Red Wings Report: Rankings Update

By Zoran Manojlovic






Name

It
has been a while since the team rankings were updated. Many of the Red Wings
prospects have made positive strides and opened many eyes in the hockey
community, especially those who participted at the WJC in Halifax, Canada earlier
this year. The brightest one is Igor Grigorenko who has been the most impressive
prospect so far. He has been playng extremely well in the Russian Superleague
and was a key member of the Russian Gold winning WJC team. But you can`t expect
all the prospect to develop as well as Grigorenko. During the first half of the
season some have also gone in the other direction, such as Dmitri Semenov whom
the Red Wings selected in the 4th round, 127th overall in the 2000 NHL entry
draft. He has had trouble establishing himself in the Russian top league and is
now a longshot of becoming an NHL player. The time has also come when I had to move the previously No. 1 ranked prospect, Henrik Zetterberg to the “graduated” list and name the new No.1 prospect in the Detroit Red Wings organisation.

Now let`s take a look at
the Top 10 Detroit Red Wings Prospect with NEW: Rank, Grades, Scouting
Reports and Future. 

m/article.php?sid=4759#Previous Rankings”>Previous
Rankings

NameBornTeamLeagueHeightWeightPositionShotsRank
Grade
Igor Grigorenko1983-09-04HC LadaSuperleague6-0189C/WL18.0

 

NOTES:
Has been the MVP with Lada in the Superleague scoring 15 goals and 9 assists
in 37 games and providing tons of offense…  matured and plays a solid
two-way game as center… made his senior national team debut in Czech Republic
last year scoring two goals in three games… senior national team totals: 1g +
2a in 6 games… member of the Russian gold medal winning team at the U-20 WJC
where he was the leading scorer with 6g and 4a in 6 games… voted Top Forward
at the tournament and was named to the first All Stars team… will be a
contender for a spot on the Russian senior national team that will play at the
WC later this year in Finland.

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Grigorenko is a very gifted young player who possesses
impressive offensive talent and likes to go on solo rushes and challange the
defensemen. He has great overall speed and is very quick on the skates and loves
to make shifty moves at high speed. He is a very smart and creative player with
the puck, although he sometimes tries to be to fancy instead of taking the
simple pass. Although not possessing a rocket of a shot he still likes to use it
in all possible and impossible situations which is a good sign for a future
scorer. He is aggressive and has a bit of a mean streak which his penalty minutes
over the last two years indicate. He still needs to get bigger and stronger to
become more effective in his game.

 

FUTURE:
Igor has made big strides since the 2001 draft where he was selected 62nd
overall in the second round. After the draft Red Wings brass stated that they
were surprised (and pleased) that Grigorenko was available late in the second
round and that they had him ranked 15th overall. This statement made some wonder
if they really were telling the thruth. Well, now two years after the draft we
all know that Håkan Andersson and the other scouts once again have done a
magnificant job in findig a gem. Grigorenko has said in an interview with a
Russian magazine that he belives that he`ll be ready to play in the NHL after
another year in the Superleague and that it`s his dream to play for such a great
organisation.   

 

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPTSPIM
2002/03HC Lada Superleague371592478

 

 

Name

Born

Team

League

Height

Weight

Position

Shots

Rank


Grade

Jiri Hudler

1984-01-04

HC Vsetin

Extraliga

5-10

176

C

L

2

8.0

 

NOTES: One of the best players in the Extraliga and is currentley 4th in league scoring
with 19g and 27a although playing in only 30 games… has been a scoring sensation in the
league over the last two years scoring 34g and 58a in 76 games as a 17 and 18
year old… has made his senior national team debut where he picked up an
assist… will fight for a spot with the Czech senior nat. team that will play
at the WC in Finland… if he makes it he`ll be there as a young pupil that will
see and learn… played in his second U-20 WJC where he led the Czech team in
scoring with 3g and 4a in 6 games, finishing tied for 11th in tournament scoring…
earning player of the game awards in four of the 6 games… has made a surprise
move to the Russian Superleague to play with the AK Bars Kazan for the reminder
of the season…

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Jiri is a dazzling puckhandler who has a phenomenal offensive
arsenal. He is a good skater with great foot-speed which he uses to avoid
opponents in the corners effectively. His god-given hockey sense, on-ice-vision
and playmaking ability make him an offensive threath on every shift. He has good
scoring instincts and a quick accurate shot that he is willing to use in all
situations. He is a great leader and hard worker which he showed at the U-18 WJC
where he was captain. The downside is that he sometimes tends to shy away from
physical contact and is a bit of a liability defensively. Hudler will never be a
big player, but he will sure add some inches and pounds.

 

FUTURE:
The small Czech prodigy has been progressing as a player since the day he
put on his skates for the first time. His size has been a huge question mark and is probably the reason that he fell all
the way to late second round before the Wings made him their first pick in the
2002 draft. So far he has been overcoming his size with smartness and skill, but
will he be able to translate to the NHL style? I believe that we will have to
wait for another two years before we can draw that conclusion.

