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Drake_Marcus

Tatar Steals the #1 Wings Prospect Ranking from Kindl

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Check'er out:

Tatar grabs No. 1 spot from Kindl

By Matthew Wuest – RedWingsCentral.com / January 28, 2010

Tomas Tatar would be having an outstanding American Hockey League rookie campaign if he were a 20-year-old. The fact that he is just 18 is what makes his early success as a pro that much more remarkable.

After an outstanding first half with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Red Wings Central has elevated Tatar to No. 1 in its mid-season prospect ranking. The 5-foot-10, 179-pound winger simply has too much going for him, with all the tools to be an impact scoring-line player for the Red Wings five years from now.

“Tatar’s been a pleasant surprise,†acknowledged Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. “We didn’t know how he’d hold up being a young kid (playing pro instead of junior) but he hasn’t missed a beat.â€

Tomas Tatar has 21 points in 30 games as an AHL rookie and could be a scoring-line player in Detroit in a half-decade or sooner.

Tatar, who has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 30 games as the youngest player in the AHL, has been compared by some scouts to Jiri Hudler, although his speed and quickness make him more dynamic.

Bumped from the No. 1 spot is defenceman Jakub Kindl, who still has plenty of promise as a top-four NHL defender and remains a lock to crack the Red Wings’ roster next season with his new three-year contract.

While a strong argument could be made that Kindl is the Red Wings’ No. 1 prospect — and many within the organization would probably make it — RWC expected the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Czech to cut down on mistakes in his own zone, assert himself more physically, and contribute more offensively.

It’s a close call between the two, but Tatar gets the nod from RWC because his upside is on par with Kindl’s without as many question marks.

Here’s a look at the rest of the ranking.

3. Brendan Smith (+1), D, Wisconsin (NCAA). The upside on Smith is sky-high and he’s taken his game to another level. It would be a shock if the Red Wings don’t get him into the pros in 2009-10 to develop his defensive game.

4. Thomas McCollum (-2), G, Grand Rapids (AHL). It’s been a rocky rookie pro campaign for McCollum, but don’t write him off. He’s big, athletic and technically sound, and most goaltenders his age are still playing junior hockey.

5. Gustav Nyquist (+3), F, Maine (NCAA). Nyquist continues to assert himself as a dominant scorer in college. He’s still small and slight, but so was Henrik Zetterberg at one time. The stronger he gets, the better he’ll get.

6. Landon Ferraro (-1), F, Red Deer (WHL). Injuries have robbed Ferraro of what might have been a big offensive season and a spot on the Canadian world junior team. He dips slightly but remains a terrific prospect.

7. Jan Mursak (+8), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). It’s not often RWC boosts a player so many spots, but Mursak started finding the net out of the blue. He’s a scorer who’s finally scoring and the Red Wings are taking note.

8. Cory Emmerton (-2), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). Emmerton has excellent two-way tools but needs to be more consistent to move himself up the list. Some games, he shows his NHL ability. Others, he blends in.

9. Joakim Andersson (-2), F, Frolunda (SWE). Andersson is an extremely solid two-way presence in the Swedish Elite League, but his offensive numbers have been slow to follow. He needs more ice time to fully break out.

10. Mattias Ritola (–), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). The skilled Swede showed flashes in his five-game stint with the Red Wings and looks like he can play in the NHL. What’s still not clear is if there’s a role to suit his skillset.

11. Brian Lashoff (+2), D, Kingston (OHL). Lashoff’s game is made for the pros and he’s knocking on the door to get into the top 10.

12. Andrej Nestrasil (-3), F, Victoriaville (QMJHL). He’s struggled lately and slipped from the top 10, but RWC expects him to rise again.

13. Daniel Larsson (-2), G, Grand Rapids (AHL). He’s Detroit’s third-stringer, but he has yet to show he’s ready for regular NHL duty.

14. Francis Pare (+3), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). Pare recovered from a slow start and could assert himself as a top AHL scorer in the next year or so.

