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Prospects To Watch

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#1 SwedeLundin77


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Posted 25 June 2010 - 11:36 PM

I was just looking through some of our less-known prospects in the system and there are some possible gems. Check these guys out:


"He's an offensive defenseman. He moves the puck very well, very good on the power play, good shot, creative, good hockey sense, good stick skills. He fits our mold as a puck-moving defenseman ... He's not one dimensional at all ... He's not a cruncher, not a stay-at-home physical type, but he does do the job. He finishes his checks and defends the net well. He doesn't often lay someone out with a huge hit, but he's very sufficient on the back end." — Red Wings scout Mark Leach (April 2009).

Offensive defenseman ... Active and involved ... Smart and creative on power play ... Heavy shot ... Makes a great first pass or can join in on the rush ... Gets in the way and finishes checks ... Doesn't neglect defensive duties and has enough backward mobility to not get beaten ... A winner who bounced from contender to contender in the QMJHL.

Knock-kneed skater who gets the job done, but could use improvement ... Not a defensive liability in junior, but needs to focus on that aspect of his game to excel at the next level ... Still adjusting to the lack of time and space in the pros, something he had plenty of in the QMJHL.

The Red Wings had their eye on Piche for a long time, but when the undrafted blue-liner busted out for a 23-goal, 72-point QMJHL campaign with the Rimouski Oceanic in 2008-09, they locked him up. Piche acquitted himself well as a pro rookie in the ECHL with Toledo in 2009-10 and will look to break in as an AHL regular with Grand Rapids in 2010-11. He provides solid depth.


"Our scouts just kind of liked his potential — he's raw, he's a good skater, he moves the puck well and he competes hard. Skating and moving the puck are his best assets. Like everybody, he's got to get stronger." — Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill (June 2007) ... "He's got very good hockey sense and vision and he’s real smart with the puck. He's going to school for four years and you're hoping you'll end up with another Dan Boyle down the road." — Nill (July 2007) ... "He can move the puck and shoot the puck and jumps into holes and he creates scoring chances. Those things just come naturally to him (but) we feel he needs to really improve his defensive game and play more controlled on the back end." — Red Wings scout Mark Leach (February 2009).

Lists Paul Coffey as his favorite player and loves rushing the puck ... Likes to go end-to-end ... Excellent skater ... A smart power-play quarterback ... Good vision with the man advantage and capable of making good plays ... Above-average slap shot with a good release ... A hard worker with competitive fire.

Still raw and needs to show he can continue to produce offense at a higher level ... Prone to defensive lapses and poor reads as far as knowing when to pinch ... Needs to get stronger ... Has below average size for a defenseman, although it's not the issue it once was.

Rufenach has good potential as an offensive defenseman and the Red Wings are monitoring him closely as he develops at Clarkson. If he can reach the point-per-game plateau as a senior and continue to improve his defensive game, he might be considered for an NHL contract.


"He plays very hard and he’s very aggressive. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and he’s not afraid to mix it up. He skates well, he can make plays, and he’s pretty solid at both ends of the ice.” — Red Wings amateur scout Mark Leach (June 2008) ... "He's played a big, strong game, he's physical and he uses his body. He creates chances offensively, he crashes the net, and he causes some havoc down low, and that's kind of his game. He uses his body really effectively." — Leach (February 2009).

Uses his size to make hard hits and relishes physical contact ... Hard, powerful skater ... Good shot ... Long reach and good moves help him in 1-on-1 situations ... Has the height and frame to be a force, if he bulks up ... Makes an impact when he is playing physical ... Doesn't neglect defensive end ... Good hockey sense and feel for the game ... Versatile and capable of playing center or wing.

Has grown a lot in recent years and is still adjusting to his frame ... Offensive game and puck skills still have a long way to come ... Still needs to add muscle.

The Red Wings drafted Cayer to be a physical third-liner, but with just six goals in two seasons, he's going to have to make more of an offensive impact in the NCAA if he wants to have a chance. He'll need to bounce back in his junior year at Clarkson in 2010-11.


"Detroit loves skilled players who can think the game and he's one of those guys. He's very quick, he's got great hands, he's got a very good release, a great shot and he's just a highly-skilled player that Detroit's always looking for." — Red Deer Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin (October 2009).

Point-producing forward who will be a top-six forward or bust ... Soft hands for passing and a great finishing touch to boot ... Good speed and quickness ... Hard shot with a quick release ... Hard worker who plays with passion ... Focused and driven to succeed.

Lack of size could result in him getting knocked off the puck easily as a pro ... Needs to step up his defensive game to fit the Red Wings' system ... Consistency can be an issue.

Coetzee was relatively unknown when the Red Wings signed him prior to the 2009-10 season. He's since become one of the top scorers in the Western Hockey League and is eligible to play in the American Hockey League in 2010-11. Expect him to return to the WHL as an over-ager, however, and expect him to dominate offensively. Coetzee has upside as a top-six forward.

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