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.
Photo: A quick start to his pro career and an impressive NHL debut defensively led to Simon Despres' improved ranking. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The 31-40 spots in Hockey’s Future’s Top 50 prospect rankings feature players who were all ranked in the Spring edition, though many saw a great deal of movement from their previous spots. The 2012 NHL Draft can be partially to blame for some of the prospects moving down the list, as there are numerous new faces at the top of the rankings, but two players in particular, Mark Scheifele (WPG) and David Rundblad (PHX) saw a dramatic drop from their previous spots.
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.
Photo: Defenseman Brendan Smith has been developing steadily in the AHL and may now be ready for full-time NHL duty with the Detroit Red Wings (courtesy of Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
After an offseason of unprecedented change, the Detroit Red Wings' prospects will be relied upon more than they have been in over a decade to have an impact at the NHL level.