15. Logan Pyett (+5), D, Grand Rapids (AHL). Pyett has really turned it around and can climb higher with further defensive improvement.

16. Brent Raedeke (–), F, Brandon (WHL). The speedy Raedeke is at the top of his game and looks ready for AHL duty next season.

17. Max Nicastro (-3), Boston U. (NCAA). It’s all raw potential, but Nicastro is adjusting to the NCAA and learning to assert himself.

18. Sergei Kolosov (+1), D, Grand Rapids (AHL). He’s safe and steady and gradually becoming consistently reliable on the Griffins’ blue line.

19. Adam Almqvist (+5), D, HV-71 (SEL). Yes, he’s weak, but Almqvist has turned heads in the Swedish Elite League and is a huge surprise.

20. Willie Coetzee (-1), F, Red Deer (WHL). Scoring isn’t a problem for Coetzee, but he’s too one-dimensional at the moment to be ranked higher.

21. Dick Axelsson (-9), F, Grand Rapids (AHL). After pulling his AHL disappearing act, it’s hard to believe he’ll ever play for the Red Wings.

22. Mitchell Callahan (+2), F, Kelowna (WHL). Callahan is a Grade A agitator whose offensive game is coming along nicely.

22. Gleason Fournier (-1), D, Rimouski (QMJHL). Already productive, Fournier became Rimouski’s main man after some mid-season trades.

24. Julien Cayer (-2), F, Clarkson (NCAA). Although Cayer is a big, physical body, he hasn’t taken a step forward in his offensive development.

25. Nick Jensen (–), D, Green Bay (USHL). A great skater who is headed to the NCAA at St. Cloud State, Jensen has had a quiet season.

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Tatar's being compared to Hudler's talent level? That gives me a boner, but LGW a bad stomach.

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Tatar's being compared to Hudler's talent level? That gives me a boner, but LGW a bad stomach.

Oh yeah... Hudler's talent but he can skate. He's not Helm but he's no worse than Z or Datsyuk.

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Oh yeah... Hudler's talent but he can skate. He's not Helm but he's no worse than Z or Datsyuk.

Heh that makes me excited. I've only got to see very limited action of him actually playing, but if he is as good as a skater as Z and has the talent of Hudler (Who I honestly believe has more natural and pure talent than any player othen then Datsyuk on the Wing's right now) then it looks like we got another steal.

I saw that Czech kid dropped a few spots, got any specific info on him Drake?

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Heh that makes me excited. I've only got to see very limited action of him actually playing, but if he is as good as a skater as Z and has the talent of Hudler (Who I honestly believe has more natural and pure talent than any player othen then Datsyuk on the Wing's right now) then it looks like we got another steal.

I saw that Czech kid dropped a few spots, got any specific info on him Drake?

Nothing beyond what Redwingscentral has on him, sorry man. :( Following Tatar's been my real pet project. :P Man, imagine if we could throw Hudler and Helm in a machine and get one player out on the other side.... well two I guess, we can leave the guy with Helm's hands and Hulder's legs for the families to enjoy.

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if you mean Andrej Nestrasil, he has a shoulder injury and is out of Victoriavilles line up for 3 weeks. He will be okay when he returns and Im sure he'll move up the charts. I think last years draft could prove to be one of the best the Wings have had for awhile. I see both of them and Ferraro being on the roster. Ref Tatar thou: The 5-foot-10, 179-pound winger simply has too much going for him, with all the tools to be an impact scoring-line player for the Red Wings five years from now.

5 years !! If he aint a Wing within 2 years Ill be very surprised and miffed! I said he'll be a Redwing before he's 20 and Im sticking with it.

Mitchell Callahan is the dark horse in this list, if he can bulk up to 200Lb we have ourselfs are very nice little 4th line pain in the arse with a scoring touch. He is having a good year so far, just needs to improve his skating.

