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To discuss your Detroit Red Wings prospects, whether they're still in junior, in college, in Europe or in the minors, discuss them here.

I watched more of HV71 when Adam Almqvist was up with them in the Elitserien, and this kid is incredibly smart. Absolutely unbelievable. He's obviously a long-term prospect, but if he can add some weight, make every tournament he can and commit to joining the Red Wings organization here in about 2 to 3 more seasons, then he's definitely got the potential to be incredible here. Not bad for the 210th Overall pick from last season.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
McCollum assigned to the Toledo Walleye, Jordan Peace called up to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

http://www.mlive.com/griffins/index.ssf/2010/01/griffins_assign_goalie_thomas.html

In a somewhat surprising move, the Grand Rapids Griffins have assigned rookie goaltender Thomas McCollum to the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL and recalled Jordan Pearce.

McCollum, 20, beat out Pearce during training camp for the right to be Daniel Larsson’s backup in Grand Rapids. But he has given up at least three goals in four of his last five appearances, and hasn’t won a game since Dec. 13. He’s also been pulled from his past two starts.

McCollum was drafted by the parent club Detroit Red Wings with the 30th overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft. He was an all-star in the Ontario Hockey League last season, and has a 7-7-0 record with a 3.42 goals against average and .877 save percentage in 18 games with the Griffins.

Pearce, a former Notre Dame standout, has an 8-8-1 record with a 3.52 GAA and .892 save percentage in 18 games with Toledo. But he posted a five-game winning streak from Dec. 11-27, and is 5-2 with a 2.12 GAA and .937 save percentage in his past seven games.

Because Larsson served as the Red Wings’ emergency goaltender during their trip to Sweden, Pearce was McCollum’s backup in Grand Rapids’ season opener on Oct. 3. He was sent to Toledo on Oct. 6.

Pearce, 23, made his American Hockey League debut in the Griffins’ regular-season finale last year, and made 33 saves in a 5-2 loss at Peoria. He will back up Larsson when the Griffins visit the Rockford IceHogs tonight.
 

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Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith are among the 70 preliminary nominees for the Hobey Baker Award.

Nyquist is a 5'11", 176lb Swedish right winger that is currently playing for the Maine Black Bears. He's a speedy and agile forward with good hockey sense, technical skills and has plenty of creativity. He's currently tied for first in NCAA scoring, despite playing 4 less games. He has 15 goals and 34 assists for 49 points on the season.

Brendan Smith is a 6'2", 181lb Canadian defenseman that is currently playing for the Wisconsin Badgers. He's an outstanding skater who has fantastic passing skills and a load of hockey sense. He's composed and competitive, but isn't necessarily physical. He's the top scoring defenseman in the NCAA with 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points on the season.

The top 10 candidates for the Hobey Baker are named on March 18th, the final three are announced on March 31st and the winner is named on April 9th.
 

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The Hockey News' has published their 2010 Future Watch issue, and the Red Wings top ten prospects are:

  1. Brendan Smith, D, 20, Wisconsin (WCHA)
  2. Tomas Tatar, LW, 19, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  3. Jakub Kindl, D, 22, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  4. Thomas McCollum, G, 20, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  5. Gustav Nyquist, LW, 20, Maine (HE)
  6. Landon Ferraro, C, 18, Red Deer (WHL)
  7. Jan Mursak, RW, 22, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  8. Cory Emmerton, C, 21, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  9. Joakim Andersson, C, 20, Frolunda (SWE)
  10. Mattias Ritola, RW, 22, Grand Rapids (AHL)
The only Red Wing prospect to make it in the Top 50 is Brendan Smith, at 39.

In addition to the Hockey News' Future Watch, Hockey's Future recently published their Red Wings' Top 20 Prospects for Spring 2010.

