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Fournier ‘floats on the ice’ — in a good way

Published Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 12:01 a.m. under 2010-11 RWC Reports
Gleason Fournier

Gleason Fournier (Credit: Sarah Lindenau)

The Detroit Red Wings are hoping defenseman Gleason Fournier is a quick learner when it comes to the hockey skills a good coach can teach.

“He has to continue to play harder defensively and work on winning the battles, but he has something you just can’t teach — and that’s his skating,” said Red Wings scout Mark Leach. “He just floats on the ice and moves the puck well. He’s an offensive defenseman who can just fly up the ice.”

The 19-year-old Rimouski Oceanic blueliner was the Red Wings’ third-round pick, 90th overall, in the 2009 draft. Numbers-wise, he’s not setting the QMJHL on fire, with eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points in 40 games, but the Red Wings signed him to a three-year entry-level contract earlier this year.

If the rest of Fournier’s game catches up to his skating, he’ll be a prospect who will fit right in to the Red Wings’ puck-moving system.

Although the six-footer weighed in at 168 pounds on draft day, he’s slowly built on that and is now in the 180- to 185-pound range, Leach said. That will help him break in with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2011-12.

“That’s a matter of being patient with him,” Leach said. “He’s made a step in progress and that’s what we’re looking for … And he’s going to move on to the minors next year and that will be another big step for him.”

FERRARO INJURED: Just when you thought Landon Ferraro was going to turn it around, he’s out indefinitely with an injury. Ferraro, who had four goals and five assists in a six-game stretch with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, learned last week he requires surgery for a sports hernia. The Silvertips’ captain has 25 points in 37 games in what was a disappointing season until recently.

“It’s too bad for him,” Silvertips head coach Craig Hartsburg told the Everett Herald. “It’s just typical for his year. He struggled so much, then finally he gets his game going and he gets hurt. Not much you can do about it.”

NOTES: Injuries in Detroit are giving prospects a chance to get their feet wet in the NHL. Cory Emmerton got the call last week and scored in his NHL debut. Goaltenders Jordan Pearce and Thomas McCollum have also gotten the call as backups with the big club, while forwards Jan Mursak (13 games, one goal) and Tomas Tatar (nine games, one goal) have enjoyed extended stints … Forward Ilari Filppula (Grand Rapids, AHL) has been added to the roster for the AHL All-Star Game. While not technically a prospect by RWC’s definition, the 29-year-old forward leads the Griffins in scoring with 33 points in 43 games … Goalie Petr Mrazek (Ottawa, OHL) posted his third shutout of the season last week. That ties him for second in the league. He’s also third with a .919 save percentage, tied for second with 23 wins and seventh with a 2.91 goals-against average.

Following is this week’s statistical update for skaters and goaltenders:

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Nestrasil, Andrej P.E.I. QMJHL 38 15 31 46 18 +3 115
Fournier, Gleason Rimouski QMJHL 40 8 20 28 40 -2 60
Aubry, Louis-Marc Montreal QMJHL 22 11 9 20 18 +10 70
Parkes, Trevor Montreal QMJHL 40 22 20 42 16 +17 141
Ferraro, Landon Everett WHL 37 9 16 25 42 0
Callahan, Mitchell Kelowna WHL 42 18 24 42 64 +4
Macek, Brooks Tri-City WHL 43 10 18 28 28 -7
Stolyarov, Gennady Dynamo Msk KHL 20 2 4 6 23 -7 32
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN 38 12 23 35 10 +13
Almquist, Adam HV-71 SEL 39 0 11 11 22 +15
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL 35 9 11 20 4 +1
Axelsson, Dick Farjestad SEL 35 12 13 25 83 +5
Axelsson, Anton Timra SEL 28 5 8 13 4 -2
Samuelsson, Jesper Vita Hasten SWE-3 18 9 13 22 35
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids AHL 40 8 14 22 71 +5 68
Mursak, Jan Grand Rapids AHL 33 10 13 23 29 +8 81
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL 36 10 20 30 29 +11 71
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids AHL 46 11 16 27 36 -14 139
Ehrhardt, Travis Grand Rapids AHL 30 4 7 11 24 +5 37
Pyett, Logan Grand Rapids AHL 40 5 7 12 30 -12 67
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids AHL 45 4 6 10 16 -1 63
Emmerton, Cory Grand Rapids AHL 33 6 17 23 18 +8 60
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids AHL 24 0 5 5 8 -6 41
Kolosov, Sergei Grand Rapids AHL 39 0 1 1 35 -8 33
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids AHL 15 0 2 2 11 +1 11
Owens, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 45 5 11 16 84 -10 69
Filppula, Ilari Grand Rapids AHL 43 15 18 33 10 -4 80
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL 41 4 2 6 13 +2 51
Piche, Sebastien Grand Rapids AHL 10 0 1 1 13 -4 14
Piche, Sebastien Toledo ECHL 20 3 10 13 17 -9 75
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL 3 3 1 4 0 +2 15
Lashoff, Brian Toledo ECHL 3 0 1 1 0 -1 10
Nyquist, Gustav Maine NCAA 22 6 22 28 4 +1 88
Nicastro, Max Boston U. NCAA 23 2 2 4 43 -6 27
Oslund, Nick St. Cloud St. NCAA 16 1 1 2 4 -2 25
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud St. NCAA 24 4 8 12 10 -4 36
Sheahan, Riley Notre Dame NCAA 24 1 11 12 16 -6 61
Rufenach, Bryan Clarkson NCAA 21 3 4 7 6 -2 62
Cayer, Julien Clarkson NCAA 12 1 3 4 14 +5 13
Marshall, Ben Omaha USHL 28 4 11 15 14 +20 67
NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L T SO GAA SV%
Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 38 23 12 2 3 2.91 .919
Larsson, Daniel HV-71 SEL 34 2 2.23 .925
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 17 5 10 2 1 3.11 .884
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 8 3 4 1 1 4.13 .883
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 11 5 3 1 0 3.00 .904
McCollum, Thomas Toledo ECHL 5 3 1 0 1 2.55 .913


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