Draft talk: discussing the Wings’ possible North American picks

The past year has been especially challenging for this Red Wings blogger, and the area I’ve paid the least attention to is, in all honesty, the 2020 draft.

Between the draft’s delay, the challenges of daily life during the pandemic, plain old grieving, and my belief that one should not get too attached to a prospect, I’m just getting to know the prospects that the Red Wings may or may not pick with their 4th overall pick on October 6th.

The good news for me is that, in doing some late cramming, I’m not able to form the same kinds of emotional bonds to prospects that most of you have.

That means less grumbling from this corner when the Wings pick the player we didn’t think they had their eye on. That also means more sympathy for your likely disappointment when the Wings don’t pick “your guy” (again, let’s remember that the Yzerplan nearly derailed in the public’s eyes when the team drafted Moritz Seider all of 14 months ago).

So let’s get down to it. I’ll start talking about the North American skaters that the Red Wings are likely to pick between, and you’ll continue the discussion in the comments/on Twitter/FB/etc.

I’ve never written an article like this before (I like to see more than highlight clips before weighing in on prospects), so please excuse any hiccups.

Continue reading Draft talk: discussing the Wings’ possible North American picks

Roughly translated: Filip Zadina expects to miss a month with his upper-body injury

As you probably know by now, Filip Zadina missed Sunday’s Czech Extraliga game with HC Ocelari Trinec due to an upper-body injury, and Trinec is estimating that Zadina will miss at least two weeks with the UBI.

In something of a “teaser” piece, iDNES.cz spoke with Zadina regarding his injury, and here’s a rough translation of the interview conducted by Jan Danek and Anton Zelenko:

Trinec must play without their star; Zadina is injured for at least a month

The hockey players of Trinec have to play for at least a month in the Extraliga without forward Filip Zadina. The Detroit forward was injured during upper-body training. “I wouldn’t do it any more,” said the young forward, who didn’t want to be more specific in his interview with MF DNES.

He was going to be one of the mainstays of the ambitious Steelworkers, at least until Detroit recalled him back overseas. But after a promising exhibition season, Filip Zadina is biting himself for not appearing on the ice this week. Right at the start of the Extraliga season, he was sidelined by an injury to his upper body, which he suffered during training.

“It annoys me,” says Zadina in an interview, which you may read in its entirety in Monday’s MF DNES. The son of assistant coach Marek Zadina, who works for Trinec, also adds that Detroit’s not worried about his health.

“They told me that there was still time before I leave for America. They mainly wished me well and that I could start training. Doctors say that the treatment may take four to six weeks. I just hope that the convalescence will be shorter, and that I will have time to play in the Extraliga,” wishes Zadina.

He denies that the injury happened due to negligence [the direct translation says “stupidity”], and it could not have been prevented. “I can’t train that way at all. It’s a pity. Also because I sat down with the boys, we did well as a line. Now I’ll be watching Trinec only from the stands,” says Zadina, regretfully.

Trinec won their first game of the season without Zadina. On Sunday they won at Karlovy Vary 5-2.

Red Wings on European loan: Zadina ‘out for a couple of weeks’ with an upper-body injury

Not great news from the Czech Extraliga today: I noticed that Filip Zadina wasn’t listed among Ocelari Trinec’s lineup prior to their 5-2 win over HC Energie Karlovy Vary, and after the game, Ocelari Trinec’s website posted a press release regarding Zadina’s status:

Filip Zadina will be out for a few weeks

The summertime reinforcement of HC Ocelari Trinec from the NHL is out of the game for several weeks.

This is due to an injury that happened to the player during training right before the start of the new season of the Extraliga. The Detroit Red Wings, who loaned Zadina to Trinec, have been informed of the situation.

The 20-year-old forward had suffered an injury to his upper body, which will take him out of the game for several weeks. We believe that he will return to the team in full as soon as possible.

Filip Hronek and HK Mountfield are still playing HC Verva Litvinov at present, and Hronek has no points at present, but he’s already played 22:59 and is a -1 in a game that HK Mountfield leads 4-2. I’ll post an update to the score when the game ends.

Update: HK Mountfield won 4-2 over HC Verva Litvinov. Hronek played 25:54 and finished at -1, skating alongside former Wings prospect Richard Nedomlel.

Tweet of note: Friedman reports that Jimmy Howard wants to continue playing

Many thanks to Temo on Facebook for the tip here:

I still believe that there’s a possibility that the Wings re-sign Howard on an economical deal, but that’s just me.

Update: Here’s a bit more, from Sportsnet:

Continue reading Tweet of note: Friedman reports that Jimmy Howard wants to continue playing

Good read: NHL.com’s Morreale discusses Germany’s ascent, producing Moritz Seider included

NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale penned an intriguing article regarding Germany’s slow but steady growth as a hockey-player-developing nation.

While the article mostly focuses on Tim Stuetzle’s status as one of the best prospects available in the 2020 draft, Morreale’s thorough examination of the German ice hockey machine that is the Adler Mannheim involves some discussion of Moritz Seider as a trailblazing prospect:

Seider was named rookie of the year in the DEL in 2018-19 despite being limited to 29 games because of a shoulder injury. He had five assists in 14 playoff games to help Mannheim win the DEL championship.

“For a lot of young players like myself, Seider was the go-to guy,” Stuetzle said. “He showed everybody that you can develop a lot even if you stay in Germany.”

