This afternoon, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan has written a subscriber-only article which discusses Filip Hronek’s up-and-down 2020-2021 season as it applies to Hronek’s development into what the Wings hope will be a top-pair defenseman:
Hronek, who’ll turn 24 in November, might be just approaching his potential as a top-pairing defenseman who can play in any role, and do it very well.
“He’s been forced to really trial by fire and he’s been thrown into the mix, and it’s hard to do,” coach Jeff Blashill said late last season. “You don’t have a veteran defenseman who can carry you as you make some mistakes, and he’s had to sink or swim on a nightly basis. (But) enough nights, he’s swam.”
Hronek led the Wings with 26 points last season and 24 assists, including 11 points (all assists) on the power play. Interestingly, Hronek’s two goals on the season were both length of the ice empty-net power-play goals.
Hronek and fellow defenseman Marc Staal were the only two Wings to play all 56 games in the compressed and challenging season, Hronek overcoming some late-season aches and pains to play every game.
“A solid season,” said Blashill, when asked to analyze Hronek’s body of work. “I don’t think any of us can claim we’ve had a great year. We’re not good enough in the standings. But he’s done a solid season.”