 

 

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPTSPIM
2002/03HC VsetinExtraliga3019274622
2002/03AK Bars KazanSuperleague656

 

 

NameBornTeamLeagueHeightWeightPositionShotsRank
Grade
Niklas Kronwall1981-01-12DjurgårdenElitserien6-0184DL37.0

 

NOTES:
Plays in his fourth season in the Elitserien with Djurgården… has bulked up
during the pre-season and is playing a more two-way sounded game… is more
agressive and more physicly abel to control the defensive zone… has been
playing as an extra forward and is makeing end-to-end rushes and contributing
offensively… has scored 5g and 11a in 42 games so far and is third on the team
in shots with 87… has been absent from the national team…

 

SCOUTING
REPORT
: Kronwall is a small-sized defenseman with exeptional
offensive skills. He is very smart and possesses great hockey sense which
compensates for his small frame. He is a great skater with good leteral movement
and phenomenal speed. He carries the puck with confidence and is very offensive
minded. His offensive arsenal includes a great point-shot which is hard and
accurate. He can log on tons of minutes and is used in all situations. He playes
with a lot of heart and is agressive in the corners. He needs to work on his
positioning as he sometimes looks lost in the defensive zone. He will also need
to work on his consistancy in order to become more effective.

 

FUTURE:
Kronwall`s absence from the national team and his “low” offensive numbers have
made some people to question his future as an NHL defenseman. But Niklas hasn`t
been that bad, he started the year at a slow pace but has been among the best defensemen in the league in the past 15 games.
Although some reports have indicated that Kronwall might come over next season,
Kronwall himself has stated that he isn`t ready yet and will need another year of
devalopment, probably in Sweden.

 

 

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPTSPIM
2002/03DjurgårdenElitserien435121744

 

 

NameBornTeamLeagueHeightWeightPosition
Catches
RankGrade
Stefan Liv1980-12-21HV 71Elitserien6-0178GL47.0

 

NOTES: Plays in his fourth season in the Elitserien with HV 71… has been among the
top netminders in the league for the last three years and the clear cut MVP on
his team… was voted top netminder in Elitserien and finished second for the
MVP title behind his close friend and fellow Wings prospect, Henrik
Zetterberg… has also played a key role with the national team where he
captured a bronze medal at last years WC… could be the starter at this years
WC if Johan Hedberg of the Pittsburgh Penguins isn`t avaliable…

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Liv is a good sized butterfly type of goalie who likes to
challange the shooters. He covers the net well and is very agile. His main
assets are his exeptionaly quick glovehand and pads which allow him to make
jaw-dropping saves. He is also a great personality who has his own style and
likes to kid around. This makes him one of the most (if not the most) favorite
players in the country. He is also very calm and has tons of confidance which he
has shown on manny ocassions with both HV-71 and the national team. Over the
last years he has showed some weeknesses in his puckhandling both with the stick
and his glove. But he has improved in both areas and looked more confidant
during the 2001-02 season.

 

FUTURE: Liv
hasn`t been playing at his best this year, he has allowed far to manny rebounds
on soft shots and has looked average in some games. He dosn`t seem to be very
sharp and focused as he has been in the previous two years. But nevertheless,
Liv is a great goaltender who can win games on his own and win`em in a
spectacular way. The Red Wings should sign him after this season and let him
play in the AHL for a year or two to adjust to the faster hockey.

 

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAASV%SO
2002/03HV 71Elitserien432.7790.03

 

 

NameBornTeamLeague
Height
WeightPositionShotsRankGrade
Tomas Kopecky1982-02-02Grand RapidsAHL6-3192C/WL56.5

 

NOTES: Had a
slow start to his pro-career going scoreless in his first 6 games… has picked
up his game and is now one of the better forwards on the team… has 12 goals
and 10 assists in his first 45 games… has devaloped his two-way game and is
getting ice time on both the PP- and PK-units… he has also devaloped his
biggest weakness, skateing… works hard and is playing a physical type of game
which he mixex with tremendous offensive skills… 

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Tomas is a big center that combines great size and reach with
phenomenal hockey sense. He is a very good stickhandler and likes to do
unexpected things with the puck. He is a very smart and creative player with the
puck and allways looks to generate offense. He is very usefull on the special
teams and can play the go-to-guy on the powerplay. His time in the WHL has been
very progressive as he has devaloped good work-ethic, leadership qualities and a
strong two-way game. Kopecky is strong and likes to play a gritty game while not
being afraid of dropping the gloves when needed. He has become a better skater
since the draft but he still needs to continue his progress to fully reach his
potential.