Here's a bold statement thou, Smith and Almqvist are going to be the next Murphy and Lids!! My mate watches the Badgers and he says Smith is on another level most nights.

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I also have a boner for Tatar, despite the Hudler comparisons. Hes a good skater, rediculously skilled, scores goals, hustles and seems to love playing physical game depsite his small size...what more could you want? And hes only 18...What a draft pick...and it was only the 3rd round wasnt it?

Might elaborate on a few more players seeing as I get to watch most of these prospects playing in Grand Rapids (http://www.justin.tv/griffinslive)

Jan Mursak: Great little player. Very skilled, suprising everyone by putting up numbers and continuing to show up despite the terrible run of play GR has been having. Fiesty little guy.

Jakub Kindl: I know people on here always seem to bring up his name but I dont really see why. He cant keep up consistancy at AHL level and I havnt been impressed with him. If Detroit had some better defensive prospects than him he'd be much further down the rankings.

Logan Pyett: Again, like Mursak, this guy is one of the players who has shined brightly when the rest of the team has dulled. Hes a big guy, who has recently showed willingness to stick up for teammates. If he can improve his physical game a bit more I think he could be a very sound 3rd NHL pairing.

edit:...oh yeah, Mitchell Callahan rules.

Edited by uk_redwing

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How is it that McCollum is so ahead of Larsson? Size and age are not worth that many spots between them.

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I also have a boner for Tatar, despite the Hudler comparisons. Hes a good skater, rediculously skilled, scores goals, hustles and seems to love playing physical game depsite his small size...what more could you want? And hes only 18...What a draft pick...and it was only the 3rd round wasnt it?

Might elaborate on a few more players seeing as I get to watch most of these prospects playing in Grand Rapids (http://www.justin.tv/griffinslive)

Jan Mursak: Great little player. Very skilled, suprising everyone by putting up numbers and continuing to show up despite the terrible run of play GR has been having. Fiesty little guy.

Jakub Kindl: I know people on here always seem to bring up his name but I dont really see why. He cant keep up consistancy at AHL level and I havnt been impressed with him. If Detroit had some better defensive prospects than him he'd be much further down the rankings.

Logan Pyett: Again, like Mursak, this guy is one of the players who has shined brightly when the rest of the team has dulled. Hes a big guy, who has recently showed willingness to stick up for teammates. If he can improve his physical game a bit more I think he could be a very sound 3rd NHL pairing.

edit:...oh yeah, Mitchell Callahan rules.

19 years old and late 2nd round 60th overall

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I really like the list this time around.

Finally, FINALLY Mursak is ahead of Emmerton! I've been saying it long enough! :P

Ritola is too low.

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How is it that McCollum is so ahead of Larsson? Size and age are not worth that many spots between them.

Last time I saw Larsson play he was like a sieve.

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It's hard to NOT have Tatar as our top prospect after the way he's performed in the Ahl as an 18 year old. The one outlier on this is Coetzee who is shockingly low for a player having the kind of year he's having.

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Last time I saw Larsson play he was like a sieve.

Right. And that whole demotion of McCollum to the ECHL that was because he specifically had to come up with a plan to bring Katie Holmes back to Toledo.

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Right. And that whole demotion of McCollum to the ECHL that was because he specifically had to come up with a plan to bring Katie Holmes back to Toledo.

Thomas is 19.

Larsson is 23.

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How is it that McCollum is so ahead of Larsson? Size and age are not worth that many spots between them.

I think their rankings go by who has the most potential, or who can grow the most. McCollum is young, and he just turned pro. Larsson has had experience in the Swedish Elite League.

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No offense, and I dig that some are way into this, but until he does anything here with the big boys, I don't care.

Guys like McCarty and Malts had great scoring numbers till they got to the top.

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Oh yeah... Hudler's talent but he can skate. He's not Helm but he's no worse than Z or Datsyuk.

I would say Tatar is a better skater Z and about the same as Pav. Z can look very "hoppity" on skates sometimes.