  1. Jakub Kindl, D, 22, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  2. Brendan Smith, D, 20, Wisconsin (WCHA)
  3. Daniel Larsson, G, 24, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  4. Tomas Tatar, LW, 19, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  5. Justin Abdelkader, LW, 23, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  6. Landon Ferraro, C, 18, Red Deer (WHL)
  7. Thomas McCollum, G, 20, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  8. Jan Mursak, RW, 22, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  9. Gustav Nyquist, LW, 20, Maine (HE)
  10. Cory Emmerton, C, 21, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  11. Dick Axelsson, LW, 22, Färjestad (SWE)
  12. Andrej Nestrasil, C, 19, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
  13. Willie Coetzee, RW, 19, Red Deer (WHL)
  14. Gleason Fournier, D, 18, Rimouski (QMJHL)
  15. Mattias Ritola, RW, 22, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  16. Max Nicastro, D, 20, Boston Univiversity (NCAA)
  17. Joakim Andersson, C, 20, Frolunda (SWE)
  18. Sergei Kolosov, D, 23, Grand Rapids (AHL)
  19. Nick Jensen, D, 19, Green Bay (USHL)
  20. Adam Almqvist, D, 19, HV71 (SWE)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nyquist was named Hockey Futures' prospect of the month for February 2010. They had a nice little bio about him so that Wings fans can get to know him.

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/11929/hockeys_future_prospect_of_the_month_february2010/

The February Prospect of the Month has been one of the most consistent scoring forwards in the NCAA, but has yet to earn as little as an honorable mention on this list. His consistent scoring, however, bloomed into enormous offensive output for the month of February. With a total of 18 points in just eight games, Detroit Red Wings draft pick Gustav Nyquist is the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for February.

Nyquist took a somewhat different route to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL – leaving his home in Sweden to suit up for the University of Maine Black Bears in the NCAA. Nyquist’s move to North America appears to have been beneficial to his development. The 21-year-old has led his team in scoring all season as a sophomore and now sits atop of all division one scoring with 54 points in just 32 games.

Nyquist has also continued to improve down the stretch as February has been his best month this season, scoring three goals and adding a whopping 15 assists in a mere eight games. The importance of Nyquist to his team is no more emphasized than in the fact that the second highest scorer on the team sits 15 points behind with 39.

Nyquist’s consistent offensive efforts this season have him eclipsing an assist per game with 37 in 32 games while also being able to add 17 goals, including four game winners. He’s likely to spend two more years ironing out his game at the University of Maine, but either way, the Red Wings may have another Swedish steal on their hands.
 

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The Hobey Hat Trick was announced today. Nominees were Bobby Butler from New Hampshire (recently signed with the Ottawa Senators), Blake Geoffrion from Wisconsin (rights are owned by the Nashville Predators), and our very own Gustav Nyquist, from Maine.

Nyquist is the only one of the final three to not be a senior this year, which is a pretty big accomplishment in it's own right.

Gustav Nyquist – University of Maine, Sophomore, Forward, Malmo, Sweden

A guiding light for the Maine Black Bears and a dynamic force in Hockey East, Gustav Nyquist still leads the nation in scoring by a comfortable eight-point margin; despite the fact Maine missed the NCAA post season tournament. Completing the season with 61 points in 39 games on 19 goals and 42 assists, Nyquist topped the country in both points and assists. In conference games, Maine ended the season tied for third place while Nyquist tied fellow Hobey Hat Trick finalist Bobby Butler for first in Hockey East scoring and topped the circuit in assists in league play. A fourth round draft pick of Detroit, Nyquist was runner-up for Hockey East Player of the Year and was selected as a First Team all-star. The Finance Major is on the Dean’s List at Maine. He volunteers off-ice time coaching at youth hockey clinics.
 

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http://www.mlive.com/griffins/index.ssf/2010/03/grifins_sign_landon_ferraro_to.html

Landon Ferraro made it to Grand Rapids just in time to be in the Griffins team picture Tuesday morning.

Which isn’t all that notable -- except that Ferraro had yet to even practice with the Griffins this season.

The Griffins signed the 18-year-old center to an amateur tryout Tuesday, and he skated in his first practice at Van Andel Arena after the team photo.

“Just in time. I didn’t even have time to play with my laces or anything,” Ferraro said with a smile. “Me and Willie (Coetzee) just got here, threw on whatever we could to make it look like we had all our gear on and jumped out there.”

Coetzee, 19, also skated in his first practice with the Griffins after the parent club Detroit Red Wings reassigned the right wing from the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.

The duo was supposed to be at the rink by 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, but due to flight delays Ferraro and Coetzee didn’t land in Grand Rapids until 9:20 a.m. They hustled to the rink, and stayed on the ice and worked for 30 minutes after practice ended.

“It was a little much today,” Ferraro said. “Once I kind of settled in, it was good. I’m happy to be here, with all the better players. Everything is faster, and it’s going to be a fun couple weeks.”

Ferraro and Coetzee have been teammates with Red Deer since 2007.

