Evening news: Development camp highlights, multimedia and scrimmage recaps, plus a Pope profile and free agent talk

Updated 2x at 6:23 PM: Of prospect-related note this evening:

1. At the Red Wings’ development camp scrimmage, Team Howe defeated Team Lindsay 6-5 in overtime, and the Red Wings posted highlights of both the game and the ensuing shootout:


2. WXYZ’s Brad Galli took note of Filip Zadina’s overtime goal…

3. And while we’re in the multimedia department, MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a clip of Filip Zadina’s post-game remarks…

4. Michigan Hockey posted a photo gallery from the development camp scrimmage, as well as videos of Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff…


Michael Rasmussen…

And Givani Smith’s post-game comments:

5. The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted clips of Horcoff…

Zadina and Rasmussen…

And Malte Setkov’s post-game remarks…

6. St. James also penned an article about the scrimmage…

“It’s fun watching skill,” director of player development Shawn Horcoff said. “You can tell these guys have a bright future. That was hopefully the start of many more viewings like that.”

A team executive noted Rasmussen and Zadina looked good, “for June,” which is a fair point. But as the Wings seek to regain competitiveness, their most recent top picks look good for development.

Zadina has been in the organization a little more than a week, ever since the Wings had to pinch themselves that he fell to them at sixth overall in the 2018 draft. Rasmussen was drafted ninth overall in 2017. They’ve been linemates during development camp, which Zadina wrapped up with a goal and an assist.

“You can see how hard his shot is,” Smith said.

Rasmussen said, “Fil is obviously very skilled. He can shoot the puck really well and gets himself in good spots to shoot.”

Zadina smiled as he spoke.

“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I scored and we won. It was awesome.”

St. James continues with assessments of the “top prospects” at development camp;

7. MLive’s Ansar Khan also wrote an article about the scrimmage…

“(Smith) played really well and did exactly what we need him to do at the pro level on that line,” Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development, said. “It’s fun watching skill. You can tell these guys have a bright future. This is hopefully the start of many viewings like that.”

Horcoff isn’t bothered by the hype surrounding Zadina (No. 6 overall this year) and Rasmussen (No. 9 in 2017), the club’s highest selections since 1990.

“I think it’s great,” Horcoff said. “They’re good players. You should get excited. We’re excited. The fans should be excited. That doesn’t mean they’re going to go out right away as 18-year-olds and dominate the league. It’s the best league in the world for a reason. We just have make sure we’re directing them toward doing the right things and all that should take care of itself.”

The Red Wings plan on giving Rasmussen, a 6-6, 221-pound center who’ll transition to the pro ranks on the wing, and Zadina, a 6-foot, 196-pound right wing, a good opportunity to earn roster spots in training camp and the preseason.

“If I play my best and work harder than the other players here, I can make it,” Zadina said. “It’s going to be very hard for me because it’s a pretty good team. I would love to play there, but it’s going to be lots of work ahead of me.”

Zadina is in town for another week to work out on and off the ice.

“I just want to work on being faster on the ice and stronger, pretty simple things,” he said.

8. As did DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji

At one point, Team Lindsay had a 5-1 lead as they got two goals from Jack Adams (sixth round, 162nd overall, 2017 draft), one each from Otto Kivenmaki (seventh round, 191st overall, 2018 draft), Taro Hirose (free agent invitee from Michigan State, scoring on his 22nd birthday) and David Pope (fourth round, 109th overall, 2013 draft).

“It’s cool. He definitely doesn’t play like he’s that small,” Rasmussen said of Kivenmaki. “He’s a good player, he’s got good hands, good skill, he’s good one-on-one. I thought he had a really good game and looked really good. Good for him, that’s awesome.”

But Brady Gilmour (seventh round, 193rd overall, 2017 draft), Mattias Elfstrom (seventh round, 197th overall, 2016 draft), Luke Morgan (free agent invitee from Michigan) scored to help Team Howe draw within one, 5-4, in the third period.

Colt Conrad (free agent invitee from Western Michigan) scored to restore the two-goal lead but Chase Pearson (fifth round, 140th overall, 2015 draft) scored to cut it back to one.

At 10:12 of the third period, Givani Smith (second round, 46th overall, 2016 draft) made multiple efforts at the net, finally pushing the rebound past goaltender Kaden Fulcher to tie the game, 6-6.

“It was really good,” Smith said. “It was a big goal, it tied the game. That’s my type of game, I’m skilled in front of the net and found the puck loose and just tucked it in.”