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if you mean Andrej Nestrasil, he has a shoulder injury and is out of Victoriavilles line up for 3 weeks. He will be okay when he returns and Im sure he'll move up the charts. I think last years draft could prove to be one of the best the Wings have had for awhile. I see both of them and Ferraro being on the roster. Ref Tatar thou: The 5-foot-10, 179-pound winger simply has too much going for him, with all the tools to be an impact scoring-line player for the Red Wings five years from now.

5 years !! If he aint a Wing within 2 years Ill be very surprised and miffed! I said he'll be a Redwing before he's 20 and Im sticking with it.

Mitchell Callahan is the dark horse in this list, if he can bulk up to 200Lb we have ourselfs are very nice little 4th line pain in the arse with a scoring touch. He is having a good year so far, just needs to improve his skating.

Here's a bold statement thou, Smith and Almqvist are going to be the next Murphy and Lids!! My mate watches the Badgers and he says Smith is on another level most nights.

The funny thing about their 5 years comment is they can't mean how long he'll take to get to the NHL since he's already in the AHL.

He entered the AHL at age 18 (turned 19 in December). That means he'll run out of AHL eligibility (without passing through waivers) by age 21. By allowing him to enter the AHL this early Holland litterally fast-tracked him compared to virtually every other Wings prospect in recent history. No Wings prospect has ever been assigned to the Griffins that young in the history of the Griffins-Wings relationship (8 years now).

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Right. And that whole demotion of McCollum to the ECHL that was because he specifically had to come up with a plan to bring Katie Holmes back to Toledo.

Whoa, man. Let's stay calm.

I didn't know that about McCollum, but I also didn't make any commentary on him. Point of fact, last time I saw Larsson play - he played poorly.

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I would say Tatar is a better skater Z and about the same as Pav. Z can look very "hoppity" on skates sometimes.

Fair enough. One thing to remember about Hank is his deceptive power and how well he stays on his feet in all situations. He's got one of those low skating strides that keep him up and balanced when others when be knocked down.

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Fair enough. One thing to remember about Hank is his deceptive power and how well he stays on his feet in all situations. He's got one of those low skating strides that keep him up and balanced when others when be knocked down.

For sure. I would never say Z was a bad skater but hes not fluent like Pav and that "hoppity" stride isnt the fastest way to get from A to B.

Edited by UP2HERE

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I wonder if this isn't so much as Tatar taking the #1 as Kindl giving it up... hhmm.

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I also have a boner for Tatar, despite the Hudler comparisons. Hes a good skater, rediculously skilled, scores goals, hustles and seems to love playing physical game depsite his small size...what more could you want? And hes only 18...What a draft pick...and it was only the 3rd round wasnt it?

Might elaborate on a few more players seeing as I get to watch most of these prospects playing in Grand Rapids (http://www.justin.tv/griffinslive)

Jan Mursak: Great little player. Very skilled, suprising everyone by putting up numbers and continuing to show up despite the terrible run of play GR has been having. Fiesty little guy.

Jakub Kindl: I know people on here always seem to bring up his name but I dont really see why. He cant keep up consistancy at AHL level and I havnt been impressed with him. If Detroit had some better defensive prospects than him he'd be much further down the rankings.

Logan Pyett: Again, like Mursak, this guy is one of the players who has shined brightly when the rest of the team has dulled. Hes a big guy, who has recently showed willingness to stick up for teammates. If he can improve his physical game a bit more I think he could be a very sound 3rd NHL pairing.

edit:...oh yeah, Mitchell Callahan rules.

I literally agree with every single thing you just said, especially the Callahan part. And did you see Mursak's fight with Richmond? Like where the hell did that come from all of a sudden, I used to watch Jan play alot when he was with Belleville ( I had Sarnia season tix) and never saw that from him.

EDIT: Nevermind Im pretty sure I watched the Mursak fight on your youtube channel so I'm pretty sure you saw it haha

Edited by newfy

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