-exempt, Hronek likely would return to Grand Rapids if he’s not playing regularly in Detroit.
Strength is usually an issue with younger players and Hronek improved last season by gaining 10 pounds. Despite his offensive ability, whether he plays and how many minutes he logs will depend mostly on how well he plays defensively.