 

FUTURE: The
big Slovak center is haveing a good first pro year and is devaloping nicely. He
has pleased the Red Wings staff with his physical presense and his high level of
skills. Tomas is an important prospect in the Red Wings organisation with his
great size, power and skills. He is he only prospect whom could translate into a
future scoring power forward as the Wings lack these type of players in theire
system. The 21 year old forward is also one of the best hidden secrets in the
organisation as he isn`t getting the same amout of attention as Grigorenko,
Hudler, Kronwall. I belive that we can expect Kopecy to make the jump to the NHL
after another year in the minors.  

 

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPTSPIM
2002/03Grand RapidsAHL4512102222

 

 

NameBornTeamLeagueHeightWeightPositionShotsRankGrade
Tomas Fleischmann1984-05-16Moose JawWHL6-0178LWL66.5

 

NOTES: 
Has made a nice transition to the north american style and is haveing a strong
rookie year… has 51 points in 48 games and is second in the rookie and team
scoring… known as a sniper he has been displaying great playmaking skills and
has 36 assists in 48 games… member of the Czech WJC team where he scored 2
goals in 6 games and was among the better performers throughout the tournament…   

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Tomas Fleischmann is an flashy winger with great offensive
tools. He playes a high speed game with a lot of skill involved and is exciting
to watch. His great hockey sense and hands allow him to create quality chances
for both himself and his linemates. Although being a good playemaker, Tomas is
more of a scorer and he uses his shot often to prove that. Has a good, hard
wrist shot with a quick realease. His downside is his lack of defensive
involvment and he needs to gain more strenght in order to take his game to the
next level.

 

FUTURE: The
young Czech sniper has been a pleasent surprise so far. He has made a good
transition to the north american style and is putting up good numbers for a
rookie. He has also been abel to play his own game which includes a lot of speen
and skill. The move to the WHL has been a very good one for his devalopment.
instead of getting 4th line minutes in the Czech Extraliga on a strong team
Tomas is now getting tons of ice time while adjusting to the more physicla
hockey. Tomas is allready one of the best offensive players in the WHL and
should put up that kind of numbers next season. He is at least three years away
from the NHL.

 

Season

Team

League

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2002/03

Moose Jaw

WHL

48

15

36

51

26

 

 

Name

Born

Team

League

Height

Weight

Position


Catches

Rank

Grade

Drew MacIntyre

1983-06-24

Sherbrooke

QMJHL

6-1

192

G

L

7

6.5

 

NOTES: Is
among the best goalies in the QMJHL…has the 4th best SV% with 91.3, 3rd in GAA
with 2.54… was named to the QMJHL All Star team… has been the MVP on his
team in the past three seasons… playing in his 4th season in the QMJHL…  

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Drew is highly talanted netminder who has good skating
ability and great work-ethic. He possesses an excellent left hand glove and is
able to make great close-range saves. Drew likes to challange the shooters and
is a good puckhandler, not allowing manny rebounds. He posseses a good frame
which allowes him to cover the net effectively. Drew is a solid stickhandler who
is capable of clearing the puck out of the zone. He is still very young needs
more experience in order to take his game to the next level.

 

FUTURE: Drew
has been signed by the Red Wings and should turn pro next season after four
years of junior hockey. He will have a tough time of cracking the Red Wings farm
team, Grand Rapids as they allready have two excellent goalies in AHL All Star,
Marc Lamothe and young rookie Joey MacDonald. This may force him to start his
pro career in the ECHL, but Drew is a goalie who has great size, speed, talent
and the will to make it to the NHL. But if the Wings are going to stay as
Stanley Cup contenders in the future Drew may have a hard time of getting a
staring job in the with the Wings. He is still three-four years away from
pushing for a NHL job.   

 

Season

Team

League

GP

GAA

SV%

SO

2002/03

Sherbrooke

QMJHL

47

2.54

91.3

2

 

 

Name

Born

Team

League

Height

Weight

Position

Shots

Rank

Grade

Andreas Jämtin

1983-05-05

AIK

Allsvenskan

6-0

188

C/RW

L

8

6.0

 

NOTES: Has
been one of the best players in Allsvenskan… scored 14 goals and 15 assists
for 29 points in 28 regular season games… has 4 goals and 5 points in 8
playoff games so far… has bulked up and grown a bit… has been playing a
physical in-your-face type of game… deavloped his two-way game and is more
reliable in the defensive zone… played in his second WJC for team Sweden where
he notched only 1 goal and 5 points in 6 games… had a strong tournament
although not putting up impressive numbers…  

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Jämtin is a very good skater who has great speed and
quickness. He is a very agressive forechecker who likes to get under the skin of
his opponents. Although not being overly big Jämtin is a capable hitter who
enjoys this aspect of the game. He posseses very soft hands and is abel to make
things happend offensively. Jämtin is also a smart player who has very good
on-ice vison which makes him a dangerous offensive threat. Jämtin has devaloped
his defensive game and is now a reliable two-way player who plays with an edge.
He posseses a good arsenal of shots where his wrister is his main weapon becose
of it`s accuracy and hardness..  