Seider had six assists in seven games for Germany in the 2020 World Junior Championship and didn’t look out of place his first season in North America with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, scoring 22 points (two goals, 20 assists) in 49 games.

“I was really high on [Seider] prior to the 2019 draft,” [Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan] Andersson said. “I liked his hands, skating, poise and size, but a big thing also was his personality. He’s a human being that is above your average player … he’s caring, outgoing and confident.”

Continued; Andersson, never one to mince words, also says this about Germany’s development in terms of producing hockey talent:

“I know the country has been working on ways to get more young players in their league instead of older guys from other countries taking up lots of ice time, and that looks like it’s paying off this and last season, for sure,” Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson said. “I think if young hockey players see that there’s a chance to play on the big senior team, that’s a big boost for many of them and could maybe even be a boost to get more young hockey players starting in Germany.”

Kulfan speaks with Frans Nielsen regarding rebounding from the 2019-2020 season

The Red Wings are in quite the pickle with one Frans Nielsen. The 36-year-old center is signed for 2 more years at a cap hit of $5.25 million, with his no-movement clause switching to (per CapFriendly) a modified no-trade clause this and next season.

Nielsen had a rough 2019-2020 season for the Wings, posting only 4 goals and 5 assists in 60 games, down from 35 points during the 2018-2019 season. There’s been a little bit of chatter from Denmark regarding Nielsen heading home to play for his hometown Herning Blue Fox of the Dansk Metal League, but it doesn’t appear that Nielsen wants to retire just yet.

Instead, Nielsen tells the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan (via a subscriber-only article) that he’s dedicating himself to bouncing back from the worst season of his career:

“My mindset this summer has been one of putting it all out there,” said Nielsen, who compared the situation as if he was training as a 25-year-old again. “I haven’t been burying my head. I’ve been working. I’m pushing myself, and the body is feeling good. I’m putting the work in. Hopefully that’ll carry over into the season. I had to work even harder.”

Nielsen has been working out with Timra of the Swedish Elite League, along with Danish teams in his native Denmark, where he and his family have been living since about late April. Nielsen has been skating three times a week — rinks in Sweden and Denmark have generally remained open during the pandemic — and feels it has done him, and will continue to do him, good.

“Absolutely, because these guys I am skating with, they’re fighting for jobs and to get into the lineup, so it’s a high pace, and people are competing out there,” Nielsen said. “So I’m getting that right now. I’m back to that mindset, a little bit, of I’m 25 again. I went all in this summer. I don’t know how long I’m going to play and I’ll see where it takes me. But I’m training as hard as I can. I needed to do something and this has been a different type of summer. I knew this would be a long break, so I’m building up over a longer period of time.”

Continued (paywall); Nielsen also tells Kulfan that he believes the Wings won’t be as woefully bad as they were last season:

Continue reading Kulfan speaks with Frans Nielsen regarding rebounding from the 2019-2020 season

Prospect round-up: Johansson scores a goal, Berggren 1+1 in SHL action

Of prospect-related note today, from Sweden’s SHL:

Wings prospect and Farjestad BK defenseman Albert Johansson scored a goal, added an assist and finished at +1 in 13:13 of ice time as Farjestad beat Lulea 4-2.

The Athletic’s Max Bultman found a clip of Johansson’s goal…

Continue reading Prospect round-up: Johansson scores a goal, Berggren 1+1 in SHL action

Scotty Bowman weighs in on the Cup Final

This isn’t Red Wings-related, but it’s a “good read”: one William Scott “Scotty” Bowman spoke with NHL.com’s Dave Stubbs regarding the Stanley Cup Final.

As Bowman is generally based in Sarasota, Florida, he sees most Tampa Bay Lightning home games, but he’s been at home in Buffalo since the regular season was cancelled due to the pandemic. He tells Stubbs that he expects the final to live up to its billing:

“I think we’re going to see spectacular hockey,” the legendary coach said of the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, which starts Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). “We never knew what was going to happen with the pandemic, but now the end is in sight.”

Bowman, who turned 87 on Friday, might have a winner picked, but he’s not sharing it publicly out of respect for each organization. Based near Tampa during the winter, he scouts for the Chicago Blackhawks as senior adviser of hockey operations at almost every home game of the Lightning and is friendly with their front office and coaching staff and familiar with their roster.

He includes Dallas CEO Jim Lites and general manager Jim Nill, each of whom he worked with in the Detroit Red Wings organization, and Stars coach Rick Bowness among his friends.

But Bowman, who has won the Stanley Cup 14 times — a record nine as a coach with the Montreal Canadiens (1973, 1976-79), Pittsburgh Penguins (1992) and Red Wings (1997-98, 2002), then five more as an executive with the Penguins (1991), Red Wings (2008) and Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015) — has advice for each team.


When free agency nears, should the Wings utilize their draft picks to snag UFA’s ‘early?’

The Red Wings own 11 picks in the upcoming 2020 draft, and Sportsnet’s Luke Fox brings up an interesting point in this morning’s “Quick Shifts“: a significant portion of marquee free agents-to-be have been traded by their rights-holding teams approximately at or around the time of the NHL draft (October 6th and 7th, 2020, ahead of free agency on October 9th).

So, should the Red Wings truly have some interest in signing Torey Krug or any other marquee free agent, would it not make sense for the team to pony up one of those draft picks in order to obtain their rights prior to the free agent period?

Fox notes that the price for acquiring UFA’s-to-be isn’t cost prohibitive:

Continue reading When free agency nears, should the Wings utilize their draft picks to snag UFA’s ‘early?’