Red Wings prospect Dennis Cholowski has had a very good season playing for both the WHL’s Prince George Cougars and the Portland Winterhawks. This morning, the Prince George Citizen’s Ted Clarke reports that Cholowski’s play has impressed Winterhawks GM Mike Johnston:
“Early in the year when I saw him play I thought he was a very mobile type of defenceman, jumps up ice, makes a good first pass, and I thought early in the year if we could ever get a player like that to help us out down the stretch that would be great and it turns out we were able to make that type of a deal,” said Johnston.
“But I didn’t realize how good he was. He’s a better player than I even though the was. He’s very good defensively and I compare him to (Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman) Seth Jones, who we had several years ago. Seth never ran over you physically, but he was strong, he used his body well, he had a good stick defensively, and then when he got the puck his transition pass or skating was really good and I think Dennis is a lot like that. He’s a better defensive player than I thought.”
The Detroit Red Wings obviously liked what they saw in Cholowski when they picked him in the first round, 20th overall in the 2016 draft. “He’s going to be a good pro, he’s well-suited to the game,” said Johnston. “He might be ready to step right in (to the Red Wings) next year. Some people say he might have to be a bit more physical or use his shot more. Well everybody still has to add something to the game.
“I think today’s defencemen, especially when you think of Detroit or Chicago, those types of teams that transition, they want their defence to skate and move the puck. I really think Detroit is craving a guy like that now, that can play that type of style. He was well schooled here (in Prince George) and I don’t know what happened at college, I don’t think he got the opportunity and the playing time (last season at St. Cloud State), but certainly coming back to our league has been good for him.
“We won’t get him back next year, there’s not a chance. We knew we would only have him for a short time but he’s a pro in everything he does and the guys in the room will learn from him and then he’ll move on.”