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Red Wings still want Almquist to ‘hit the gym’

Published Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 11 p.m. under 2010-11 RWC Reports
Adam Almquist

Adam Almquist (Credit: HV-71)

Adam Almquist had a tough act to follow this season.

After bursting onto the Swedish Elite League scene as a teenager in 2009-10 and leading the all defensemen in scoring en route to a championship, expectations were high in 2010-11 when he returned to HV-71 for his sophomore campaign.

While he logged almost 20 minutes per game in a top-four role and maintained a league-leading plus-20 rating, his production leveled off and his development hit something of a plateau, according to Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson.

“I saw the same as I did last year, reading the play well, anticipating, breaking up plays,” Andersson said. “I want to say the reason he didn’t have as many points was the other teams knew about him more, looked out for him a little bit more on the power play, and he hasn’t gained a lot of strength, so his shot is still a little bit weak.”

Almquist, who had no goals and 16 assists in 52 games, was a sleeper pick in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 2009 draft. Andersson has raved about his offensive upside and calls his hockey sense “as good as I’ve seen in years.”

Andersson said the 5-foot-11 174-pounder’s all-around game has improved with experience, but “not dramatically.”

“He battles well enough one-on-one, he just needs strength to be more effective when he battles,” Andersson said. “He’s really good with his stick. As good as he is passing the puck and everything, he also breaks up plays really well with his stick. One-on-one, he’s really effective with poke-checking the puck, which makes up a bit for his lack of strength.”

For all Almquist’s accomplishments, he’s been completely ignored by the Swedish national team — left off the world junior roster in his final two years of eligibility — so Andersson isn’t the only one looking for more.

The Red Wings project him as a Tobias Enstrom or Brian Rafalski type. But as Andersson has emphasized since Almquist’s draft day, it’s all about strength.

“If he wants to get to the next level after this, without a doubt, he needs to hit the gym this summer, and the next couple of summers,” Andersson said.

SHEAHAN DONE: Forward Riley Sheahan (Notre Dame, NCAA) saw his season end in the Frozen Four semifinals last week. He took three minor penalties and was in the box for the game-winning goal in a 4-3 loss to Minnesota Duluth.

Either way, the 21st overall pick in the 2010 draft came into the Frozen Four with five points in five games after putting up just 17 points in his first 35 games.

“He went through the first half and I thought he was playing well and he was not getting the goals, getting a lot of chances, especially short-handed chances,” Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson told the South Bend Tribune. “When you don’t score, you feel a lot of weight on your shoulders.

“He has consistently played well for us. Confidence is everything for him. And now he has elevated his game in the playoffs.”

NOTES: Forward Dick Axelsson is a win away from winning the Swedish Elite League title with Farjestad, up 3-1 in the best-of-seven championship … Lesser-known European forwards Anton Axelsson, Gennady Stolyarov and Jesper Samuelsson are no longer considerations for the Red Wings, Andersson said … Forward Trevor Parkes (Montreal, QMJHL) is on fire in the playoffs, with five goals among eight points in seven games … The Grand Rapids Griffins missed the American Hockey League playoffs for the second straight season, finishing with a 36-34-10 record and had 82 points … The Red Wings called up a slew of prospects to serve as Black Aces, including forward Cory Emmerton and defenseman Brendan Smith.