 

FUTURE: Jämtin
is another prospect that has had a positive devalopments so far. With the
departure to the second-tier league Jämtin and the rest of the young players on
the team were give more responsibilities as the older ones left. Jämtin took
the inceased ice-time and ran with it as he was the teams scoring leader in the
regular season and is also currently leading the team in scoring in the playoffs.
Jämtin didn`t only devalop his offensive game, he has also matured and is using
his head a lot more that he used to do in the past. Manny teams tryed to get him
out of balance by playing a tough game against him, but in most of the
situations he didn`t answer theire call. But don`t get me wrong, Jämtin hasn`t
become an angel all of a sudden, he is still one of the best and most agressive
players in the league. Jämtin`s contract expires with AIK after this season and
I don`t think that the Wings will allow him to play another season in the
Allsvenskan as he is clearly to good. He will most likely play in the
Elitserien. Although making big strides in this season Jämtin is still at least
two-three years away from the NHL.

 

Season

Team

League

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2002/03

AIK

Allsvenskan

28

14

15

29

62

2002/03

AIK

Superallsvenskan

8

4

1

5

26

 

 

Name

Born

Team

League

Height

Weight

Position

Shots

Rank

Grade

Miroslav Blatak

1982-05-25

HC Zlin

Extraliga

6-0

178

D

L

9

6.0

 

NOTES:
Has continued to devalop nicely… plays a very sound two-way game where he
has taken more offensive responsibilities… has set new career highs in points
with 15, assists with 11 and penalty minutes with 28… is the only one on his
team who is plus in the plus/minus rating with +1… plays in his third season
in the Czech Extraliga… has played 89 games over the three year span where he
has recorded 8 goals and 20 assists…

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Mioslav is a typical small sized defenseman who compensates
for his size by playing a smart game. He is a good skater who has quick feet and
good overall speed. He is very mobile and has good letheral movement. Blatak is
a very smart defenseman who plays with his head. He reads the play well and is
very calm with the puck. He carries the puck with confidence and isn`t affraid
of joining the rush. Although adding some weight in the off-season Blatak is
still a bit soft and easly pushed around. In order to take his game to the next
level he will have to add strenght and play more agressive in the defensive zone.

 

FUTURE:
The 20-year old defenseman has continued to devalop at a good pace since
being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2001 NHL Entry draft, 4th round,
129th overall. He is a reliable two-way defnseman who has a bright future ahead
of him. Red Wings will give him another year or two before bringing him over as
he has to add some more muscle and get some more experince. He projects a top-5
defenseman who can be used on the special teams as well. 

 

Season

Team

League

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2002/03

HC Zlin

Extraliga

42

4

11

15

28

 

 

Name

Born

Team

League

Height

Weight

Position

Shots

Rank

Grade

Jari Tolsa

1981-04-20

Frölunda

Elitserien

6-1

195

LW

L

10

6.0

 

NOTES:
Started the year on fire as he picked up 7 goals and 9 assists in his first 16
games before getting injured… the injury has shattered his hopes of a big
season as he hasn`t been abel to find his game since the injury… has only 1
goal and 4 assists in 14 games since the injury… has been playing on the best
line and one of the most productive this season with two other youngsters,
Dallas draftee, Joel Lundquist and Carolina draftee Magnus Kahnberg… 

 

SCOUTING
REPORT:
Jari is a great team player who has great work ethic. He
gives you 110% every time he steps out on the ice. He is an agressive
forechecker and capable hitter although not being big framed. He is a good
skater who has quick feet and a big stride. Jari is a smart player who has very
good hockey sense and great playmaking ability. He posseses soft hands and is
capable of beating the defensemen in 1-on-1 situations. Since his draft year
Tolsa has devaloped in all areas and is now a solid two-way player who is being
used in both the PP- and the PK-units. Tolsa has worked a lot on his shot but it
still requires devalopment in order to become more effective in the offensive
plays.

 

FUTURE:
The 21-year old winger has been one of the most underrated Red Wings prospects
over the last couple of years. Although playing a very smart and effective
two-way game Tolsa hasn`t gotten much attention from the Red Wings brass. But
this year he has truly opened manny eyes with his gritty two-way game. He has
been a regular member of the Swedish national team during the whole season and
will fight for a spot on the team that will play at the WC later this year in
Finland. Tolsa projects a solid hard working third line winger who can be used
on the special teams. Tolsa will probably stay in Sweden for another year of
devalpment before moving over. I belive that he will have to spend some time in
the minors to adjust to the faster and tougher north american style.   

 

Season

Team

League

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2002/03

Frölunda

Elitserien

37

8

13

21

18

 

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