The Red Wings prospect system is continually one of the strongest in the league with many players ready to take the next step to the NHL. Well stocked in all areas, the Wings will need to rely on cheaper options coming out of the minor league system this year due to cap restraints and there are several players that are ready to answer the call. The acquisitions from this year's draft were defensively heavy and should help to replace the D men graduating on for the 2016-17 campaign. With such a strong prospect pool the Wings and Griffins should be poised for success this season and into the future.
Robbie Russo – This offensive dynamo has been steadily developing each year after playing out his full NCAA eligibility at Notre Dame and his first full season of pro with the Griffin’s last year. Russo led Grand Rapids defencemen with five goals, 34 assists last year and is becoming the standout amongst names like Xavier Ouelette and Ryan Sproul. With another strong year in the AHL, Russo could earn his first shot with the Wing’s by the end of the 2016-17 season.
Jared Coreau – Coreau has put in the work the last two seasons to earn the rank of top goaltending prospect for the Wings. After posting consecutive seasons with a 2.20 & 2.43 GAA, the 6-4 netminder has secured the starting position for the Griffin’s crease and should be next in line for the NHL. Coreau leapfrogs former first and third round selections, Tom McCollum & Jake Paterson as the top goalie prospect after signing as an undrafted college free agent in 2013.
Dylan Sadowy – Acquired from San Jose for a third round pick in 2016, Sadowy enters the Detroit farm system as one of the players to watch this season. Already impressing amongst Red Wings prospects in development camp this summer, the former third round pick will enter his first pro season with Grand Rapids this year and will hope to translate his scoring touch at the next level.
Jake Paterson – The former third round pick has found himself displaced by more seasoned prospects and will be hard pressed to work his way up from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. With Mrazek, Coreau and McCollum all ahead of him on the depth chart, it will likely be a long time before Paterson see’s any NHL action in a Red Wings uniform.
Nick Jensen – Another victim of a strong prospect system of defensemen, Jensen is continually falling down the depth chart in Grand Rapids and two very average seasons aren’t helping. With at least five other D men ahead of him, his chances of dawning the winged wheel are growing slimmer.
Updated Top 10 Prospects:
Andreas Athanasiou – Solidifying that he is NHL ready last season, finishing with nine goals and 14 points in 37 games with the Red Wings. No doubt with his speed and skill at this level, he’s ready to lock down spot on the Wings roster this season.
Teemu Pulkkinen – Hasn’t been able to translate his AHL scoring prowess to the big time yet, but will hopefully improve his game after coming back from shoulder surgery this summer.
Xavier Ouellet – Proved to be a reliable two way defenseman the last three seasons in Grand Rapids, after Marchenko he looks to be the next minor leaguer to compete for a spot on the Red Wings blue line.
Anthony Mantha – One of the most discussed Red Wings prospects, the 6-5 power forward could be the right combination of size and skill the Red wings could use in their bottom six.
Ryan Sproul – Waiver eligible this year, so if he is to crack the Red Wings roster out of training camp, he’d be there to stay. The offensive D has made strides of improvement in Grand Rapids and would likely be claimed if sent back to the AHL.
Robbie Russo – Quickly making a name for himself coming out of college hockey and leading the Griffin’s in scoring from the back end.
Dennis Cholowski – This years first round pick will also travel the NCAA route and add a defensive balance to his already budding offensive flare.
Jared Coreau – The next goalie down the pipe for the Wings and most likely Petr Mrazek’s future back up.
Tyler Bertuzzi – With the Wings aiming to get more physical and aggressive, Tyler could be the perfect solution to pick up where uncle Todd left off.
Evgeny Svechnikov – Back to back 32 goal seasons for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, the big Russian winger draws comparisons to Datsyuk with his terrific shot and smooth hands.