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By the Numbers Prospects: Malte Setkov

Gangly defender continued to make steady progress

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner /

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 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.

Someday Malte Setkov will have a good story to tell about his journey to the NHL.

When he was drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round, 100th overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the assumption was the 6-foot-6, 205-pound, left-handed-shooting defenseman was of Russian descent.

Setkov may sound Russian, but he is a Dane, born in Rodovre, Denmark, lives in Copenhagen and travels every day to Sweden to play hockey.

But before you let your imagination spin a scenario of Setkov trekking cross-country to fulfill his quest to make it to the NHL, the distance between Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden, where he plays, is similar to going from metro Detroit to Windsor.

Also, it's not uncommon for Danish hockey players to play in Sweden because the level of hockey is elite.

This season was his second year as a pro and Setkov once again divided his playing time among three different teams.

He played for Malmo in the Swedish Hockey League, Malmo's junior team in the J20 SuperElit and Pantern IK in the Allsvenskan, Sweden's second-highest hockey league in the country.

With his lanky frame, Setkov is an above-average defender, utilizing his size and reach to take the puck away and steer opponents into the wall. He makes an accurate first pass out of his own end and has a good, hard shot from the point.

Yet, Setkov is still considered a long-term project because he has yet to develop an offensive side to his game and couldn't stick with Malmo's big club for the entire season.

Detroit has two more years to determine whether to offer Setkov a contract and the Wings like a lot about his game. Setkov could really help his cause if he makes an impact with Malmo this upcoming season.

The Malmo Redhawks play in a highly skilled league and it's time for Setkov to prove he's physically mature enough to handle competing against men, which would put him a gigantic step closer to being under contract with the Red Wings.

42 - Games Setkov played last season. He played 13 games each for Malmo and Malmo J20 and 16 games for IK Pantern.

2 - In 42 games, Setkov scored two goals. Both goals were for Malmo J20.

13 - Setkov doled out 13 assists last season. He had eight helpers for Malmo J20 and five for IK Pantern.

15 - Points Setkov accumulated last season. He registered 10 points with Malmo J20, five points for IK Pantern and did not record a point with Malmo.

8 - A player who plays under control, Setkov was assessed eight penalty minutes. He had two penalty minutes apiece for Malmo and Malmo J20 and four total oenalty minutes for IK Pantern. Perhaps Setkov's best stretch of games were the eight games he played for Malmo in the Champions League Tournament. He had three points with two goals and an assist, was plus-2 and was assessed four minutes in penalties.

-11 - He was a cumulative minus-11 in 42 games. Setkov was even for Malmo, minus-8 for Malmo J20 and minus-3 for IK Pantern.

6 - Setkov played in all six games for an undermanned Team Denmark in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Setkov was considered to be one of the Danes' best players. He tallied two points with a goal and an assist, received one minor penalty and was minus-13. His lone goal was on the power play.

4 - He appeared in four playoff games, two each for Malmo and Malmo J20. He had a goal and was minus-2 for Malmo. For Malmo J20, Setkov was minus-1, had four penalty minutes and was held scoreless.

Quotable: "Malte had a good year. I think he's one of those guys that, for people that aren't familiar with how Europe works, he played actually in three different leagues last year. He played for the U20 team in Malmo, he also played for the men's league and there's a division that's kind of in between the two. It's kind of like a minor pro division for them where they're called the Allsvenskan. He played about a third of the games for Pantern in that league. He made good strides. I think the only thing that really is holding Malte back is his strength. The kid's almost 6-6, but he's barely 200 pounds, which sounds like a lot but when you look at him, he could probably put another 30 pounds on that frame of his. The good news for him is he's realized it and he's really shown a great dedication this summer. His season ends a lot sooner over there than ours does so he's been in the gym now for almost a month and a half and has already put on five or six pounds. He's making good strides, gaining lots of strength and I look forward to him playing a full season in the men's league in Sweden next year for Malmo.

"I never like to really get into projections with these kids too much. But today's game, you have to be a guy, especially a defenseman of that size, he's going to have to defend. He's not going to be a guy that's going to come over and run our first-line power play. Having said that, he's got good skills. He's got a good shot, he can really move the puck well but his skill set, he's going to have to defend, use that reach, be able to kill plays on the outside, keep people to the outside. I think we're hoping with the added strength, he's going to be able to clear the front of the net, box other teams' players out and really give our goalies free looks at those shots. You can see just watching the Stanley Cup Finals with St. Louis and Boston, the value of having big defensemen that can defend and really do a nice job of boxing out in front of the net." - Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development

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