The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner spoke with Red Wings assistant GM and Grand Rapids Griffins GM Ryan Martin regarding the future of the Grand Rapids Griffins as it applies to a future influx of the Red Wings’ top prospects:
The Red Wings have as many as 11 picks within the first six rounds of the NHL draft this June 22-23. That follows 11 selected last season and comes after 13 picks the previous two drafts combined. But, before the best prospects migrate to Detroit over the course of years they will inevitably first change the dynamic of the Griffins.
“At some point in the next four years you’ll see the makeup of the team become significantly different than what he has been the past couple years,” said Ryan Martin, the Red Wings assistant general manager who oversees the Griffins.
That means the organization will look to provide more younger players a shot in the ECHL with Toledo and – more so, they hope – in the AHL with Grand Rapids. For the Griffins, that would mean fewer veterans and seasoned developmental players.
If, for example, the team has five veteran forwards, the number may decrease to three. Likewise, for defensemen; instead of four veterans there may be two.
“We’re going to have to make room for the young kids and the young kids are going to have to have an opportunity to compete for playing time and compete for jobs,” Martin said. “There will be no entitlement, but at the same time we have to make sure we don’t have impediments to them playing and getting an opportunity to play.”
Continued with some roster projections from Martin…