The Detroit Red Wings and their fans have every reason to feel optimistic about the team’s future. Their plethora of young talent waiting in the wings (pun?) is enough to make anyone have confidence that the Red Wings will be able to continue their winning ways.
However, Brett Slawson of thehockeywriters.com wasn’t quite as kind to Hockeytown’s future. He ranked Detroit’s prospect pool 21st overall out of the 30 NHL teams. However, he does make note of the serious potential of some of the recent early-round picks made by the Wings.
“Well known as one of the smartest, most calculative teams at the annual NHL Draft, the Detroit Red Wings have long stolen prospects deep in later rounds of the Draft,” Brett Slawson wrote on thehockeywriters.com. “Fortunately, their first and second round selections in recent years have been spot on, drafting a number of players who are arguably ready for the NHL.
“Andreas Athanasiou was one player who broke out in 2015-16, while Anthony Mantha, Joe Hicketts and Ryan Sproul appear ready to do the same in the near future. Hicketts will be an interesting prospect to watch in 2016-17 – he earned a contract with the team despite going undrafted and has represented Canada on the international stage. “
The Red Wings have high hopes for Andreas Athanasiou, who burst onto the scene last season in 37 games with Detroit, scoring nine goals and wowing fans and opponents with his speed. Meanwhile, highly touted prospect Anthony Mantha saw action in ten games, scoring two goals.
Detroit’s young prospect talent also includes forwards Evgeny Svechnikov, Tyler Bertuzzi, Martin Frk andGivani Smith, defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Nick Jensen, and goaltender Jared Coreau.
Slawson awarded the Winnipeg Jets the best overall ranking, while ranking the Los Angeles Kings’ prospects dead last.