Photo: Defenseman Brendan Smith (Right) has gradually developed into one of the more promising puck-moving defensemen in the AHL. Smith is expected to battle for a spot in the NHL top seven as soon as the 2012-13 season. (Photo courtesy of Tony Ding/Icon SMI)
Despite continually drafting in the bottom 20 of the NHL draft, the Detroit Red Wings have managed to maintain an impressive group of prospects over the years. A number of players have stepped up this season, including Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Xavier Ouellet, and Petr Mrazek. With young players becoming increasingly more important in the salary cap era, it is vital that the Red Wings' prospects continue to break-out if the team is to maintain their long reign of success in the NHL.
Photo: The Red Wings first round pick of 2007, Brendan Smith has gradually developed into a quality puck-moving defenseman. (Photo courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
With all the successful drafting the Detroit Red Wings have done over the years, it is easy to forget they have off-years too. The 2007 draft, at least by Red Wings standards, can be considered a bit of a bust. The team only had five selections in the draft, with just two of the players looking as if they will become NHL caliber players.
While the draft lacked the quantity and late-round gems Detroit usually collects, they did select their best defensive prospect in 2007. Brendan Smith was taken 27th overall by the Red Wings in that draft, and remains the top ranked prospect in Detroit's system.
Brendan Smith, D, St. Michael's Buzzers (OPJHL) – 1st round, 27th overall
NHL Games Played: 3 Read more»
Detroit Red Wings prospect Tomas Jurco turned in a four-assist performance in Slovakia's 6-4, come-from-behind win over Switzerland at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Jurco contributed three of his four assists during Slovakia's four-goal explosion in the third period.
Jurco spoke with the media following the Slovak win over the Swiss.
Photo: With 10 goals and 18 assists through 26 games, Alan Quine is currently on pace to shatter his 2010-11 totals of 20 goals and 42 points. (Photo courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Detroit Red Wings have several talented prospects playing in the CHL, boasting players who offer a mix of both offensive talent and physicality. There are three players in the OHL, two in the QMJHL and three from the WHL.
Petr Mrazek, G, Ottawa 67's
Acquired: 5th round (141st overall) in 2010
While Mrazek was one of the top goalies in the OHL through the first ten games of the season, his play has slowed down a bit since. He has started in 23 of Ottawa's 26 games this year, posting a 3.10 goals against average and .910 save percentage. Read more»