Red Wings sign prospect David Pope

Although the Stanley Cup playoffs are currently in full tilt, the Red Wings are working on putting together a competitive roster for next season.

The team signed prospect forward David Pope to an entry-level deal yesterday, and the hope is that he will compete for a roster spot at training camp next season.

Since drafting Pope in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Pope spent his collegiate career at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Over four years in college, Pope played in 133 games, in which he racked up 45 goals and 49 assists.

He will be at developmental camp beginning in late June, where he’ll have the chance to play alongside fellow youngsters who are also hoping to make an impact on management. Along with Pope, players such as Joe Hicketts (three goals and nine assists for Grand Rapids Griffins this season, three assists in five games with Red Wings), Evgeni Svechnikov (seven goals and 16 assists with Griffins, two goals and two assists in 14 games with Detroit), Dominic Turgeon (14 goals and 18 assists with Griffins, scoreless in five games with Detroit), defenseman Filip Hronek (11 goals, 28 assists with Griffins) will also be competing for a spot in Detroit.

Perhaps the biggest young name that will be at training camp, however, is Michael Rasmussen. The team’s ninth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft enjoyed a fine season with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, scoring a whopping 31 goals and 28 assists in 47 regular season games. His run in the playoffs was even more impressive. In just 14 postseason games, Rasmussen rose his game and compiled 16 goals and 17 assists. Due to his age, Rasmussen will either have to make the NHL roster, or begin the season in juniors.

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These youngsters are at least giving us reason to be optimistic about the near-term future for hockey in the Motor City again.

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