Coetzee finished tied for 16th in the WHL with 81 points (29 goals, 52 assists) in 72 games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Detroit in September after a strong showing at the Red Wings’ prospect tournament and training camp in Traverse City.

The Red Wings selected Ferraro with the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft. He suffered a knee injury in the second game of Red Deer’s season, but came back strong in the second half and finished with 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) in 53 games.


“Personally, it was a bit of a mess for me. I was out for most of the first half of the year, and came back and was still kind of struggling a little bit,” Ferraro said. “I thought I played good through the second half, but for next year I just need to make sure I get my strength back.”

Ferraro, the son of longtime NHL veteran Ray Ferraro, said he doesn’t feel a lot of outside pressure to perform up to high expectations.

Instead, it’s more of an internal drive.

“It’s always been the same for me. I’ve always put pressure on myself, in a good way. I don’t think I overload myself,” he said. “I just want to be as good as I can be and go as far as I can. To be able to do that, you have to put pressure on yourself to get better.”

Ferraro and Coetzee will be available to make their Griffins debuts Wednesday night against Rochester, but there’s a chance neither will see any ice time during the final seven games, Grand Rapids coach Curt Fraser said.

As long as the Griffins continue to play well -- the team has points in nine of its past 10 games (6-1-1-2) -- Fraser will be loathe to tinker with the lineup.


“Both of these guys have real high level skill. Good speed and really good kids,” Fraser said. “They’re here to spend some time with group, learn a few things, learn about the system of play and get in the gym and work hard."
I know for a fact that neither of them will play against Rochester tonight, but hopefully they could get a little bit of ice time soon, because, quite frankly, I don't see the Griffins making the playoffs.
 

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I figure it's time for an article dump on prospects since everybody's paying attention to training camp, and more specifically, rookie camp.

Defenseman Brendan Smith

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2010/07/red_wings_prospect_brendan_smi.html

"He does things with the puck that not a lot of people can do," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "I think he has the potential to be a very good player. But lots of players have had potential and never lived up to it."
"I know they like you to go to Grand Rapids and get a year under your belt, even more," Smith said. "(Holland) has kind of told me the sky's the limit for me. I can either come here in great shape and try to put myself on the squad, or do the opposite."

Smith has added some weight -- he's at 190 pounds -- to his 6-foot-2 frame, but knows he must get bigger and stronger. And he must improve defensively.

"I think he has the type of skills that can play with elite players," Holland said. "What I don't know about young players -- and you won't know until you get into camp -- is how he is in his own zone.

"He probably hasn't had to spend as much time in his own zone in college as he is going to in pro. In pro, you can't outscore your mistakes because lots of games are 2-1 and 3-2."
Defenseman Bryan Rufenach

http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2010/07/red_wings_ask_bryan_rufenach_t.html

"He's thought about wanting to come out and we've thought about it also," said Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. "He had a very good year. I'd like him to stay one more year and finish his senior year. ... He's close to being able to come out and play pro."

The Wings don't have to sign him until August 2011.
The Wings expect Rufenach, 21, to have another solid year offensively. They want him to add muscle to his 6-foot, 187-pound frame, improve defensively and be a senior leader for a team that finished 9-24-4 last season and in last place in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Center Riley Sheahan

http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534027

He looked terrific out there,” said Curt Fraser, the coach of the Wings’ Grand Rapids affiliate, who is running this week’s camp. “Big, strong skater, great shot, he’s got a lot of good tools.”

Sheahan knows that he has to refine his skills and together with his size blend them into an NHL-caliber player.

“I take pride in my size, and I like to use it to my advantage,” he said. “So I think it’ll help me, and hopefully help the organization in a few years.”
Left Wing Andrej Nestrasil

http://www.hokej.cz/index.php?lng=CZ&view=clanek&id=48504

Next year will be very important to Andrej. "I have a third season in the Quebec league and I start my contract with Detroit," he said. In a few days, he will sit on a plane and march into the American city to attend the team's summer camp. "I want to show there in the best light. You collect more experience to perfect your own play. I like to work hard, I'm looking forward to it. In addition to workouts will break some other programs. We will be watching baseball," mentions.
 

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Smith's done for camp. :(

Wings general manager Ken Holland said he didn't think the injury was serious and Smith agreed. "I'm not really sure what happened, Smith said. "I think it's more of a bump and bruise."

