The Detroit Red Wings have selected Dennis Cholowski with the 20th pick in the NHL Draft.
The Red Wings were slated to pick 16th overall, but made a trade with the Arizona Coyotes, sending Pavel Datsyuk’s contract and the 16th overall pick to the Arizona Coyotes. In return, the Wings acquired the 20th overall pick and the 53rd overall pick, as well as Joe Vitale, who only played one game last year before suffering a severe concussion.
About Dennis Cholowski
Cholowski was the best defenseman with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL. Now headed to St. Cloud State, Cholowski was a divisive player ranking anywhere from 18 to 79 in popular rankings. He’s a strong prospect who probably projects to be a ways from being NHL ready.
The skill set is there, but he’s likely to be best served by a team ready to patient with his development. Enter a team who is famously the most patient development program in the league. He’s got the ability already to activate into the attack and move the puck around the offensive zone.
The Detroit Red Wings Going Forward
The trade is widely speculated to give the Red Wings the cap space to make a serious run at Steven Stamkos in free agency. That’s burying the lede for the draft, but it’s a big moment for a team that has cap issues and couldn’t afford to pay Datsyuk’s cap hit just to have him play in the KHL.
As far as Cholowski fitting into their system, it’s a system that can use quality defenseman. When he’s NHL ready, who knows what the pool looks like, but his skills aren’t something there’s a load of in the Detroit system. He’s a great addition with the potential to surprise.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.