Photo: Lake Erie Monsters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Joonas Korpisalo was a top performer for the Monsters in their opening round sweep of the Rockford IceHogs in the 2016 AHL playoffs (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Four teams remain in the AHL Western Conference playoff race that kicks off Thursday in California and in Cleveland.
The two matchups feature teams that met several times in the 2015-16 season, so both series could potentially go the full seven games. Read more»
Photo: The Detroit Red Wings could have used some vintage Todd Bertuzzi in the playoffs this season but the hope is that his nephew, Tyler Bertuzzi, can bring some of that famous energy, skill and will to the team in the near future (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The 2015-16 season marked the beginning of a time of transition for the Detroit Red Wings. It saw the graduation of a handful of key prospects, by far the most impactful being teenager Dylan Larkin. Larkin was outstanding as a rookie this season and will be a key building block for the Red Wings as they re-tool for the future.
Photo: Although set to graduate from prospect status in short order, Dylan Larkin’s recent struggles show that there is a long road to NHL stardom even for a prodigy (courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Despite being in the playoffs for seemingly an eternity (not really, just closing in on three decades), the Detroit Red Wings have managed to find their fair share of high-end prospects in the middle to late parts of the first round and beyond.
Photo: Detroit prospect Andreas Athanasiou scored his first NHL goal this season, but his 49 goals for the Barrie Colts in 2013-14 suggest he has more to give (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The year is 2016 and the Detroit Red Wings are still contending for the playoffs for the umpteenth season in a row, right in the thick of the race for the Atlantic Division, just four points back of the division-leading Florida Panthers.
Unlike your daddy’s Red Wings, who were led by veteran stars like Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brendan Shanahan, this Red Wings unit is led by a much younger core and has had significant contributions from more than a handful of rookies.
Photo: After an outstanding rookie season in Grand Rapids, Czech pro Tomas Nosek has slipped down the depth chart for the Griffins (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The long-discussed rebuild in Detroit has yet to come and the Red Wings scouting staff is doing their best to make sure that no such rebuild has to take place.
With recent graduations to the NHL like Teemu Pulkkinen and Dylan Larkin – the latter of whom leads all NHL rookies in goals with 11 – there are still several prospects plying their trade at the AHL level looking to be the next call-up to help keep the Red Wings going.