Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Red Wings signed defenseman Gustav Lindstrom to a 3-year entry-level contract on Friday, but Lindstrom will remain in Sweden for at least another year or two as he’s signed with the SHL’s Frolunda Indians.
That being said, Lindstrom was playing hockey in the Swedish version of the AHL, the Allsvenskan, with Almtuna last season. As such, Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright told Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff that Lindstrom is a step ahead of the normal developmental curve:
What is Lindstrom, and what should Wings fans expect from him in the future? That’s hard to say at this point in his development, but he has spent the last two seasons, playing for Almtuna IS in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second division, and that could give him a leg up over North American prospects playing junior and college hockey. Lindstrom collected 14 points in 39 games this season, including six goals, which gave him a share of the team lead among defensemen.
“He’s playing against men already,” Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said. “As far as their development, they’re exposed an earlier age. You’re forced to grow up a little faster and forced to grow up a little more physically.”
As to his immediate future, the 6-2, 187-pound Lindstrom, 19, who is also a right-hand shot, always coveted along the blueline, will remain in his homeland. He will take a step up in competition, skating for Frolunda HC in the Swedish Elite League during the 2018-19 season.
“He’s just a real solid, steady, puck-moving guy,” Wright said. “A good heads-up player, who jumps into the play at times, and plays a 200-foot game. I think you just can’t have enough of those guys who can skate and move pucks.”
Duff continues, and Lindstrom posted a picture of himself on Twitter:
Dream come true to have signed my first NHL contract with @DetroitRedWings.
— Gustav Lindström (@Glindstroom) May 26, 2018
2. Regarding drafts of the past couple seasons, the Free Press’s Helene St. James examines the Wings’ 2015 draft haul today, and she spotlights Evgeny Svechnikov:
F Evgeny Svechnikov
Draft-year doings: 32 goals, 46 assists in 55 games with Cape Breton (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League).
Draft-day scouting report: “He’s the complete package — size, strength, competitiveness, skill,” director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said. “There’s not one thing he doesn’t do very well.”
Draft-day quote: Asked what he liked about living in North America, Svechnikov smiled and replied, “chocolate milk and cookies.”
Post-draft doings: Recorded 32 goals and 47 assists in 50 games with Cape Breton in 2015-16. Turned pro and appeared in two playoff games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (American Hockey League). Scored 20 goals among 51 points in 74 games with the Griffins in 2016-17, his first year of pro hockey. Had five goals and seven assists in 19 playoff games in the Griffins’ run to the 2017 Calder Cup championship.
His impressive season led to hopes that Svechnikov would push for a job in Detroit during the 2018 exhibition season, but he ended up suffering a neck injury. He joined the Griffins’ lineup on Oct. 20 and had two goals and one assist in his first 10 games. He was better in spurts during the second half, but still finished with only seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points in 57 games (for comparison’s sake, he had a .69 points-per-game average in 2016-17, and a .40 average in 2017-18).
Detroit doings: Was called up late in the 2016-17 season and made his NHL debut April 3, played again the next night, then was sent back to Grand Rapids. In 2017-18, he made his first appearance March 8 and scored his first NHL goal March 20. He recorded his first multi-point game (goal, assist) on March 29 and finished with two goals and two assists in 14 games.
Draft assessment: It’s a familiar story to see a promising prospect do well in his first pro year, then struggle in his second. Svechnikov is an incredibly driven player, so much so that the team has urged him to find the balance between pushing himself and punishing himself. Svechnikov, 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds, has the ability to make plays in tight areas and keep control of the puck. Tyler Bertuzzi, Svechnikov’s teammate in G.R. in 2016-17 and part of this season, said in late March, “everyone thinks he’s Russian-skilled, but he’s a really hard worker,” meaning Svechnikov has the talent to be an NHL goal scorer but is gritty, too. That’s what the Wings hope they see in 2018-19.
Update: AWood40 posted a clip of Luke Glendening’s 2017-18 goals as well: