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By the Numbers Prospects: Filip Hronek

Young defenseman was named to the 2018 AHL All-Rookie Team

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on defenseman Filip Hronek.

Young defenseman Filip Hronek finds himself in a very nice position entering this year's Red Wings training camp.

Hronek is one of a small group of players who have a legitimate shot to make the Wings this season, joining defensemen Dennis Cholowski, Libor Sulak and Joe Hicketts, and forwards Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, Evgeny Svechnikov and perhaps even Givani Smith.

Playing in his first full season in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Hronek quickly forged a role for himself as an everyday player and a quarterback for the power play.

The power play is a place where Hronek has always excelled.

In the Red Line Report's 2016 Draft Guide, it called Hronek "one of the headiest PP quarterbacks in the draft."

If there is a knock on Hronek, it is his size.

At just 6-feet, 178 pounds, Hronek is a little bigger than when he was first drafted in the second round, 53rd overall, in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, but not drastically so.

Yet Hronek has found a way at every level to jump in and create a spot for himself.

With the Wings' blue line continuing to get older, it could be Hronek's time right now.

67 -- Hronek played in 67 games with the Griffins last season, the same number as fellow defenseman Joe Hicketts. He played in 10 games with the Griffins in 2016-17.

39 -- In his 67 games, Hronek had 39 points, which tied for 18th among all rookies and seventh among AHL defensemen.

11 -- Of Hronek's 39 points, 11 were goals, which ranked him seventh on the team in that category and first among Griffins defensemen. Only Eric Tangradi (31), Matt Puempel (23), Matt Lorito (23), Matthew Ford (22), Ben Street (21) and Dominic Turgeon (14) had more goals.

28 -- Hronek's 28 assists were fourth on the Griffins this past season and first among defensemen. Robbie Russo was second among defensemen with 23. Forwards Street (44), Puempel (34) and Tangradi (33) were the only Grand Rapids players with more.

24 -- Playing on a different Griffins team than the one which won the Calder Cup in 2017, Hronek was the runaway team leader in plus-minus at plus-24, which was far ahead of Turgeon, who was second at plus-13.

1 -- In his first full season as a Griffin, Hronek was named to the 2018 AHL All-Rookie Team on April 4.

4 -- In the final game of the regular season at home against the Cleveland Monsters, Hronek registered a goal and three assists for a career-high four points. His previous best was two points in a game, which he did five times.

3 -- Hronek tied teammate Evgeny Svechnikov with three power-play goals. Ford led the team with 12, Lorito and Puempel each had nine, Tangradi had six, Street had five and Tyler Bertuzzi had four in 16 games.

8 -- After the Griffins lost in the first round of the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs to the Manitoba Moose, Hronek and Sulak joined Team Czech Republic for the IIHF's men's world championships in Denmark. Both Hronek and Sulak played in all eight games and each had a goal and two assists. There were two other Czech defensemen, Michal Moravcik and Jakub Krejcik, who had three points in the tournament. Team Czech Republic lost in the quarterfinals for the third straight year.

Quotable: "To start the year in Grand Rapids, we had Fil and and Vili Saarijarvi down there as first-year defensemen and we wanted to give them opportunity in terms of the power play but at the same time, we didn't want to hand them jobs. Todd Nelson had decisions to make, too, coming back from the Calder Cup championship. He had all his defensemen back but I think to Filip's credit, he was able to lock down a full-time, everyday job probably five or six games in. He beat one of our veteran defensemen to run the power play and that's how Fil got his opportunity, when he beat out Robbie Russo and Ryan Sproul, who we ended up trading to New York. When that spot opened up for somebody to be on the power play, that's a real credit to Fil, he obviously had a really good year down there. In the short term it does look like Fil - our expectation and I think Fil's expectation, too - is that he's coming in here to compete for a job in Detroit and certainly his ability to run the power play adds a dimension to his game." -- Ryan Martin, Red Wings assistant general manager and Griffins general manager

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