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Jonas Mahonas

Question for KRS

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Who do you like out of our D prospects?  You watch the most GR hockey, so fill us in on who is legit.

 

Cholowski

Saarijarvi

Hronek

Sambrook

Hicketts

Russo

Etc.

 

I'm disgusted with the Wings defense right now, outside of Jensen.  Do any of the guys other than Cholowski have a chance to make it and be effective?

 

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Cholowski and Sambrook haven't even played for the Griffs yet but should both be NHLers one day.  Sambrook will likely be a Dekeyser type (limited offensively but ok defensively).  Cholowski should at least project as a second pair guy but may have first pair upside.  He's a great passer, so maybe in the Brian Rafalski mold?  Russo and Renouf/Lashoff/McIlrath (not mentioned above) are career AHLers.  Hronek needs to get stronger but is a very good offensive defenseman.  Very dynamic and creative player with plenty of offensive upside.  Saarijarvi is too early to tell.  He's a good skater, passer, and is pretty tough despite his size.  He reminds me a bit of Ryan Ellis for the Predators.  He's currently blocked by Hronek because they're both competing for PP time and to be the primary offensive d-man. Once Hronek gets promoted to the big club Ville will get those bigger minutes and powerplay time and we'll see what he does with them, but he's scored decently well given how few minutes he plays currently.  Hicketts (I'm sure KRS will disagree) is nothing special.  He's not overly fast, he's not overly skilled, he's small, but he's got gumption.  He looked decent in his call up to Detroit, but that's misleading.  He was gifted powerplay time and offensive zone starts and he had a very long rope.  Had some brutal pinches and giveaways that, had the Wings been in the playoff hunt, would have had him benched (Blashill acknowledged as much).  Finally, Libor Sulak is a bit of a darkhorse on the defense.  He's older, just came over from Finland (where he toasted the Finnish pro league), and has 2 assists in 2 games for the Griffs.  Excellent skater, decent size, offensize d-man, who's still learning the North American game and ice.  Might be a decent find but hard to tell with such a small sample size. 

The big problem in Grand Rapids is that Lashoff, McIlrath, Renouf, and Russo are in the lineup every night so it's going to be hard for these young guys to get ice time to prove themselves.  It's been discussed that one problem with the Griffs is that they play to win the Calder Cup, which means having a veteran heavy team, which means young prospects who have NHL upside don't have as many spots to take.  Supposedly that's going to change after this season according to Griffs GM Ryan Martin.

Anyway, just my two cents. 

Edited by kipwinger

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6 minutes ago, kipwinger said:

Cholowski and Sambrook haven't even played for the Griffs yet.  Russo and Renouf (not mentioned above) are career AHLers.  Hronek needs to get stronger but is a very good offensive defenseman.  Very dynamic and creative player with plenty of offensive upside.  Saarijarvi is too early to tell.  Normally he'd be occupying the same role as Hronek currently does so Saarijarvi hasn't really gotten his chance yet.  Once Hronek gets promoted to the big club Ville will get those bigger minutes and powerplay time and we'll see what he does with them, but he's scored decently well given how few minutes he gets for the Griffs.  Hicketts (I'm sure KRS will disagree) is nothing special.  He's not overly fast, he's not overly skilled, he's small, but he's got gumption.  He looked decent in his call up to Detroit, but that's misleading.  He was gifted powerplay time and offensive zone starts and he had a very long rope.  Had some brutal pinches and giveaways that, had the Wings been in the playoff hunt, would have had him benched (Blashill acknowledged as much).  Finally, Libor Sulak is a bit of a darkhorse on the defense.  He's older, just came over from Finland (where he toasted the Finnish pro league), and has 2 assists in 2 games for the Griffs.  Excellent skater, decent size, offensize d-man, who's still learning the North American game and ice.  Might be a decent find but hard to tell with such a small sample size. 

The big problem in Grand Rapids is that Lashoff, McIlrath, Renouf, and Russo are in the lineup every night so it's going to be hard for these young guys to get ice time to prove themselves.  It's been discussed that one problem with the Griffs is that they play to win the Calder Cup, which means having a veteran heavy team, which means young prospects who have NHL upside don't have as many spots to take.  Supposedly that's going to change after this season according to Griffs GM Ryan Martin.

Anyway, just my two cents. 

Somewhat agree on Hicketts. He doesn't seem to be overly fantastic at anything in particular and he's undersized. I think there's some misplaced hope that he'll turn out like a Torey Krug (hope which I share) but that's probably too much to ask.

