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 Malte Setkov.
Sometimes a good story is just that - a good story.
When Danish defenseman Malte Setkov was drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, reporters were told that Setkov traveled every day from Denmark to Sweden to practice with his Swedish junior team the Malmo Redhawks.
Immediately visions of the 6-foot-6, 192-pound Setkov braving the elements as he made his trek to a foreign land to pursue his hockey dream became the narrative.
Upon further geographical examination, it was learned a trip from Copenhagen, where Setkov lived, to Malmo, where Setkov played, was less than an hour and many Danes play in Sweden because the hockey is elite.
So, essentially, Setkov's journey is sort of like going from metro Detroit to Windsor, Ont.
But, it was Setkov's willingness to play in Sweden and work out with his team, even during the offseason when some players would rather stay home, was one of the traits that drew the Wings to Setkov.
Setkov's is a very good defender as he utilizes his size and reach to take the puck away and steer opponents into the wall; he has also shown the ability to make an accurate first pass out of his own end.
He has not developed much of an offensive game, but he has three more years to improve on his overall deficiencies before the Red Wings must offer him a contract or let him become a free agent.
During last month's scrimmage at Detroit's development camp, Setkov assisted on Team Howe's game winning goal in overtime by feeding a nifty pass to Michael Rasmussen, who made a perfect pass from behind the net to Filip Zadina, who blistered a shot into the top corner of the net.
It was an impressive play by all three players and gave Setkov a boost of confidence as he enters his second pro season in Sweden.
Last year, Setkov turned pro and ended up playing for three different teams, which is not uncommon for most young European players. He played for Malmo in the Swedish Hockey League (SweHL), Malmo's junior team in the J20 SuperElit and Pantern IK in the Allsvenskan (Swe-1), Sweden's second highest hockey league in the country's ice hockey system.
Still considered to be a long-term project, Setkov needs to stay healthy, an upper respiratory illness set him back for nearly a month just before the 2018 World Junior Championship.
This year he's projected to play for Malmo in the SweHL and their junior team in the J20 SuperElit.
Detroit would be thrilled if Setkov could stick with Malmo, because he will be competing against men in a highly skilled environment and it'll give the Wings an accurate assessment of how far away Setkov is from playing in North America.
41- Total number of regular season games Setkov played in with his three teams. He played one game for Malmo in the SweHL, which was his professional debut. For Malmo's junior club he played in 14 games and he played in 26 games for Pantern IK.
1- In his 41 games, Setkov scored one total goal for Malmo's junior team in the J20 SuperElit.
7- He notched seven assists for the year. He dished out two helpers for Pantern IK and five for Malmo's junior club.
-7- For the year Setkov finished at minus-7. He was minus-4 for Pantern IK and minus-3 for Malmo in the J20 SuperElit.
22- Despite being six-foot-six, Setkov only weighs 192-pounds. He resembles a string bean with a mop of hair. In 41 games, he accumulated 22 total penalty minutes. In his one game for Malmo he wasn't assessed a penalty. For Malmo's junior team he had 14 penalty minutes and he was whistled for 8 penalty minutes while playing for Pantern IK.
3- Setkov played in three playoffs game for Malmo in the SweHL. He didn't register a single point or take a penalty, he was an even player. Setkov also played in three games for Pantern IK in a playoff qualification round where he notched two assists, four penalty minutes and was a minus-1.
6- Setkov represented Denmark in the 2018 World Junior Championship, appearing in six games. He registered two points, with two assists, eight penalty minutes and was a minus-9.
100- Detroit drafted Setkov in the fourth round, 100th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Wings had only one pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. Setkov is the third player Detroit has taken with the 100th overall pick. In the 1971 NHL Entry Draft, the Wings selected defenseman Bob Boyd from Michigan State 100th overall in the eighth round and in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Detroit selected defenseman Benoit Larose from Laval of the QMJHL, 100th overall in the fourth round.
Quotable: "You notice his size right away, that will be something people will talk about for the rest of his career, that he is a big guy. He actually moves pretty well on the ice. With him being a defenseman it's very important to make a good first pass, don't lose one-on-one battles and get your shots through from the blueline. He did all those things in development camp, which is a high level of competition, but limited contact. He caught everybody's eye with the skills he had and the way he plays the game responsibly. He doesn't gamble, he doesn't try to cheat on pucks and he's really making sure he's sound defensively and makes a good first pass. I think it's fair to compare development camp (2017) to development camp (2018) and he's certainly taken another step in his maturity, his ability to make plays, the way he controlled and managed the puck as well as how he played defensively. His mechanics are great and now it's just the matter of gaining some power, which will come by commitment and effort. When players are improving in general, including him, the organization gets excited about that, so I think there's a lot of positives in his future." Jiri Fischer, Detroit's director of player evaluation.