30 in 30 Detroit Red Wings

bigjoehighgate

2016-07-12

DRW

Detroit headed into this crucial off season after their 25th consecutive playoff appearance, with a clear plan in place to keep the train moving. Being a bubble team the last three years, with a string of first round playoff exits, GM Ken Holland has had his hands full trying to fix the many holes in his roster and keep his team afloat for a 26th straight playoff run. The Wing’s went defensively heavy in this years draft and attempted to fix their offensive woes through the free agent market. Holland has gotten his squad to the postseason in all 17 years he’s been in Detroit but will be hard-pressed to replicate the same success for 2016-17.

2016 NHL Draft Picks

Dennis Cholowski D (Round 1, pick 20)

With their first round pick Detroit selected defenseman Dennis Cholowski from the Chiliwack Chiefs in the BCHL. Not the most highly touted defensive prospect in this draft, Cholowski provides very enticing potential if developed in the traditional Red Wing fashion. Leading all D with 12 goals and 40 points, he was a vicious offensive threat for the Chiefs and drastically improved his draft stock throughout the season. Possesses clear vision while anchoring the blue line, and is able to thread the needle for difficult back door passes and high percentage plays towards the net. Very comfortable and confident with the puck and uses profound patience to take advantage of the full width of the ice while studying his options in the offensive zone. Committed to play with St. Cloud State next year, he has the potential to compete with likes of Xavier Ouellet and Joe Hicketts for a future roster spot if he can mature physically and build a more complete 2 way game against stronger competition in the NCAA

Givani Smith RW (Round 2, pick 46)

With their second pick and 46th overall, Detroit selected Toronto native Givani Smith. Finishing with 24 goals and 42 points, Smith had a solid campaign with the pitiful Guelph Storm. The 18 year-old Right Winger was able to more efficiently develop his game after moving from a cluttered Barrie Colts roster in 2014-15 to a rebuilding Storm squad that was desperate for offensive help. Loves to play the physical game and is the most recent beneficiary of the Wings trying to toughen up their line up in the future. Projected as a true power forward, Smith offers tenacious play in puck battles and on the forecheck while still possessing some scoring touch. At a very average 6-1, 197 lbs, he has some physical maturing to do, but still plays like a much bigger man, using the body to create space for himself and line mates. After further development in the OHL and Grand Rapids, he slots in perfectly to fill the void of players like Todd Bertuzzi, who add a gritty presence to the roster.

Filip Hronek D (Round 2, pick 53)

An offensively gifted defenseman, Hronek falls into a long line of newly added prospects on the Detroit’s back end. Splitting time between Czech league’s HC Hradec Kralove U20 and men’s