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Detroit Red Wings 2015 Development Camp Day 1

The Detroit Red Wings annual Prospect Development Camp in Traverse City kicked off this morning at 9:00, with the large group of players divided into either Team Howe or Team Lindsay.

Here are the given combinations and pairings:

Team Lindsay

96 Axel Holmstrom          25 Dylan Larkin                 22 Evgeny Svechnikov

73 Tyson Spink                  45 Alex Globke                  70 Jerome Verrier

58 Mike McKee                 92 Christoffer Ehn            54 Nick Betz

17 Chase Pearson             84 Jin-Hui Ahn                   63 Adam Marsh

85 Adam Lidstrom

89 Travis Walsh                 53 Joe Hicketts

46 David Nemecek           79 Pat Holway

86 Grant Gabriele             97 Jalen Chatfield

95 Jarett Meyer

36 Jake Paterson

31 Joren Van Pottelberghe


Team Howe

59 Tyler Bertuzzi               72 Andreas Athanasiou                  39 Anthony Mantha

62 Zach Nastasiuk            78 Dominic Turgeon                       83 Hampus Melen

44 Alex Kile                        67 Juliuis Vahatalo                          49 Bryce Gervais

82 Evan Polei                     80 Connor McGlynn                        37 Anthony Greco

75 James DeHaas             71 Vili Saarijarvi

74 Marc McNulty              51 Won-Jun Kim

87 Nick Azar                       94 Kevin Lough

 64 Kevin Lidstrom

50 Chase Perry

68 Tomas Kral


Day 1 Observations:

The players that stood out the most were: Turgeon, Vahatalo, McNulty, Bertuzzi, and Nastasiuk.

The latter two had outstanding junior seasons this past year. Nastasiuk scored 35 goals and 77 points in 64 games for the Owen Sound Attack, while Bertuzzi scored 43 goals and 98 points for the Guelph Storm. Both had opportunities to earn valuable playoff experience at the professional level with the Grand Rapids Griffins in their playoff run.

Marc McNulty has been a work-in-progress for quite some time. He is a very tall, lanky defenseman that seemed out of place in past camps. However, this time, his skating has dramatically improved, and his ability to move the puck was very impressive. It is his third development camp, and he is off to a great start.

Julius Vahatalo has a really good wrist shot, and he shows it off every opportunity he can get.

Dominic Turgeon handles the puck really well, sort of like Henrik Zetterberg in the way he controls it. One of his noticeable strengths is his ability to receive a pass on the backhand with one hand on the stick without losing control.

Team Howe receives instructions from newly appointed Griffins head coach Todd Nelson on Day 1 of the Development Camp. (Photo by Author)
Team Howe receives instructions from newly appointed Griffins head coach Todd Nelson on Day 1 of the Development Camp. (Photo by Author)

Hampus Melen is a very skillful forward. He’s a great puck handler and controls the puck deftly.

Camp invite Evan Polei was a standout all morning long. He has a sniper’s shot and he has the ability to find gaps in a goalie’s form. He scored on nearly all of his opportunities. He picked the top corners, went bar down a few times, one-timed a goal on 3-on-3. He was very impressive.

Goalie Chase Perry was outstanding. His glove hand was on point all morning, robbing shooters left and right. Some of those saves he had no business making. He came to the rink prepared and it showed.

Members of Team Howe take part in a 3-on-3 drill. (Photo by Author)
Members of Team Howe take part in a 3-on-3 drill. (Photo by Author)

Vili Saarijarvi (pronounced Sigh-yarvi) was just signed to a three-year contract by the Red Wings this morning. It’s a three-year deal worth $925,000 in average annual value. He was recently selected by the Flint Firebirds of the OHL (formerly the Plymouth Whalers) in the first round, 9th overall.

Detroit’s first round selection in the draft last weekend, Russian-born Evgeny Svechnikov of the QMJHL took to the ice for the first time. However, in the skills portion of the practice, led by Jiri Fischer, he struggled mightily in most of the drills. But that can be attributed to nerves, which is to be expected from a first-time camp-attendee. As always you cannot make an accurate judgment out of one day.

Andreas Athanasiou, who was full-time with the Griffins this year, was not on the ice due to some sort of finger injury. It is not clear whether he will be able to participate in tomorrow’s scrimmage.

Adam Lidstrom (forward) and Kevin Lidstrom (defenseman), sons of Nick, were invited to the camp as well. It was difficult to get a fair assessment of either’s play after one practice, but neither did poorly.

Korean invites Won-Jun Kim (defenseman) and Jin-Hui Ahn (forward), were both scouted by former Griffins assistant Jim Paek, a South Korea native. After serving as assistant coach for nine seasons (the most of any Griffins coach in franchise history), he accepted a position as director of hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association. Additionally, he is the head coach of the South Korean national team, of which both Kim and Ahn play. Ahn played for the Anyang Halla of the Asia League, scoring 30 goals in 39 games, while adding an additional two goals in four games in the World Championship. Kim also played for the Anyang Halla, scoring 17 goals in 48 games, while adding five points in five World Championship games. Neither looked out of place in the practice.

Upcoming Schedule

Saturday: Simultaneous practice 10:00 – 10:45; Scrimmage 4:00 – 5:30

Sunday: Team Lindsay practice 9:00 – 10:45; Team Howe practice 10:00 – 11:45

Monday: Team Howe practice 9:00 – 10:45; Team Lindsay practice 10:00 – 11:45

Tuesday: Scrimmage 11:00 – 12:30

Many more updates to come as the Development Camp continues, including exclusive features and interviews with the camp attendees

Follow me on Twitter @KevinSporkaHOHM

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka is the Senior Media Analyst and Detroit Red Wings beat writer at HOHM. He is also the author of the Fantasy Hockey Fridays, In Retrospect, Milestone Monday, and Legends By the Number segments.
Kevin Sporka

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