The Detroit Red Wings remain in a holding pattern with Dick Axelsson.
Although he technically is no longer considered a prospect according to Red Wings Central’s guidelines, the soon-to-be 25-year-old winger’s upside is undeniable as he continues his career in the Swedish Elite League.
Axelsson, who now plays for MoDo, spent 17 games in the American Hockey League in 2009-10 and has no interest in playing there again. It appears he will only return to North America when the Red Wings will put him on their NHL roster.
“We still own his rights, but he needs to play really big in those (international) tournaments and at the world championship for us to have some interest in him,” said Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson. “The way to show (you’re ready for the NHL) is to make the national team and be a player there.”
The 6-foot-2 188-pounder had an injury-plagued season and produced nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in 36 games, finishing with 79 shots and a minus-7 rating. He has two goals in MoDo’s first two playoff games.
Former Vancouver Canucks star Markus Naslund is MoDo’s general manager, while ex-Colorado Avalanche great Peter Forsberg is his assistant.
The lure of playing for former NHL legends convinced Axelsson to sign with MoDo after winning his second Swedish Elite League championship in three seasons with Farjestad.
“One of the reasons he went there was because it’s run by Naslund and Forsberg, and they promised they would make an NHL player out of him,” Andersson said. “That’s what they told Dick, and his season has been up and down.”
Axelsson has always been known as a great skater with the puck skills to be a top-six NHL forward. But he is inconsistent from game to game and has had discipline issues off the ice.
NOTES: It was another great week for defenseman Xavier Ouellet (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL), as he was named his league’s first star of the week after two goals and two assists in three games. He has 42 points in his past 33 games … Forward Riley Sheahan (Notre Dame, NCAA) was named one of three CCHA finalists for top defensive forward … Defenseman Adam Almqvist (HV-71, Swedish Elite League) remains sidelined with an undisclosed injury with the playoffs underway, but he hopes to return soon … Defenseman Alexei Marchenko (CSKA Moscow, KHL) saw his season come to an end last week, but he played in 11 KHL games at the end of the season after recovering from a serious knee injury. He has one more year left on his Russian contract and is expected to play in the American Hockey League after it expires.
Following is this week’s statistical report.
SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT
|Coetzee, Willie||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||45||9||9||18||17||-3||104|
|Ferraro, Landon||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||48||8||10||18||41||-4||70|
|Nyquist, Gustav||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||54||20||35||55||16||+6||147|
|Tatar, Tomas||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||60||15||27||42||37||+6||174|
|Andersson, Joakim||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||57||16||21||37||24||+6||114|
|Aubry, Louis-Marc||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||46||5||8||13||23||-5||69|
|Callahan, Mitchell||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||45||5||3||8||93||-4||56|
|Ehrhardt, Travis||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||25||1||3||4||19||+7||30|
|Lashoff, Brian||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||60||7||7||15||26||-11||85|
|Pare, Francis||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||59||11||22||33||14||-7||135|
|Parkes, Trevor||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||44||2||6||8||23||0||66|
|Raedeke, Brent||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||48||7||6||13||26||-1||73|
|Smith, Brendan||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||47||10||22||32||74||+7||99|
|Pyett, Logan||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||57||2||19||21||44||+1||132|
|Nestrasil, Andrej||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||11||2||1||3||2||-1||17|
|Fournier, Gleason||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||10||1||2||3||14||+1||4|
|Nedomlel, Richard||Swift Current||JR||WHL||70||10||35||45||79||-34||N/A|
|Sproul, Ryan||Sault Ste. Marie||JR||OHL||58||19||30||49||51||+14||N/A|
|Jurco, Tomas||Saint John||JR||QMJHL||47||30||38||68||37||+45||183|
|Jensen, Nick||St. Cloud State||COL||NCAA||38||6||26||32||4||+15||68|
|Nicastro, Max||Boston U.||COL||NCAA||27||3||6||9||32||-2||41|
|Sheahan, Riley||Notre Dame||COL||NCAA||37||9||16||25||24||0||118|
|Marchenko, Alexei||CSKA Moscow||EUR||KHL||6||0||0||0||2||-4||3|
|Marchenko, Alexei||CSKA Moscow||EUR-JR||MHL||5||2||4||6||10||+2||7|
GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT
|Pearce, Jordan||Grand Rapids||AHL||17||3||7||1||1||3.53||.874|
|McCollum, Thomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||15||6||8||0||0||3.59||.883|
SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT
|Marchenko, Alexei||CSKA Moscow||EUR||KHL||5||0||0||0||4||-1||8|