It seems like the prospects are finally starting to pick up momentum. After the Grand Rapids Griffins emerged victorious on Nov. 12 against the Cleveland Monsters, four prospects saw their point streaks extended to longer and higher intervals.
Filip Zadina currently sports five goals in his last seven games, with three of them coming from his last three games, respectively. Moritz Seider has six assists in his last eight games. Michael Rasmussen has nine points in just 10 games. By all accounts, the prospects seem poised to turn it up another notch as the season continues.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the key contributors to the Detroit Red Wings’ prospect system and their likelihood of seeing NHL ice this season.
Antti Tuomisto Is Leading the Way
At 18 years old, the 6-foot-4 blueliner is currently leading all defensemen in the Junior SM-liiga of Finland with 23 points in just 22 games. Next season, Tuomisto will opt for the college hockey route to better adjust himself to North American ice. He’s remarkably consistent, using his size to open up lanes while he generates scoring for his team.
It’s unlikely that he’ll see NHL ice anytime soon, but, if he can keep this level of production up, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him suit up around the 2021-22 season.
Filip Zadina Is Going Streaking
After a slow start that saw Zadina struggle to score, he’s seemingly put it together in his last seven games. He now sits at nine points in 15 games, trailing behind American Hockey League veterans Chris Terry and Matt Puempel for the Griffins’ scoring lead. He’s improved every aspect of his game from the start, continuing to smooth out the rougher edges of his playstyle with a newfound focus on all-around efficiency.
If his five-game point streak is any indication of a newfound sense of confidence, it bodes well for both Grand Rapids and the Red Wings.
Moritz Seider Adjusting Well
The average NHL ice arena is 200 by 85 feet. In Europe, the ice rinks conform to an Olympic standard of 200 by 100 feet, giving forwards and defensemen more room to work their magic. Seider, having played last season for Adler Mannheim of the German DEL hockey league, is used to the European standard; this season, he’s had to adjust to tighter spaces, forcing him to adjust his game to assist his team.
Luckily, Seider has seemed to transition almost effortlessly. He currently sits at eight assists in 15 games. He has yet to score a goal, but his defensive capabilities have helped to cement the Griffins to a mainstay in the AHL’s playoff picture.
Albin Grewe Is a T-Rex
Drafted 66th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Grewe has seen time with both the SuperElit and SHL in Sweden this season. He’s spent time up and down the men’s and junior rosters, scoring five points in seven games with the juniors and just one goal in 11 games in the SHL, respectively.
He’s still adjusting to the higher levels of competition, but at just 18 years old, the sky’s the limit for the hard-working forward. Often referred to as a “T-Rex” by his former coach, Grewe is a force on the ice and has plenty of opportunity to make a name for himself over the next few years.
Veleno’s Struggles Leading to Success
After leading the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 104 points in just 59 games, Veleno is off to a slow start with Grand Rapids, scoring only four points in 15 games. Fortunately, his luck seems to be turning around; he seems to have developed a lot of chemistry with Zadina, who has been involved in nearly all of his points he’s generated.
While he hasn’t picked up any consistent point totals just yet, he appears to be gaining confidence as he adjusts against the higher level of competition. At just 19 years old, the future is bright for the speedy center.
Givani Smith’s New Opportunity
With Justin Abdelkader on injured reserve for the next three weeks, the Red Wings called up Givani Smith from the AHL to fill his role. He appears to be performing admirably, facing off against Nicholas Deslauriers at the drop of a hat. The 21-year-old forward appears to be a match made in heaven for the Red Wings.
Smith is a tough-as-nails grinder with a penchant for big hits and an even bigger focus on consistency. He’ll need to work harder than ever before if he wants to stay in the NHL, but as far as things are considered, he’s off to a fantastic start.