Photo: Riley Sheahan’s two-way play has earned him a spot in Detroit’s bottom-six forwards for the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire)
It has been a gradual change, but the draft picks that have been laying in wait for the Detroit Red Wings have started to make their impact on the team’s NHL roster. As some graduate to the NHL others have filled their spots in the AHL, leaving Detroit’s system very top-heavy with prospects playing professionally.
Photo: Anthony Mantha scored 120 points in 2013-14, his final QMJHL season. He was selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The Fall 2014 edition of the Detroit Red Wings Top 20 contains a few new names, but offensive dynamo Anthony Mantha and unorthodox but effective goaltender Petr Mrazek retain their spots atop the list. Additionally, four players make their first ever appearance in the Top 20.
Photo: Zach Nastasiuk, Detroit’s 48th overall pick in 2013, served as captain for the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack in 2013-14 and then finished the year by making his pro debut with Grand Rapids (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Most organizations choose to either retool through free agency or rebuild through the draft. The Detroit Red Wings, however, chose to take the path least often employed and mixed retooling and rebuilding to continue their 23-year-long playoff streak.
Photo: Val d’Or winger Anthony Mantha registered 24 goals and 38 points during the QMJHL playoffs, leading the Foreurs to the President’s Cup and a Memorial Cup berth (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
It seemed as though Detroit's much lauded playoff streak would come to an end in 2013-14 until a mid-season influx of young talent bolstered the ranks and reinvigorated a floundering Detroit Red Wings team. Prospects such as Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco were initially called up to fill in for injured NHL players, but they performed at such a high level that they never relinquished their jobs.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings forward and 2014 prospect Edgars Kulda is leading the Oil Kings in scoring so far at the 2014 Mastercard Memorial Cup Tournament, posting two goals and one assists in three games (courtesy of CHL Images)
It was a long-weekend in Canada, but you could forgive the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup host London Knights if they didn’t feel in the mood for celebrating. In fact, a noted lack of fireworks so far has left London with a very real risk of being relegated to the role of gracious host as opposed to conquering heroes in front of their 8,900-plus fans at the Budweiser Gardens.