Red Wings Prospects Rebound Against Dallas StarsSeptember 9, 2018
The second day of the NHL Prospect Tournament finished well for the Detroit Red Wings. After dropping their opening day game to the Minnesota Wild, they needed a comeback. Though Red Wings fans are still highly skeptical of Ken Holland’s development plan, they should be encouraged. This year’s NHL Prospect Tournament has already served to expose new and highlight existing talent. Saturday night’s contest was a big game for Fulcher who earned a victory with his fellow teammates against the Dallas Stars.
Kaden Fulcher is Meeting Expectations
The Red Wings goaltending is a little hazy. Jimmy Howard is not getting any younger, and though Jonathan Bernier is a solid selection for a backup, the future years of Detroit are still question marks. Kaden Fulcher entered into the tournament as one of the more anticipated additions to the team. Fulcher made major improvements while with the Hamilton Bulldogs and is using this showcase to demonstrate is readiness for a higher level. Though the roster in Grand Rapids is set with Patrik Rybar and Harry Sateri, Fulcher may get a chance at the ECHL level at least.
After his jitters wore off in the first period, Fulcher seemed very confident. He made some ridiculous saves and only let one get passed him throughout all 60 minutes. He will be up against a major challenge in the ECHL, but he has reflexes and vision enough to get him through it. Being potentially playing alongside Pat Nagle, he’ll be in good hands.
Detroit’s Offense Find Holes in Dallas Defense
The Red Wings prospects were a bit mixed up during their match with Minnesota. After a few adjustments to the lines courtesy of
Coach Ben Simon, facing Dallas was far more successful. Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno easily had more than 15 minutes of ice time along with Michael Rasmussen. Rasmussen is expected to join the Red Wings roster pending a Training Camp evaluation. He measured up to the task after a bit of a bumpy start in the tournament. Rasmussen ended Saturday with a few points to his name.
Brady Gilmour was also a standout that the Red Wings are likely now watching closely. This isn’t Gilmour’s first Prospect Tournament, so he knows the drill and the importance of performing well. Gilmour has been an outstanding ice-presence in the last two games. He has put on weight, added speed and has increased his physicality. I will be shocked if the Red Wings overlooked him this season. If they do, it will be our loss.
red wings developing Defensive Strength
The Red Wings defense is shifting in the right direction. Vili Saarijarvi has been with the Grand Rapids Griffins conditioning.
Compared to last season’s Prospect Tournament, he is leaps and bounds better. He’s faster and stronger. Saarijarvi has been working closely with Griffins Conditioning Coordinator, Marcus Kinney and it shows. He’s put on a bit of weight and has become a top defensive contender. Entering only his second full season with Grand Rapids, he’s got time to continue to improve, but will be a first line defenseman when he returns. He’s putting in the work and it’s paying off.
Dennis Cholowski is also one who really stepped up during Saturday’s match. He’s expected to be on the Griffins roster this coming season, as he needs a bit more work, however, his overall play is getting stronger. Being paired with new defenseman, Trevor Hamilton complimented Cholowski’s relaxed style well.
Overall Successful Day Two
Detroit’s prospects performed overall, very well. Ending the day with a win is exactly what was needed to boost their confidence a bit. There are several younger guys on the team being tested harder than they have before, so the coming days will be a challenge. If they can skate with the same level of enthusiasm, the next few days will be very productive.