DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji examines Finnish defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo’s career “By the Numbers” this morning, and the most important part of her article, as usual in these prospect pieces, comes from Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff:
Quotable: “He’s over in Europe. He got a little banged up there playing preseason in Ässät back in Liiga. That was kind of his decision. He really just wanted to play more games. One thing with college, and obviously we’ve got uncertainty with them starting, he’s far enough along in his schooling that he really can still graduate, he’s not far away from graduating with turning pro and going back there and playing more games. Really it came down to just wanting to play hockey and the uncertainty of when college was going to start, just the ability to play more games.
“I thought it got better as the year went on. The thing with Kasper, he’s a defensive D-man so it’s hard to look at numbers for those type of guys and really put any sort of gauge on how his year went in terms of numbers because that’s not his game. He’s hard to play against, he’s a defensive D, good on the penalty kill. Once this season gets going, we’ll be monitoring closely because it’ll be good test for him over in the pro league in Finland. The Liiga is a good hockey league and now he’s playing against men, it’s going to be a step up for him and a bigger challenge. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays.” – Shawn Horcoff, director of player development and assistant director of player personnel