Holland said Smith will have X-rays on Monday. "Slight shoulder separation," Holland revealed as the initial diagnosis. "He's obviously done for the camp."
Smith, the 27th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, suffered the injury when he was checked into the boards by St. Cloud State forward Nick Oslund, a seventh-round pick in 2006. Smith skated over to the bench in obvious pain, then left the ice. "Sometimes the littlest hits or the weirdest kind of hits are the most deadly," Smith said.
 

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Too bad that Smith got injured. Hopefully it heals up properly and he is fine to begin the season in Grand Rapids. If it is only a slight shoulder seperation he should be fine though. I've had that playing soccer and was playing again the next week. Obviously different, given that soccer is a non contact sport, but still, he should be fine within a few weeks.
 

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Landon Ferraro has been traded by the Red Deer Rebels to the Everett Silvertips in the WHL. Any thoughts? I don't get to see much of the Silvertips.

http://www.whl.ca/silvertips-acquire-ferraro-from-rebels-for-froese--p143407

Everett Silvertips Vice President / General Manager Doug Soetaert announced Monday that the club has acquired center / right wing Landon Ferraro and a conditional fifth round draft pick in 2012 from the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for center Byron Froese and a third round draft pick in 2012.
 

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Never heard of the Silvertips. But its good that Ferraro is getting a change of scenery, seemed he needed it after a bit of a rough year last year.
 

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From the Silvertips/Americans pre-season game last night (AKA Macek vs Ferraro for us Red Wings fans), Macek scored a hat trick for the Americans while Ferraro had a goal and an assist for the Silvertips (his goal and set-up for the then tying goal were excellent).

And a quote from Mike Bavis, the Associate Head Coach at Boston University on Max Nicastro:

Max has returned this season and is in great physical shape. His strength has improved and his vertical jump has increased. He will have a major impact on games this year. There are a few things that he can improve on. He can improve a little bit with his decision making and a little with his puck ability on power plays. But overall, Max does most things very, very well.
 

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Sheahan shines as juniors down CIS team in exhibition play

http://tsn.ca/world_jrs/story/?id=345523

A few players made strong cases to make the team in a final exhibition game on Tuesday night against a Canadian interuniversity sport team.

Riley Sheahan, bidding to be the team's checking centre, had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 victory and his linemate for the night, top NHL draft prospect Sean Couturier, had three assists.

"It was nice to put the puck in the net for the first time in any hockey I've played this year," said Sheahan, who is without a goal at Notre Dame this season.
Good to see him show some offensive ability when he's not forced to play the trap like he is at Notre Dame.
 

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So Sheahan got cut. I didn't see any of the camp, but if he was as good as some people are saying, it seems like a mistake to me. It would have been nice to see him play for the juniors, if only to see what kind of offensive flair he really has. I'm actually feeling quite bitter about the fact that he got cut, it sounds like he worked his ass off, showed he deserved a spot, but got cut anyways. I hope Canada's PK sucks.
 

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So Sheahan got cut. I didn't see any of the camp, but if he was as good as some people are saying, it seems like a mistake to me. It would have been nice to see him play for the juniors, if only to see what kind of offensive flair he really has. I'm actually feeling quite bitter about the fact that he got cut, it sounds like he worked his ass off, showed he deserved a spot, but got cut anyways. I hope Canada's PK sucks.
I'm shocked, to be honest. Looked like he had a ton of chemistry with Sean Couturier, was the biggest player down the middle, was the best defensive forward that they had and could contribute on the offensive side of the game and was one of the best players throughout the camp. This was the only decision made by Hockey Canada that surprised me.

You'll probably see Don Cherry going off about how Hockey Canada left Ryan Murphy off the team though. I can at least understand that omission because you've got a lot of defensemen that play offensively - notably Ryan Ellis, although Calvin de Haan, Tyson Barrie and Dylan Olsen will probably be played in offensive situations as well. I know that Simon Despres and Jared Cowen have shown that they can contribute offensively, but I think they'll be counted upon to shore up their own end with Erik Gudbranson.

On the flip side, the line with Marcus Foligno and Curtis Hamilton never really impressed me through camp. I'd much rather seen Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sheahan on the team than those two.

At least Teemu Pulkkinen made the Finnish team. He'll probably have a pretty big tournament. Hopefully Andrej Nestrasil makes the Czech team (even though I'm pissed off that Petr Mrazek wasn't given the chance due to politics), Calle Järnkrok and Adam Almqvist make the Swedish team and Mitch Callahan makes the USA team. I think it would be huge for those four to be in a tournament like this.
 
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