Photo: Tyler Johnson has solidified the Lightning lineup by finding success between fellow prospects Ondrej Palat and Richard Panik (courtesy of Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Welcome to the March 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind. With junior levels and European professional leagues playing in their respective post-seasons, this edition checks in with prospects who have elevated their games down the stretch and those who have struggled under the increased pressure in the playoffs. We also take a look at a pair of prospects who have stepped seamlessly into prominent roles for their clubs as they head into the final month of the NHL season.
Photo: Rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek has made a great first impression at the pro level, taking the reins in AHL Grand Rapids and even earning a call-up to Detroit (courtesy of Brad Rempel/Icon SMI)
Spring is just around the corner, and as the weather heats up so too does the on-ice action in leagues around the world. As we reach the end of the season in junior hockey and the stretch run in professional hockey we pause to look back at how prospects in the Detroit Red Wings organization have progressed since the puck first dropped last fall.
Photo: Saginaw Spirit goaltender Jake Paterson was one of three Detroit Red Wings junior prospects invited to the upcoming Team Canada selection camp for the WJC. (courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
The Detroit Red Wings have a great deal of prospect depth in their organization, but the vast majority of that depth is currently at the professional level. While many of Detroit’s top tier prospects are playing for either the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins or the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, there are still many prospects plying their trade at the junior level.
Photo: Swedish forward Calle Jarnkrok, currently playing with Brynas in the SEL, is the cream of the crop at center for the Detroit Red Wings prospect pool. (courtesy of Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
A paradigm shift occurred for the Detroit Red Wings after the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Gone were the days where Detroit would readily hand out early-round draft picks in exchange for veteran NHL talent. Instead, Detroit decided that they would need to hold on to their draft choices in order to build a prospect pool with skill and size that would help them compete in the new-look NHL.
Following a successful rookie campaign last year, Gustav Nyquist is ready for full-time duty with the Red Wings in 2012-13. (courtesy of Steven King/Icon SMI)
Leaves are falling and temperatures are dropping, which means the much anticipated return of hockey. While there may be no NHL training camps this September, there are already games being played by many NHL prospects. Below is a rundown of some Red Wings prospects to watch during the upcoming season at each level of the game.