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Lashoff playing through the pain

Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 9:52 a.m. under 2011-12 RWC Reports
Brian Lashoff

Brian Lashoff (Credit: Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins)

Brian Lashoff still isn’t fully healthy, but he isn’t letting it hold him back anymore.

The 21-year-old Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman, limited to just 37 games as an American Hockey League rookie last season because of a variety of injuries, has logged third-pairing minutes as a sophomore despite an ongoing shoulder ailment.

“Even though he got a shoulder injury early, he’s worked right through it, played with it, and really come a long way,” said Griffins head coach Curt Fraser. “He’s doing good things, he’s getting bigger and stronger. Give him another year and he would be a player the Red Wings could take a look at and give an opportunity to down the road.”

Throughout the season, Lashoff has found himself playing behind the likes of No. 1 prospect Brendan Smith, former NHLers Doug Janik and Garnet Exelby and third-year pro Logan Pyett.

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound native of Albany, N.Y., has seven goals and eight assists and a minus-10 rating in 63 games. During one 10-game stretch in January he had five goals and three assists and was plus-5.

“He came to camp this year way bigger, way stronger, and he has to do that again next year,” Fraser said. “If he continues to get bigger and stronger, and keep developing those skills, he’ll be a very good piece for the Red Wings in the future.”

Compared by the Red Wings to Brad Stuart, Lashoff is expected to elevate into a top-four role with Grand Rapids next season.

“Right now, we’ve got Janik, Exelby, Pyett, a lot of guys here who have been here longer than him, and they should be better,” Fraser said. “But I would say Lash will be a top-four here next year for sure.”

Lashoff, whose brother Matt is a former first-rounder who plays in the Toronto Maple Leafs system, signed with the Red Wings as a free agent in 2008. He was an Ontario Hockey League captain with the Kingston Frontenacs and won gold with Team USA at the IIHF world junior championship in 2010.

Fraser also credited third-year pro Travis Ehrhardt for doing “a nice job” on the Griffins’ back line since returning from a serious shoulder injury. Ehrhardt has a goal and three assists in 26 games and his plus-10 is one of the best on the team.

NOTES: Forward Riley Sheahan will turn pro now that his college season is over. He withdrew from Notre Dame to sign an amateur tryout contract with AHL’s Grand Rapids on Tuesday and a deal with the Red Wings isn’t far off … Forward Gustav Nyquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) set the Griffins’ rookie scoring record with his 56th point of the season last week … Defenseman Xavier Ouellet (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) is one of three nominees for the Emile (Butch) Bouchard Trophy, awarded to the QMJHL’s top defensemean. The winner will be named on April 4 … Defenseman Ben Marshall (Minnesota, NCAA) is the lone Red Wings college prospect still active this season. His Golden Gophers are part of the 16-team NCAA tournament starting Friday … Forward Calle Jarnkrok (Brynas, Swedish Elite League) is tied for fourth in SEL playoff scoring with five points in five games.

Following is this week’s statistical report.


Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids PRO AHL 48 9 10 19 18 -4 111
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids PRO AHL 50 8 10 18 41 -5 75
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids PRO AHL 56 22 36 58 18 +7 152
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids PRO AHL 63 17 28 45 37 +5 187
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids PRO AHL 60 16 24 40 24 +6 122
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids PRO AHL 49 5 9 14 30 -4 75
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids PRO AHL 47 6 3 9 103 -3 58
Ehrhardt, Travis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 28 1 3 4 19 +10 33
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids PRO AHL 63 7 8 15 33 -10 87
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids PRO AHL 62 12 24 36 14 -7 145
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids PRO AHL 44 2 6 8 23 0 66
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids PRO AHL 51 8 6 14 26 -1 83
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 47 10 22 32 74 +7 99
Pyett, Logan Grand Rapids PRO AHL 60 2 20 22 48 +1 135
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids PRO AHL 12 2 1 3 2 -1 17
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids PRO AHL 13 1 3 4 14 0 4
Fournier, Gleason Toledo PRO ECHL 52 2 15 17 32 -5 96
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo PRO ECHL 51 7 22 29 20 -10 88
Parkes, Trevor Toledo PRO ECHL 4 4 0 4 2 +1 17
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Boisbriand JR QMJHL 63 21 39 60 67 +16 202
Macek, Brooks Calgary JR WHL 54 14 24 38 19 +8 N/A
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current JR WHL 72 10 36 46 83 -35 N/A
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver JR WHL 60 31 43 74 62 +1 N/A
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie JR OHL 61 23 31 54 53 +16 N/A
Quine, Alan Peterborough JR OHL 65 30 40 70 21 -19 N/A
Jurco, Tomas Saint John JR QMJHL 48 30 38 68 37 +46 186
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville JR QMJHL 34 3 2 5 29 -3 65
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State COL NCAA 39 6 26 32 4 +14 68
Nicastro, Max Boston U. COL NCAA 27 3 6 9 32 -2 41
Cayer, Julien Clarkson COL NCAA 30 6 4 10 30 -4 50
Marshall, Ben Minnesota COL NCAA 38 3 9 12 27 +12 72
Sheahan, Riley Notre Dame COL NCAA 37 9 16 25 24 0 118
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit EUR FIN 56 16 21 37 41 0 235
Almquist, Adam HV-71 EUR SEL 42 3 8 11 26 +16 66
Axelsson, Dick MoDo EUR SEL 36 9 11 20 59 -7 79
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 50 16 23 39 22 -3 109
Backman, Mattias Linkoping EUR SEL 42 1 7 8 14 +7 60
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 6 0 0 0 2 -4 3
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR-JR MHL 5 2 4 6 10 +2 7