9. And Wakiji wrote about David Pope’s lengthy developmental curve

Every year there are a few players who are ready to jump from the draft right into the NHL as 18-year-olds.

That was definitely not the case for David Pope, the Detroit Red Wings’ fourth-round pick, 109th overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Pope elected to attend college at the University of Nebraska Omaha in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“I think a lot of it I just needed time,” Pope said during development camp at the BELFOR Training Center at Little Caesars Arena. “I’m one of those kids who just developed a little bit later. I was a little bit later to puberty, a lot of guys were shaving at 12 years old. I’m not yet. I think a lot of it was just growing into my body. When you start to get a little bit of that man strength, everything kind of comes together from there.”

Pope is now 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds, still lean but a long way from where he started, which is why college was the right route for him.

10. While St. James discussed the Wings’ free agency plans:

The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed defenseman Mike Green.

Re-signing Green, 32, appealed because he’s the rare source of offense from the back end on the team. He led all Wings defensemen with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) in 66 games in 2017-18, and was at times their best defenseman.

If the Wings look like they are going to miss the playoffs again in spring of 2019, look for Green to be flipped for a draft pick or a prospect. That was the plan this past spring, but didn’t happen because Green was out with a neck injury. He ended up undergoing surgery in April.

The Wings now have six NHL-regular defensemen under contract in Green, Danny DeKeyser, Niklas Kronwall, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Nick Jensen. The expectation is that a prospect will grab a job out of training camp — Filip Hronek has the advantage coming off a terrific first year of pro hockey (he ran a power play in Grand Rapids), but 2016 first-round pick Dennis Cholowski offers a combinations of skating, skill and size. Libor Sulak, more of a defensive defenseman, and Joe Hicketts, are also candidates.

The Wings will be active when free agency opens at noon, Sunday. For starters, they need a goaltender (they’ve talked to Jonathan Bernier, Carter Hutton and Robin Lehner). They are also looking at forwards — there’s a chance both Thomas Vanek and Valtteri Filppula could be making reappearances with the Wings. Vanek, 34, appeals because he’s a consistent 20-goal scorer with a high hockey IQ, and Filppula, 34, appeals because he’s a solid two-way center who could serve as insurance in case Henrik Zetterberg’s back acts up.

Update: The Detroit News’s David Guralnick also put in some excellent photographic work:

Update #2: Here’s another development camp tidbit from Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff:

“We went through the exit meetings yesterday and kind of went through all that with them,” Detroit’s director of player development Shawn Horcoff told Detroitredwings.com. “We’ll be in touch. It’s Dan (Cleary) and my jobs now to – which we’ve already started – structure their summer and just give them all the information we can to let them know what we think they need to do to improve in order to make that next step.”

Depending upon the player, each message was different. Even top prospects such as right wing Filip Zadina, selected sixth overall in last week’s NHL entry draft, was informed to build up his strength. Others, like forward Jack Adams, who’s headed back to Union College, was encouraged to ramp up his skating ability.

“There’s obviously players that are at different stages in their career, whether that’s getting ready for junior, whether that’s getting ready for the AHL, or whether that’s getting ready to make a legit shot at trying to make the big club,” Horcoff said. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Update #3: Here’s even more Horcoff from the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa:

Mike Green signed a two-year deal with the Red Wings for a reported $10.75 million. It leaves less room for the younger guys. But GM Ken Holland told The Detroit News Tuesday that only one younger defenseman is likely to join Green, Niklas Kronwall, Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson and Nick Jensen. Cholowski is among those fighting for the job.

“Dennis, you can tell he’s an elite skater and he’s got a great first pass,” said Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development. “For him, I told him anytime the forward is going to come down on the defense on him: Can he defend against the best players in the game? And, I thought he did a good job today. I think he’s getting better in that area, each year he’s improved more, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing him again.”

Cholowski said he is living in Metro Detroit this summer and working out with a conditioning coach with other personnel from the Wings organization.

Asked, especially in the context of Green signing, what he must do to crack the lineup, Cholowski said, “Just show my commitment. I’ll be out here training. Keep playing the way I’m playing; I think I’m trending well, right now. Hopefully, it works out.”

Horcoff agreed that the prospects in camp seemed to gel quickly in the scrimmage, with many players intent on playing in the NHL out to prove a point.

After a lot of drills this week, and information sessions about what it takes to be a pro, including relationships with the media and participating in social media, the young guys were hungry for some game action for the Red Wings’ brass to evaluate.

“I think so,” Horcoff said, agreeing that a good flow of action began with the start of the scrimmage. “I think a lot of these guys just want to make an impression.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.