The Red Wings lost a real hockey warrior in defenseman Joe Hicketts, whose 5’9″ stature didn’t hold the defenseman back in terms of becoming a fan favorite thanks to his hard-hitting style with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Hicketts signed with the Minnesota Wild organization yesterday (as did Dominic Turgeon), and this evening, Hicketts spoke with Victor Kaisar of Kamloops Radio NL 610 AM regarding his decision to leave the Red Wings’ organization:
“Looking at the Minnesota depth chart, I thought there was lot of opportunity,” Hicketts told NL Sports. “It was something that I was willing and was looking forward to moving forward with with. As things moved along, it seemed more clear to me that that might have been the right fit.”
In 22 NHL games, Hicketts put up five points, all assists. That’s compared to 286 AHL games where he scored 16 goals along with 102 assists for 118 points.
During the 2020-21 season, Hicketts led all Griffins defensemen in scoring with 18 points (1 goal, 17 assists) in 32 games. He also was second on the team in assists, tied for second amongst all AHL defensemen in assists, and tied tenth in overall points.
“No one strives to be a career minor leaguer, you want to make it to the NHL. I think I’ve proven myself more than enough in the American league, now its time to make that step to the NHL,” Hicketts said, noting he wants to make most of his new opportunity.
“I think they’ve only got four NHL defensemen signed right now [in Minnesota], though I’m sure they are going to be more signed. I think there’s opportunity and its about me grabbing that opportunity and running with it now.”
Continued; here’s hoping that Hicketts does indeed earn an NHL spot with the Wild. He’s a great person and a fine athlete.