Red Wings Central RSS

Almquist waits for world stage

Published Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 12:01 a.m. under 2009-10-RWC Reports

For all Adam Almquist has accomplished this season, it might not be enough to get the 18-year-old blueliner to the world junior championship.

The seventh-round draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings last June appears likely to be on the outside looking in when Team Sweden opens the WJC in Saskatchewan on Boxing Day, despite the fact the Ottawa Senators have decided not to release Erik Karlsson to play in the annual tournament.

Almquist has been sensational this season. His 34 points in 15 games led the Swedish under-20 league at the time he was recalled to HV-71’s Swedish Elite League squad, and he has two goals and three assists in 11 games with the big club. It’s impressive stuff for the draft’s last pick.

Top picks Tim Erixon, David Runblad and Oliver Ekman-Larsson will highlight the roster. After that, 19-year-olds Lukas Kilstrom and Mattias Ekholm are penciled in along with Simon Bertilsson and Adam Larsson. Almquist has an outside chance of sneaking in, especially if injuries strike.

“It’s all about strength for him … If it’s hockey sense, he’d be at the world juniors this year on the power play,” said Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson. “We have guys with similar hockey sense … Runblad, Karlsson … He has their hockey sense, but he’s a lot weaker … He’s so weak. He gets pushed off the puck, and around the net, he has a tough time.”

Andersson estimates Almquist tips the scales at just 155 pounds but said the ultra-talented blueliner has already started working out more. The Red Wings selected Almquist on Andersson’s say-so, and the Red Wings’ super scout β€” king of the late-round gems β€” raves about the youngster’s upside.

“I love him as a prospect, I love that we drafted him … If the draft last summer was about hockey sense, he’s a top-10 pick,” Andersson said. β€œHe’s just unbelievably smart, but a lot of people shied away from his size.”

NOTES: Forward Dick Axelsson is reportedly headed to Sweden to train with Farjestad of the elite league. After producing just five points in 17 games in the American Hockey League, it seems unlikely he’ll be back in a Grand Rapids Griffins’ jersey … Forward Francis Pare (Grand Rapids, AHL) was AHL player of the week after producing three goals and three assists in four games … Forward Jan Mursak (Grand Rapids, AHL) is finally breaking through offensively, with five goals and six assists in his past 10 games … Forward Tomas Tatar (Grand Rapids, AHL) is off to the world junior championship with Slovakia after an outstanding start as a rookie pro. He has 16 points in 22 games as the AHL’s youngest player.



CapGeek.com Quick Launch

» Cap Chart » Reserve List » Depth Chart



  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Media Watch

    Goaltending and defense have been stro ...
    www.mlive.com | Today 1:04 am
    The Red Wings are averaging only two goals per game, putting more pressure on their goaltenders to come up big.… ... More »

    Canadiens 2, Red Wings 1 (OT): Montrea ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 10:13 pm
    Jimmy Howard was terrific in net for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg scored his team's lone goal.… ... More »

    Second-period analysis: Red Wings 1, C ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 9:09 pm
    Henrik Zetterberg's goal at 13:41 the only offense either team has been able to muster through 40 minutes.… ... More »

    First-period analysis: Red Wings 0, Ca ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 8:17 pm
    The Red Wings started strong, generating some early scoring chances. Jimmy Howard had to be sharp late to keep the Canad ... More »

    Griffins lose forward Tomas Nosek for ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 7:45 pm
    First-year free agent has two assists in four games this season.… ... More »

    Open thread: Detroit Red Wings at Mont ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 6:30 pm
    The Red Wings are riding a two-game winning streak while Montreal is off to a hot start with a 5-1 record.… ... More »

    Detroit Red Wings Gameday: Pavel Datsy ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 3:03 pm
    Datsyuk has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason opener vs. Pittsburgh but the Red Wings ar ... More »

    Anthony Mantha update: Top prospect mo ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 2:14 pm
    Ryan Martin, Red Wings assistant GM, said Mantha still at least four weeks away from playing with Griffins as he heals f ... More »

    Red Wings started season strong, but P ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 1:49 pm
    As strong as Datsyuk is without the puck, the Red Wings really need his offense and his skill on the power play.… ... More »

    Pavel Datsyuk's return tonight should ...
    www.mlive.com | Yesterday 12:22 pm
    The Red Wings went 3-1-1 in Datsyuk's absence. He should help boost a struggling power play.… ... More »