Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. In alumni news, according to the Free Press’s Helene St. James, Pavel Datsyuk’s signed a one-year extension with SKA St. Petersburg:
Pavel Datsyuk signed 1 year contract extension with KHL club SKA St. Petersburg. Presently, Pavel is with the Russian National Team preparing for the upcoming World Championship Games in Denmark.
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) April 17, 2018
2. In present-day Wings news, during locker room clean-out day, Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff spoke with Gustav Nyquist regarding his consideration regarding participation in the World Championship:
“Not decided yet,” Nyquist said. “No answer on that. There’s a couple of things, but I’m sure it will come out sooner or later what my decision is.”
Unless he’s dealing with an ailment that’s not been disclosed, it would be surprising if he chose not to suit up for the Swedes. He’s always answered Sweden’s call in the past, even in 2016, passing up the chance to go to Churchill Downs and watch his namesake Nyquist when the Kentucky Derby in order to play for Sweden at the worlds.
Suiting up all 82 games this season, Nyquist netted 21 goals, his best season in terms of goal output since he scored 27 in 2014-15 and the third 20-goal campaign of his NHL career, but the 28-year-old right-winger wasn’t about to reach around and pat himself on the back, or tweet out Mission Accomplished for that matter.
“I don’t think I’m happy when I’m standing here talking to you guys in April,” he told reporters on locker cleanout day. “I’ve got to find a way to be better. I scored a little more goals this year, but I still think I created enough chances to score more. I want to produce more than I did. I’ve got to find a way here during the summer to do some things and get better for next year to have a big season.”
3. MLive’s Ansar Khan penned an article discussing Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov, the top European and North American skaters (respectively) for this year’s NHL draft;
4. The Athletic’s Topher Scott offers an article which breaks down some of prospect David Pope’s tendencies via video…
So what would the Red Wings get in the 2018 version of David Pope? I spoke to a few rival coaches and watched some tape on him to get a glimpse.
He is big, strong and can really skate
The college game was a perfect match for Pope in his developmental path. As someone who was tall, thin and timid at times, he needed all three years of junior hockey and all four years of college hockey to grow into the player he is today. One rival coach told me Pope has come a really long way since he got to UNO in strength, speed and assertiveness with his play. At 23, he may be finally ready to take that next step.
5. And The Athletic’s Max Bultman wrote an article titled, “What to expect from the Red Wings’ prospects in the AHL playoffs“:
For [Libor] Sulak, balancing the defensive corps could ultimately dictate his role and playing time — Grand Rapids needs to be able to trust him in the defensive zone, though he did show some promising offensive vision Saturday against Cleveland.
“I think he’s still getting used to the smaller ice and the timing,” Red Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin told The Athletic. “He’s got good puck skills, but guys are closing on him probably a little quicker than he’s used to because of the ice dimensions. But that’ll come with time. He likes to get up in the play, he’s got a good shot, he gets a lot of pucks on net — that’s his game, really.”
As forwards go, the most immediate attention will go to Svechnikov and whether he can start to take over games in the playoffs. The big Russian had his bumps this regular season, but the team will be hoping an end-of-season stint in Detroit has his confidence back up in time for the playoffs.
Bultman also continues (paywall)…