Joren van Pottelberghe, G, Linkoping Jr. (Sweden)
4th round, 110th overall
Height: 6-2 Weight: 190
With Petr Mrazek having taken the leap to the NHL, the Red Wings were left pretty much barren when it came to goaltending prospects. Granted, Mrazek is 23 and appears to have a bright future while incumbent starter Jimmy Howard still has a few years ahead of him, so the need for goaltending isn’t dire.
Still, the Red Wings saw an opportunity to add some potential to the prospect pool and did just that with the addition of Van Pottelberghe. Playing in the Swedish juniors, Van Pottelberghe brings decent size and a calm attitude with him. He’s not the most athletic goalie in the world, but he is positionally sound and an intelligent netminder.
Van Pottelberghe will be given as much time as he needs to develop and will likely need to see some time in the AHL whenever he makes the leap to North America. His presence, size and intelligence could get him a long way, though he still needs to find consistency, having performed well for Linkoping and the Swiss U19 team, while struggling with the Swiss U18 team.
Chase Pearson, C, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
5th round, 140th overall
Height: 6-3 Weight: 186
The lanky Pearson, headed to the University of Maine with fellow Red Wing draftee Patrick Holway, is as raw as it gets. At 6’3, he’s still got room to grow into his already large frame and shows a little bit of offensive potential, though it definitely remains a work in progress. His size is an obvious asset and he uses it to drive to the net, causing chaos where he can. His future will be in front of the net and along the wall as his skating is merely okay and there remain questions about his hands and offensive capabilities.
When asked to describe his game, Pearson said: “I think I can be a two-way forward. Offensively, I’d like to produce more than I did last year, but I know that comes with time and more development.”
He also grew up a fan of Rod Brind’Amour, one of the better two-way centers of the 1990s. “He won the Cup in 2006 with Carolina and that was a great moment for me, being able to see what kind of leader he was,” Pearson said.
Pearson will likely spend the next two or three seasons at Maine and will likely need time in the AHL before he has any chance at cracking the Red Wings. If he can develop more of an offensive side to his game, that coupled with his size will be more than enough to earn him a long look.
Prior to the NHL Draft, Pearson took part in the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, NY. he spoke with the media following his testing session, with his comments being captured in this HF video.
Patrick Holway, D, Boston Advantage U18 (Tier 1 Elite Hockey League)
6th round, 170th overall
Height: 6-4 Weight: 200
Coming into the draft, there was a definite need for defensemen and the Wings seemed to try to address it. Holway is the antithesis of Saarijarvi: big, though somewhat mobile, and lacking on the offensive end. Holway moves well for his already impressive size, but he still has lapses in his own zone and doesn’t quite use his size as effectively as one would hope.
He is still very raw offensively, but Holway has a big shot and good enough mobility that there could be something there. Still, his bread and butter will be in his own zone where his size will give him an advantage in most one-on-one battles.
The University of Maine commit more than likely has a few years of college and a stop in the AHL ahead of him, so will be several years before he’s ready to crack the roster. His size and mobility could find him a spot on the Wings’ blueline if all goes well.
Adam Marsh, LW, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
7th round, 200th overall
Height: 6-0 Weight: 161
Marsh might be a seventh-round selection, but he has an interesting skill set. He’s shown a flash of offensive ability for Saint John, scoring 24 goals in his first season in the QMJHL. More than that, he’s shown a knack for quality defensive work and an affinity to be used wherever he is needed.
That kind of versatility could prove invaluable for a guy like Marsh. Defensively-sound forwards always seem to find a spot in the league and his ability to play where asked gives him that many more chances to find the ice in Detroit.
It’s also interesting to note that Marsh grew up in Chicago, knowing more about the Red Wings’ greatest rival than about the Wings themselves. “I just know that they have always had a good team ever since the late 90s, and pretty sure they’ve made the playoffs for 20-some years in a row,” he said. “I just always knew that them and the Hawks have always had a big rivalry too. So, I thought it was pretty cool being drafted by them.”
Marsh will have to put in a lot of work to overcome both his size and draft status, but he could wind up finding the ice in Detroit a few years down the road as a bottom-six type.
Follow Ryan Womeldorf on Twitter via @tankcity2015