But the kid really does have gumption in spades. He plays likes he's under the impression that he's 6'8", not 5'8". I love that, and it's an attitude/quality I want on the team, even if that's just in a bottom pairing role.

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30 minutes ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

Who do you like out of our D prospects?  You watch the most GR hockey, so fill us in on who is legit.

I used to watch a lot of Griffins games. I've watched maybe 5 or 6 full games this season. I'll be watching every playoff game though for sure. From the few games I have watched, Hronek is the only one that stood out in a positive way.

I also watched two Prince George games earlier in the year, and Cholowski looked very good as well. Very headsy player that does everything well, but nothing exceptional.

I honestly don't see a single defenseman in our system as anything more than a decent number 2 / good number 3 in the NHL. That's just my opinion though and there is still a ton of time for some of these players to step up.

@kipwinger summed it up pretty well. I also agree on Hicketts being nothing special. I see him as a decent bottom pairing defenseman.

I too hope that the Griffins concentrate more on developing these players, rather than going all in on the vets in hopes to win another championship. This was a big reason I strayed from watching as many Griffins games this year. I have little interest in watching Street, Lorito, Tangradi, Puempel, Lashoff, Renouf, Russo, etc. playing every night. Give me some more young kids that I can (over)hype...

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52 minutes ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

Who do you like out of our D prospects?  You watch the most GR hockey, so fill us in on who is legit.

 

Cholowski

Saarijarvi

Hronek

Sambrook

Hicketts

Russo

Etc.

 

I'm disgusted with the Wings defense right now, outside of Jensen.  Do any of the guys other than Cholowski have a chance to make it and be effective?

 

35-og.jpg?w=300&h=283

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Skip, CRL, KRS - thx.  Good insight.  Just trying to legitimately assess our D outlook for the next 4-5 years.  Sounds like we really only have 4-7 covered, if we are being honest with ourselves.

 

________ - ________

________ - Cholowski

Jensen - Hicketts

Hronek/Saarijarvi/Sambrook

 

This draft should at the very minimum fill the 3 spot.

 

If that's all it does, we could be slumming for quite a while.

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35 minutes ago, Jonas Mahonas said:

Skip, CRL, KRS - thx.  Good insight.  Just trying to legitimately assess our D outlook for the next 4-5 years.  Sounds like we really only have 4-7 covered, if we are being honest with ourselves.

________ - ________

________ - Cholowski

Jensen - Hicketts

Hronek/Saarijarvi/Sambrook

This draft should at the very minimum fill the 3 spot.

If that's all it does, we could be slumming for quite a while.

I think both Cholowski and Hronek have the potential to develop into number twos, and between the two of them, hopefully we'll have our 2D / 3D spots filled.

Even if we don't win the Dahlin sweepstakes, there should still be other potential number ones available. I think Bouchard and Boqvist both have the potential to get there. We'll see...

Our defense is in rough shape, but we do have some nice pieces, as well as a ton of picks in the next two drafts. If all goes well, I think we'll be in pretty good shape in the next couple years. 

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9 minutes ago, Andy Pred 48 said:

Ill go along with Kip, Sulak is the dark horse for me. A bottom pairing of Hronek and Sulak could be a possibility, but we'd need to offload more than we will do to make that happen. 

First Hudler, Then Kindl, then Nosek, then Mrazek, then Tatar

I tell ya, the Czechs, they're not sending us their best. There are hard-working Swedes out there that need jobs too.

Edited by ChristopherReevesLegs

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2 hours ago, ChristopherReevesLegs said:

First Hudler, Then Kindl, then Nosek, then Mrazek, then Tatar

I tell ya, the Czechs, they're not sending us their best. There are hard-working Swedes out there that need jobs too.

I fear you may have offended our Eastern European brethren.

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11 hours ago, Neomaxizoomdweebie said:

I fear you may have offended our Eastern European brethren.

Yes, he did, lol. 

Funny fact is, that lot of czech people don´t like Red Wings just because of the number of young czech ´destroyed´ by THE process. 

...

Tatar is Slovak, not Czech. 

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14 hours ago, Andy Pred 48 said:

Get ready for Francouz as well Chris, who's the best we've had you reckon, Klima or Nedomansky? 

Hasek

14 hours ago, Neomaxizoomdweebie said:

I fear you may have offended our Eastern European brethren.

28p7if.jpg

 

2 hours ago, Juklitz said:

Yes, he did, lol. 

Funny fact is, that lot of czech people don´t like Red Wings just because of the number of young czech ´destroyed´ by THE process. 

...

Tatar is Slovak, not Czech. 

Doesn't surprise me really. We've had zero luck with Czech players lately. I blame Havluj and Fischer...

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