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Three Red Wings Youngsters That Should Make The Biggest Splash This Season
With Preseason games underway, many players are fighting for a spot on the Red Wings forward heavy roaster. 17 forwards with contracts but only 14 can stay, GM Ken Holland will have to do his magic before the season starts. This year, the Wings prospect depth has never been better. Winning the Calder Cup last season and winning the Red Wings Prospect Tournament this month, Red Wings future players already look like stars. Here is a list of three Red Wings rookies that I believe should have the best year.
Tomas Tatar has already notched 3 goals in the preseason and doesn’t look like he is going to slow down one bit. Last season, Tatar played in 16 Red Wings games with 4 goals and 3 assists. He played in 61 Griffins (Wings AHL affiliate) games with 23 goals and 26 assists. He helped Grand Rapids win their first Calder Cup Trophy and won Playoff MVP. When Dan Cleary resigned, it looked to be that Tatar might be the odd man out. During training camp he was quoted by saying, “I want to do my best to make the NHL, but if that doesn’t happen then I will probably play in Russia.” But, Ken Holland has told reporters that Tatar will be playing in a Wings jersey this season. With how well he is playing and how talented he is, expected him to do great things this season.
Dekeyser was a well sought after free agent last year. After playing hockey at Western Michigan University, he signed a contract with the Red Wings, his hometown team. He has played in only 11 Wings games, but he has proven to be a very skilled defenseman. After the Wings were out of the playoffs and his injured hand had time to heal, he went and help the Griffins win the Calder Cup. He added around 10 pounds during the summer so he could be strong and by the looks of him, you can tell. He’s playing more confidently and has already added 1 assist in the this preseason. With his big frame, talent, and a few more games underneath him, Dekeyser is going to light up this team.
Nyquist is the Swedish forward that was drafted by the Red Wings 121st overall in 2008. In 2011-12, he played in 18 Wings games with 1 goal and 6 assists. Last season, he played in 22 Wings games with 3 goals and 3 assists. Nyquist also helped the Griffins win the Calder Cup after the Wings left the playoffs. In this preseason, he has added 4 assists and has gotten more noticed with his strong passing skills and hockey smarts. He is letting other players know that he can play with the big boys. Nyquist is also one of the only one’s left that can go down to Grand Rapids without having to be put on waivers first. One of the possible roster reliefs that Holland can do is move him down and if he does, I don’t think he will be down there for long. After a few more games in the NHL, he would have to be put on waivers and another team would not even hesitate to grab him up. Gustav is a natural goal scorer and so good with the puck that the coaching staff and management adore him. He will be in a red sweater for a very, very long time.