Red Wings: Best prospects by categories

By Zoran Manojlovic

A
hockey player has to have a lot of qualities to take his game to the pro-level,
but also attributes that make him unique. 
Below is a best-by-categories
list of the Detroit Red Wings prospects.

Links to their player profiles are provided.

BEST SKATER:
Niklas Kronwall,
D, 22 –
Kronwall
is a great skater with good lateral movement and phenomenal speed. His skating
allows him to play a very effective offensive game while still being sound
defensively.

in-left:1;margin-top:3;
margin-bottom:-3″>RUNNER
UP:
Nathan
Robinson
, LW, 21


 



BEST STICKHANDLER:
Jiri Hudler,
19, C –
Hudler
is a dazzling puckhandler who has a phenomenal offensive arsenal. He has been
able to demonstrate it on every level that he has played on so far. 

RUNNER
UP: Igor
Grigorenko
, 20, RW


 



BEST PLAYMAKER
:
Jiri
Hudler
, 19, C  –
Hudler has God-given
hockey sense, on-ice vision and playmaking ability. This makes him a great
offensive threat. He has 58 assists in 76 Extraliga regular season games.

RUNNER
UP: Tomas
Kopecky
, 21, C

BEST AGITATOR:
Darryl Bootland,
21, RW –
Bootland
is a very good agitator who loves to get his nose dirty on every shift. 322
pims in just 54 ECHL games indicates his toughness. 

RUNNER
UP:
Ryan
Barnes
, 23, LW

SMARTEST PLAYER:
Jiri Hudler,
19, C

Hudler displays a very impressive hockey sense and smartness on the ice
for a 19-year-old. Though being undersized Hudler has managed to overcome
this and still be an impact player.


RUNNER UP: Pär
Bäcker
, 21, C


 


MOST GENTLEMANLY PLAYER:
Miroslav
Blatak
, 21, D
– Blatak plays a calm defensive game where he uses his head instead of
his strength. Is rarely involved in any rough situations.


RUNNER
UP:
Tomas
Fleischmann
, 19,
LW

BEST TWO-WAY FORWARD:
Tomas Kopecky,
21, C –
Kopecky
combines good work ethic, skills and hockey sense to form a strong two-way
game. In his first full pro-season Kopecky had 17 goals and 38 points in 70
games as well as a very good plus-18 rating.

RUNNER UP: Jari
Tolsa
, 22, LW


 


BEST POWER FORWARD:
Darryl
Bootland
, 21, RW

Bootland is a physical presence who has scoring touch and solid hands in
tight. 81 pims in 31 regular and playoff season games with the Grand Rapids
indicates that he has grit, while his 4 goals and 10 points need improvement.

RUNNER
UP: Tomas
Kopecky
, 21, C


 



BEST SHOT POWER:
Niklas Kronwall,
22, D

Kronwall´s offensive arsenal includes a great point-shot which is hard and
accurate. He has been using his shot more often this season and was awarded
with career numbers, 5 goals and 18 points in 50 games.

RUNNER
UP: Tomas
Kopecky
, 21, C

BEST RELEASE:
Igor
Grigorenko
, 20, RW –
Grigorenko
has a very good, hard wrist shot with a quick release. As a natural sniper
Grigorenko he has had the opportunity to demonstrate his shooting skills both
with HC Lada and the Russian National team.

RUNNER
UP: Tomas
Kopecky
, 21, C

BEST ACCELERATION:
Niklas
Kronwall
, 22, D

Kronwall has very quick feet and great acceleration.


RUNNER
UP:
Nathan
Robinson
, LW, 21

BEST FIRST PASS: Derek
Meech
, 19, D
Meech
hasn’t posted any impressive numbers in the WHL yet, but he has a well
developed hockey sense and strong passing skills. 

RUNNER UP: Niklas
Kronwall
, 22, D

 


HARDEST WORKING PLAYER:
Jari Tolsa,
22, LW

Tolsa is a great team player who gives you 110% every time he steps out on the
ice. Hard work and solid skills has taken him to Elitserien, and if all goes
as planned it will take him to the NHL as well.

RUNNER
UP:
Matt
Ellis
, 21, LW

BEST BODYCHECHER:
Niklas Kronwall,
22, D –
Kronwall
anticipates the play well and is very aggressive all over the ice. He is a big
time hitter who has sent many players crawling on the ice this season.

RUNNER
UP:

Darryl
Bootland
, 21, RW

BEST VISION:
Jiri Hudler,
19, C –
Hudler has impressive hockey sense and on-ice-vision. He is
able to demonstrate his skill best when on the powerplay.

RUNNER UP: Jari
Tolsa
, 22, LW

STRONGEST PLAYER:
Paul Ballantyne,
21, D –
Ballantyne
is extremely effective physically, as he can both move and hit you well. He
has been adding muscle since being drafted in 2000 and should only improve in
this area. 

RUNNER
UP:
Ryan
Barnes
, 23, LW

BEST REACH:
Jonathan Ericsson,
19, D –
Ericsson
possesses a huge frame (6-foot-5) and is very smart with the stick. When
battling in the corners he uses his stick effectively to unload the attacking
forwards.

RUNNER
UP: Tomas
Kopecky
, 21, C


BEST LEADER:
Paul Ballantyne,
21, D –
Ballantyne,
a former Sault Ste. Marie captain, is a great leader both on and of the ice.
He isn’t your typical captain who yells and makes noise, as he let’s his
performance do the job.


RUNNER UP: Niklas
Kronwall
, 22, D

 

Summary
by player


Jiri
Hudler:
Best
stickhandler, playmaker, vision as well as the smartest player

Niklas
Kronwall:
Best
skater, shot power, acceleration and bodychecker

Darryl
Bootland:
Best
agitator and power forward

Paul
Ballantyne:
Best
leader and the strongest player

Miroslav
Blatak:
Most
gentlemanly player

Tomas
Kopecky:
Best
two-way forward

Igor
Grigorenko:

Best release

Derek
Meech:
Best
first pass

Jari
Tolsa:
Hardest
working player

Jonathan
Ericsson:
Best
reach

 

 

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