The Athletic’s Max Bultman engaged in a lengthy conversation with Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff ahead of the Wings’ prospect tournament, main training camp and exhibition season. Of note:
What went into the decision for Moritz to not play in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament this year?
We talked about it with Steve and (Pat Verbeek) and the coaching staff, and I think with Moritz, he’s played two years of pro now – he spent a full year in Grand Rapids, spent a full year over in Europe playing. This year it’s not really even a tournament, it’s kind of more of a showcase. We only play the three games. And frankly, there’s some younger players that we wanted to see on the roster and we just wanted to make sure that Mo was ready to go for main camp.
This will be Joe Veleno’s third prospect tournament, obviously he got a little look at the NHL last spring, what are you hoping to see from him in the showcase?
Well, I think at this point, Joe at his age and his experience level – obviously having a full year as well last year in Europe – I expect Joe to come in and dominate, really. I mean he should lead the way for us up there in Traverse City and being a guy that’s going to play all situations and big minutes and center that top line.
And then how about Jonatan Berggren — I don’t know how much he’s played the small ice outside of development camp — what are you looking to see from him?
First, he’s had three years in the SHL. The one thing I’m excited about Berggy is he’s excited to come over, he himself feels like he’s ready. He’s put an extreme amount of work in the last three years to get his body to the physical shape that it needs to be in and strength that it needs to be in to be able to play the pro game, at least over there, at a high level. So he had a great year last year and I’m looking forward to seeing him.