DETROIT -- Moving from the AHL to the NHL can be a difficult adjustment.
For Tomas Jurco, that was certainly the case last season, his first full season with the Red Wings.
In 63 games, Jurco scored three goals and 15 assists.
The previous season, in which the Wings were racked with injuries, Jurco had eight goals and seven assists in 36 games.
With the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013-14, Jurco was a point-a-game player, scoring 13 goals and 19 assists in 32 games.
But in Grand Rapids, Jurco was a top-line player getting a ton of ice time.
In Detroit, Jurco was usually playing 10-13 minutes a game.
When Jurco was playing, he wasn't scoring and he admitted that weighed on him.
"I think it was one of the biggest factors for me," Jurco said. "It was hard for me to not be scoring as much as I was used to before and not playing as much, so of course when you do that for a few months it’s hard to keep your confidence high. Of course it was one of the factors, but it’s a new season and I’m ready for it."
Jurco is also ready to be reunited with his AHL coach, Jeff Blashill, who took the Wings head coaching job when Mike Babcock departed for Toronto.
"I played a couple seasons under Blash," Jurco said. "He’s a great coach, a great guy. I’m really excited for the season. It’s hard to say now what he’s going to be like but we all played under him, half the room played under Blash and we had some good achievements. We all know Blash and we’re all excited to play under him."
Jurco said he has spoken to Blashill about the upcoming season and his role, but he declined to give specifics of their conversation.
"I think Blash wants me to work hard, but I think Blash knows what kind of player I was before," Jurco said. "He had a chance to see it, so he knows I can be a different player, too. I’m not saying he’s going to put me on the power play and expect me to score 30 goals but I think he wants me to work hard and work my way up to maybe first three lines so I can provide offense. It’s going to be up to me. Just the good thing is Blash knows I can do it."
Jurco said he changed his workout routine a bit over the summer so that he was prepared to be the best player he could be.
"We did a little more conditioning stuff," Jurco said. "Last year I came pretty big and then I didn’t feel right on the ice. This year I’m trying to be a little faster. I feel better on the ice right now, so we will see."
The thing to remember is that Jurco is just 22 years old so he's far from a finished product.
With a new voice behind the bench and a new season ahead of him, Jurco is expecting to be a bigger contributor.
"Providing more offense is the main thing for me," Jurco said. "I’ve been working hard all summer, to get stronger, faster, so I think it’s going to help me. I’m excited and hopefully I’m going to have a good season."