Red Wings Top 10 Prospects

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by HFNHL Red Wings, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. Picks 11 – 20 to be announced later.

    As GM Niece is a ‘show me’ type guy, this list is heavily influenced by the player’s actual performance and readiness for the HFNHL over pure potential.

    (1) Henrik Lundqvist (Detroit’s 6th round selection in 2000)
    Contrary to the claim of another GM, Lundy is probably the best goalie in the league atm and will likely steal the starting job in Detroit next year.

    (2) Brad Boyes (Detroit’s 1st round selection in 2000)
    Brad is a slick playmaker with excellent on ice vision who will be a great puck distributor for the Wings for many years to come. As he has done in every league, Boyes responsibilities and production have been increasing dramatically in that ‘other’ league and have been highlighted by a point per game production during January. Look for him to challenge for the 2nd line center position next year.

    (3) Jussi Jokinen (Acquired through trade for Cristobel Huet)
    Pleasant surprise best sums up GM Niece’s reaction to Jokinen’s performance so far. While Jokinen had proven himself as a sniper in a physical Finnish Elite league some still questioned his ability to transition to the NHL and his commitment to two way play. While there is an opportunity for improvement in these areas they are not glaring weaknesses.
    Jokinen is currently the leading NHL shootout leader having gone a perfect 8 for 8.
    Look for Jokinen to possibly line up alongside Boyes next year.

    (4) Antti Miettinen (Detroit’s 2nd round selection in 2002)
    While not as flashy as Jokinen, Miettinen is a more complete player who, with a bit more seasoning, will be used in all situations. Miettinen has been streaky when it comes to offensive production but that is more the result of the regular position changes he has had to endure in Dallas. A natural LW he has regularly been used at RW to address team gaps on that side and is still somewhat uncomfortable playing on the off wing.

    (5) Antero Niittymaki (Acquired through trade for Alexander Suglobov)
    Recently signed by the Red Wings as their backup for this season, Antero has struggled a bit to find his game with all the rule changes. The team still believes he is a future starting goaltender in this league but to ensure his development does not suffer the team will need to be careful in whether to keep him as backup next year or send him to the farm to refine his game.

    (6) Martin Hanzal (Detroit’s 1st round selection in 2005)
    The first of the ‘potential’ players GM Niece is very excited about the overall size and skill package that Hanzal brings. The wildcard in how well he develops will be his maturity and dedication.

    (7) Junior Lessard (2004 FA signing)
    After taking a year to adapt to the AHL game Lessard has come on strong currently ranked 2nd on his team in point production and 1st in points per game. Lessard has been rewarded with a brief callup during injuries in which he recorded his first NHL goal.
    Like Boyes, Lessard compensates for his smallish frame with excellent on-ice vision and hockey sense. His work ethic and team play make him a strong candidate to land a full time spot in the HFNHL in the near future.

    (8) Martin Karsums (Detroit’s 2nd round selection in 2004)
    Karsums is regularly referred to as a mighty mite and despite not scoring in the preseason with Boston impressed enough that he stayed until the final cuts. Karsums is having another good year in the QMJHL where his point production is over a point per game and will look to make the jump to pro next year.

    (9) Eric Nystrom (Detroit’s 1st round selection in 2002)
    In a league where the importance of physical play may be in decline it is hard to tell what the future may hold for Eric. While the team is optimistic that he will be an impact player for years to come the continued evolution of the game and the rule changes lowers the ‘certainty’ level and makes it more difficult to project where he may be in 3 years. Eric is meeting expectations in adapting to the AHL this year but the 2006/07 season will be a better barometer of his progress and future role.

    (10) Jay McClement (Detroit’s 1st round selection in 2001)
    While GM Niece likely reached a bit for McClement so early in 2001, McClement is quickly establishing himself as a good two way center at the NHL level and should be a solid 3rd liner for a decade or more.
     
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