The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the development of the Wings’ top prospects in Grand Rapids, and Holland told Wallner that the Red Wings won’t rush the youth movement (for better or worse):
“Obviously, we have a lot of draft picks so, yes, the theme of the Detroit Red Wings over the next two or three years is youth,” Holland said. “That doesn’t mean it’s youth on Oct. 4 (when the season opens). Then they have to be an NHL player. And if they’re not, in short order they’ll lose their confidence and they won’t be in a lineup. That’s not productive.”
The best young candidate to make the Red Wings next season is center Michael Rasmussen, the No. 7 overall pick a year ago who is still in the playoffs with his junior team, Tri-City. The already-polished 6-foot-6 center would head to Grand Rapids when WHL playoffs conclude if the Griffins are still playing.
Others who could make the Red Wings in the fall include defensemen Filip Hronek and Joe Hicketts and possibly forwards Evgeny Svechnikov and Dominic Turgeon depending on what else transpires in the offseason.
This season, six players appeared with both clubs (Tyler Bertuzzi, Evgeny Svechnikov, Hicketts, Turgeon, Brian Lashoff and goalie Jared Coreau).
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said they “all did a good job” but noted players such as Svechnikov and Hicketts were up late in the season.
“They all showed pretty well, but I also think we weren’t playing a lot of meaningful games,” said Blashill, who was also at the Griffins game. “It’s a different thing come the fall. A bunch of these guys have a chance to continue to impress during the Calder Cup Playoffs and then we’ll see which guys come into camp trying to take jobs.”
Wallner continues, as does Holland…