Following is this week’s statistical report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Nestrasil, Andrej P.E.I. QMJHL 58 19 51 70 40 +13 160
Fournier, Gleason Rimouski QMJHL 57 12 32 44 58 -4 106
Aubry, Louis-Marc Montreal QMJHL 35 13 12 25 26 +8 98
Parkes, Trevor Montreal QMJHL 60 33 29 62 32 +26 210
Ferraro, Landon Everett WHL 41 10 17 27 51 -1
Callahan, Mitchell Kelowna WHL 62 23 31 54 87 +4
Macek, Brooks Tri-City WHL 63 13 28 41 36 -13
Stolyarov, Gennady Dynamo Msk KHL 20 2 4 6 23 -8 32
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN 55 18 36 54 32 +23
Almquist, Adam HV-71 SEL 52 0 16 16 32 +20 62
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL 49 11 16 27 4 -3 77
Axelsson, Dick Farjestad SEL 47 15 15 30 126 +4 90
Axelsson, Anton Timra SEL 28 5 8 13 4 -2 25
Samuelsson, Jesper Vita Hasten SWE-3 31 10 23 33 41 +25 99
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids AHL 63 12 20 32 124 +7 114
Mursak, Jan Grand Rapids AHL 54 13 22 35 35 +17 129
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL 70 24 33 57 45 +14 163
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids AHL 80 24 30 54 49 -18 225
Ehrhardt, Travis Grand Rapids AHL 52 4 11 15 36 0 56
Pyett, Logan Grand Rapids AHL 74 9 13 22 38 -8 144
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids AHL 79 7 15 22 30 0 107
Emmerton, Cory Grand Rapids AHL 65 12 26 38 26 -1 127
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids AHL 25 0 5 5 8 -7 42
Kolosov, Sergei Grand Rapids AHL 56 0 1 1 48 -19 51
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids AHL 37 0 3 3 25 -5 27
Owens, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 60 6 14 20 101 -12 95
Filppula, Ilari Grand Rapids AHL 76 20 44 64 24 0 133
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL 67 8 5 13 17 -3 74
Piche, Sebastien Grand Rapids AHL 11 0 2 2 13 -4 15
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids AHL 8 1 3 4 2 +1 14
Piche, Sebastien Toledo ECHL 48 12 21 33 52 -4 169
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL 36 9 11 20 4 -2 129
Rufenach, Bryan Toledo ECHL 6 1 1 2 4 +8 11
Lashoff, Brian Toledo ECHL 3 0 1 1 0 -1 10
Nyquist, Gustav Maine NCAA 36 18 33 51 20 0 140
Nicastro, Max Boston U. NCAA 38 5 4 9 59 -9 44
Oslund, Nick St. Cloud St. NCAA 30 3 1 4 10 -2 50
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud St. NCAA 38 5 18 23 18 -5 58
Sheahan, Riley Notre Dame NCAA 40 5 17 22 28 -6 103
Rufenach, Bryan Clarkson NCAA 33 4 6 10 14 -1 94
Cayer, Julien Clarkson NCAA 25 3 5 8 22 +3 28
Marshall, Ben Omaha USHL 56 11 21 32 34 +20 142

SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Axelsson, Dick Farjestad SEL 13 4 5 9 22 +3 29
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL 3 3 0 3 2 +1 7
Almquist, Adam HV-71 SEL 2 0 0 0 0 -2 3
Nestrasil, Andrej P.E.I. QMJHL 6 1 5 6 2 +3 18
Fournier, Gleason Rimouski QMJHL 4 1 1 2 12 -1 10
Aubry, Louis-Marc Montreal QMJHL 4 1 0 1 2 0 15
Parkes, Trevor Montreal QMJHL 7 5 3 8 8 +5 41
Callahan, Mitchell Kelowna WHL 6 4 3 7 2 +5
Ferraro, Landon Everett WHL 4 0 3 3 13 -2
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN 3 0 1 1 0 0

GOALIES: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L T SO GAA SV%
Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 52 33 15 3 2 2.84 .920
Larsson, Daniel HV-71 SEL 46 2 2.51 .917
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 22 6 12 2 1 3.33 .879
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 8 3 4 1 1 4.13 .883
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 44 20 15 5 1 2.89 .908
McCollum, Thomas Toledo ECHL 23 11 9 2 3 2.76 .909

GOALIES: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L SO GAA SV%
Larsson, Daniel HV-71 SEL 2 0 2.58 .894
Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 2 0 1 0 6.96 .852
2 Comments
  1. dean martin says:

    Enjoy reading the articles on the Wings prospects….well done…

  2. jeffrey hollady says:

    Please keep writing, I look for new articles every few days and there is no other good source for red wing prospect information, thanks



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