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31 in 31

Top prospects for Detroit Red Wings

Svechnikov has size to make jump this season

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the Detroit Red Wings.

Perhaps the only downfall of the Detroit Red Wings' 25 consecutive seasons in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was they went 26 years between having a top-10 pick at the NHL Draft. They selected center Michael Rasmussen with the ninth pick at the 2017 NHL Draft, but the Red Wings may need some more time to stockpile youth.

 

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Here are the Red Wings' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

 

1. Evgeny Svechnikov, RW

How acquired: Selected with No. 19 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Detroit: 2 GP, 0-0-0; Grand Rapids, (AHL): 74 GP, 20-31-51

Svechnikov, 20, had a memorable NHL debut April 3, scoring the only goal in a seven-round shootout for a 5-4 win against the Ottawa Senators. He soon returned to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League and helped win the Calder Cup.

Svechnikov (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) combines a power forward's frame with good skating ability and a surprising scoring touch, but he'll need to continue to work on the defensive side of the game to become a full-time NHL player.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

2. Filip Hronek, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 53 pick of 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Grand Rapids (AHL): 10 GP, 1-1-2; Saginaw (OHL): 59 GP, 14-47-61

Hronek (6-0, 163) made the move from the Ontario Hockey League to the AHL late last season and got into two playoff games for Grand Rapids. In his first season in North America, the 19-year-old averaged more than a point per game for Saginaw and didn't look out of place when he moved up to the professional level.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

3. Vili Saarijarvi, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 73 pick of 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Mississauga (OHL): 34 GP, 11-20-31

Saarijarvi, 20, missed the first half of last season because of a wrist injury but showed offensive skill upon his return and had 15 points (five goals,10 assists) in 20 OHL playoff games. He'll need more time to add to his frame (5-10, 163) before reaching the NHL.

Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20

 

4. Michael Rasmussen, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 9 pick of 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Tri-City (WHL): 50 GP, 32-23-55

The Red Wings see something unique in Rasmussen (6-6, 215), who specializes in creating havoc in front of the opposing net. The rest of his game still needs work, but the 18-year-old has time.

Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20

Video: Rasmussen reacts to being chosen 9th overall

 

5. Dennis Cholowski, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 20 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Grand Rapids (AHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0; St. Cloud State (NCAA): 36 GP, 1-11-12

The Red Wings liked Cholowski, 19, enough to sign him to an entry-level contract after one college season. Cholowski (6-0, 170) will be at training camp next month and is expected to play for Grand Rapids this season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2019-20

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