Mrazek, Petr Ottawa OHL 50 30 13 6 3 2.84 .917
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 17 3 7 1 1 3.53 .874
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 16 7 8 0 0 3.60 .866
McCollum, Thomas Toledo ECHL 15 6 6 2 0 2.62 .909
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 2 1 1 0 0 4.05 .879


Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 5 0 0 0 4 -1 8
Axelsson, Dick MoDo EUR SEL 6 2 1 3 18 -1 13
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 5 2 3 5 0 +7 10
Almquist, Adam HV-71 EUR SEL 2 0 1 1 2 +3 2
  1. rich says:

    Thanks, another great RWC!

  2. sizzzle01 says:

    I never get to watch the Griffins, but what is Ferraro like out there ?

  3. rich says:

    @sizzzle01: I’ve been wondering about Ferraro as well! He stuck around during pre-season for a pretty long time and he’s supposedly having an okay regular season despite the lack of eye-popping numbers. Wuest said in the mid-season rankings that “Ferraro has been the best rookie prospect in Grand Rapids other than Gustav Nyquist,” so hopefully that’s a sign of things to come when he’s given increased responsibilities next season.

  4. Sheckman9 says:

    Yeah, from what I gather (and I too have not seen firsthand), he is performing above the level expected of a first year pro. He still has all the potential he ever did and I expect next year will be a big one for him… I think he’ll be getting big, important minutes and will benefit from the promotion.

  5. Rob says:

    Ferraro has played pretty well actually. Using his speed and playing a pretty grinding game, as he usually is playing on one of the bottom 2 lines. Overall he has performed much better than I expected. Actually looking forward to his progression into next season.

  6. NHLrick says:

    Interesting read as usual. See you next week.

  7. J says:

    Lashoff seems like he’ll be just another Doug Janik or generic #7 dman fringe NHLer. Maybe we have an extreme follower of Lashoff who has something to say about that. I hope so.

  8. Jordan says:

    I have been to some griffs games and all i can say about ferraro is speed. he speeds into the corners and wins battles. i dont see him being a scorer like he was in jounior but he has been changing his game last i knew. if he bulks up i see him being a cleary type player later on in his career after grinding it out on the fourth line for a bit.

  9. Huss says:

    Considering Lashoff was an undrafted FA, I’d be thrilled if he turned into Doug Janik or a fringe NHLer. But at his current age projectory, he still has a chance to develop into a reliable 5/6. That’s all you can ask for.

  10. yvr says:

    Saw Ferraro play in person couple of time in WHL and on tv several times in junior. His game seemed to be better when he was 16yrs old. Now he is rated 18th on the depth chart, after one yr of pro, behind last yrs great class of Jurco, Tvrdon, Ouellet, and Sproul. I think Quine even has a greater upside. In my opinion don’t think Ferraro has much of a chance to make the Wings because of all the excellent prospects ahead of him.

  11. Wes Nichols says:

    When is the next article coming out?

  12. sheckman9 says:

    Wes, they used to come out on Tuesdays (to my recollection), but now they come out on Wednesdays…

    yvr, I can’t say that I agree with you here. Certainly Ferraro’s last couple of years have been less than desirable with the impact of injuries, but this year his performance is exactly what should be expected from a top of the pack AHL rookie. Nyquist has a much more polished game coming from three years at Maine, so I don’t feel they’re comparable… but compared against most other first year AHL players, I think Ferraro’s numbers and performance are pretty good. This next year will be telling. As for the rwc ranking… every year the new drafts get a high ranking and then start to fall — they slide back up the ranks really quickly when they mature into solid two-way AHLers and get considered for call-ups. And that is nothing wrong with the rankings.. I think somewhere it is stated that the rankings balance both performance and potential; the latter of which puts the drafts high on the list.

  13. sheckman9 says:

    Yeah Wes, I checked… in fact, they used to come out on Mondays, then it changed to Tuesdays and now they come out on Wednesdays.

  14. rich says:

    I think Wes was referring to the fact that one didn’t come out this past week.

  15. sheckman9 says:

    ahhh. Quick Launch

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