Skip to main content
30 in 30

Top prospects for Detroit Red Wings

Anthony Mantha, Xavier Ouellet looking to stick in NHL this season

by Paul Harris / Correspondent is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Detroit Red Wings.

The Detroit Red Wings have long been known to produce skilled forwards without a lot of size, such as Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

But they have emphasized size more in their drafting over the past four years, and it has produced Detroit's top prospect this season, forward Anthony Mantha.

Red Wings 30 in 30: Season outlook | Burning questions, reasons for optimism | Fantasy outlook

Here are the Red Wings' top five prospects, according to

1. Anthony Mantha, RW

How acquired: Selected with No. 20 pick of 2013 NHL Draft

Last season: Grand Rapids (AHL): 60 GP, 21-24-45; Detroit: 10 GP, 2-1-3

A 6-foot-5, 214-pound natural goal scorer, Mantha, 21, uses his size to get position in traffic around the net. He skates well for his size but needs to keep his feet moving.

There are 14 forwards on Detroit's roster, so Mantha will have to earn it to make the team out of training camp. But if he does, the Red Wings could use his goal-scoring ability and his size.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

2. Xavier Ouellet, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 48 pick of 2011 NHL Draft

Last season: Grand Rapids (AHL): 61 GP, 4-25-29; Detroit: 5 GP, 0-1-1

Ouellet is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound steady defender who, at 23, projects to be, at best, a No. 4, but more likely a good third-pair player. He played 30 games for Detroit over the past three seasons, with two goals, four points and a plus-2 rating. He makes a good first pass out of the zone and, generally, isn't really noticed on the ice to the untrained eye. That's good for a defenseman. Ouellet is likely to make the roster out of training camp.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: 30 in 30: Detroit Red Wings 2016-17 season preview

3. Joe Hicketts, D

How acquired: Signed as free agent Sept. 24, 2014

Last season: Victoria (WHL): 59 GP, 8-53-61  

Hicketts is a 5-foot-8, 175-pound mobile defender who, at 20, has elite offensive ability, but his size is a question.

Last season he completed a four-season junior career with Victoria of the Western Hockey League. The past two seasons combined, Hicketts had 20 goals and 125 points and was plus-55 in 121 regular-season games. He represented Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championship the past two seasons.

Hicketts is almost certain to begin the season with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Because of his size, defense is a concern, but he could develop into a player in the Brian Rafalski/Torey Krug mold.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

4. Evgeny Svechnikov, LW 

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

Last season: Cape Breton (QMJHL): 50 GP, 32-47-79

Svechnikov is 6-foot-2, 199 pounds with the ability to find open areas in the offensive zone and, at 19, has quick, hard and accurate wrist and snap shots.

He had four goals and 11 assists and was plus-7 in 13 playoff games for Cape Breton and helped Russia win the silver medal at the World Junior Championship.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

5. Tyler Bertuzzi, LW 

How acquired: Selected with No. 58 pick of 2013 NHL Draft

Last season: Grand Rapids (AHL): 71 GP, 12-18-30

Bertuzzi is a 6-foot, 178-pound agitating forward who has become an opportunistic goal scorer. He scored 43 goals in 68 games for Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League in 2014-15 before joining Grand Rapids for the Calder Cup Playoffs, where he had seven goals and 12 points in 14 games to help the Griffins advance to the Western Conference Finals. His 133 penalty minutes led Grand Rapids last season.

The 21-year-old is the nephew of Todd Bertuzzi, who played the final five seasons of his NHL career with the Red Wings from 2009-14.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.