Key Takeaways from 2017 NHL Prospect Tournament

Dennis Cholowski, Detroit Red Wings, Dylan Sadowy, Michael Rasmussen, Red Wings Prospects, Top Story, Vili Saarijarvi

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While he appeared to be the most collected blue-liner for the Red Wings over the course of the competition, there were other blueliners who also showed promise. Both Vili Saarijarvi and Jordan Sambrook played well in their respective roles.

Saarijarvi tallied an assist while demonstrating his proclivity for firing pucks at the net from the blue line, while Sambrook hustled, playing his well-rounded defensive style. Sambrook also scored a goal in Detroit’s dominating four to one victory over the Rangers’ prospects.

Vili Saarijarvi of the Flint Firebirds. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Saarijarvi (plus-four), Cholowski (plus-three) and Sambrook (plus-two) were the top three Red Wings’ defensemen in plus/minus. While the level of competition and goaltending in a prospect game can tend to skew and lessen the importance of plus/minus statistics, it’s still worth noting that the three blue-liners who stood out to me were also the top three on the score sheet.

Red Wings’ Offense Stays Grounded

Detroit averaged 2.5 goals per game during tournament play, compared to their opponent’s combined average of 3.41 goals for. Despite the low amount of offensive production, a few forwards stood out above the rest. Dylan Sadowy, a former third-round draft pick acquired from the San Jose Sharks in 2016, skated well and furiously through all three zones, scoring two goals in four games played.

Axel Holmstrom, a 2014 seventh-round draft pick, created several scoring chances by skating hard to the net throughout much of the tournament. He recorded one goal and one assist and will be looking to get a shot at the Red Wings’ lineup at some point in the future. His time playing hockey in North America has been plagued by two different injuries to the same knee.

Dylan Sadowy of the Barrie Colts.

Dylan Sadowy of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Michael Rasmussen, the ninth overall pick in this summer’s NHL Draft, recorded one assist in four games played. The team utilized the six-foot-six center’s frame for a net-front presence while on the power play, something that Rasmussen will certainly be used for on his journey towards the NHL. He hasn’t played much hockey over the last six months due to a wrist injury, but will undoubtedly be watched heavily by all in Hockeytown as he moves up the ranks of the franchise.

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