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Jarnkrok takes over No. 1 spot in ranking

Published Thursday, December 13, 2012, 8:43 p.m. under RWC Rankings
Calle Janrkok

Calle Janrkok (Credit: Brynas IF)

Calle Jarnkork is Red Wings Central’s new No. 1 prospect.

The 21-year-old center for Brynas of the Swedish Elite League takes over top spot in the preliminary 2012-13 ranking, moving up after the unofficial graduation of prospects Nos. 1 and 2 — defenseman Brendan Smith and left-winger Gustav Nyquist.

Jarnkrok, the 51st overall selection in the 2010 NHL draft, continues to look like the second coming of Henrik Zetterberg, fifth in SEL scoring with 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points in 32 games.

His combination of high skill and a non-stop motor is unmatched in the Red Wings’ system.

“He’s probably the best prospect in our organization overall,” said Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer. “Whenever he makes the transition overseas, he’s going to be really exciting to watch at the NHL level.”

Although Smith and Nyquist are still playing for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins due to the NHL lockout, they’re both expected to be regulars with the Red Wings whenever the labor dispute ends and are no longer on the RWC list.

Jarnkrok edged out goaltender Petr Mrazek, left-winger Tomas Tatar, center Riley Sheahan and right-winger Tomas Jurco in the top five.

Following is a detailed look at the preliminary 2012-13 ranking.

1. C Calle Jarnkrok (+2), Brynas (SEL), 32-10-18-28-6, -1, 89 SOG. See above.

2. G Petr Mrazek (+2), Grand Rapids (AHL), 7-2-0, 2.42 GAA, .912 SV%. Long a favorite of RWC, Mrazek — fresh out of junior — has been sensational as an AHL rookie. He looks like the potential No. 1 NHL goaltender the Red Wings hoped Thomas McCollum would be.

3. LW Tomas Tatar (+2), Grand Rapids (AHL), 22-11-10-21-19, +5, 63 SOG. Already in his fourth AHL season, Tatar is only 22. Showcasing his offensive ability and a maturing all-around game, he’s proving during the lockout he’s ready for an NHL job.

4. C Riley Sheahan (+2), Grand Rapids (AHL), 20-4-4-8-14, +7, 28 SOG. Sheahan is adjusting well to the AHL, but another off-ice incident — charged in November with driving with blood-alcohol content of .17 or higher — is a sign he needs to get his act together.

5. RW Tomas Jurco (+2), Grand Rapids (AHL), 22-4-3-7-10, -3, 31 SOG. Jurco won’t turn 20 until the end of December, so he’s an extremely young AHL rookie who is finding his bearings. With patience, he has the look of a high-scoring pro with top-six upside.

6. D Ryan Sproul (+2), Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 16-5-16-21-23, even. A late cut from Canada’s world junior team, the 6-foot-3 Sproul has recovered from a broken arm and is one of the best offensive defensemen in the entire Canadian Hockey League.

7. D Xavier Ouellet (+3), Blainville-B’briand (QMJHL), 26-5-20-25-30, +9, 94 SOG. Ouellet continues to improve each season. An offensive force who will play for the Canadian world junior team, the Red Wings see him as a two-way top-four NHL defender.

8. C Landon Ferraro (+10), Grand Rapids (AHL), 22-8-9-17-23, +6, 51 SOG. RWC’s highest riser has developed into an excellent two-way pro after finishing his junior career with two awful seasons. He’s posting breakout numbers and is killing penalties with aplomb.

9. C Joakim Andersson (–), Grand Rapids (AHL), 21-6-7-13-45, -2, 49 SOG. The book has always been the same on Andersson. He’s going to play in the NHL, but is he a career fourth-liner or is there more upside? We won’t know until he gets there.

10. RW Martin Frk (NR), Halifax (QMJHL), 28-13-25-38-52, +9, 87 SOG. Everyone loves Frk’s intimidating slap shot and above-average skills. But he needs to work on skating and maturity, while his habit of taking dumb penalties might be getting worse rather than better.

11. G Jake Paterson (NR), Saginaw (OHL), 11-12-2-1, 1 SO, 3.49 GAA, .901 SV%. Although his statistics aren’t eye-popping, Paterson is playing excellent hockey on a below average team. He’s in the spotlight now that he’s made Canada’s world junior team.

12. LW Teemu Pulkkinen (-1), Jokerit (FIN), 31-6-6-12-41, even, 138 SOG. Pulkkinen’s offensive numbers have mysteriously vanished but he clearly has the ability to produce more. He’s earned the benefit of the doubt for now, but he’ll need to find his scoring touch.

13. D Adam Almquist (+3), Grand Rapids (AHL), 19-3-6-9-10, +4, 20 SOG. No longer buried in the Swedish Elite League, Almquist is showing he can run a power play and contribute offensively in North America. He still needs to get stronger and improve defensively.

14. D Mattias Backman (+3), Frolunda (SEL), 31-0-14-14-20, +3, 35 SOG. A smooth two-way defender, Backman is only 20 years old and is constantly improving. Already a top-four blueliner in the Swedish Elite League, he still has room to grow.

15. D Nick Jensen (-3), St. Cloud State (NCAA), 16-1-11-12-8, +3, 26 SOG. The swift-skating defenseman is having another good year, although he has untapped offensive upside. His true breakout season might not come until he is a senior in 2013-14.

16. LW Marek Tvrdon (-3), Vancouver (WHL), 18-8-14-22-16, +2. A blood clot has ended Tvrdon’s season, but the Red Wings have already signed the big, skilled Slovak. He has tremendous upside but needs to pick up his work ethic and consistency.

17. LW Andreas Athanasiou (NR), Barrie (OHL), 30-15-18-33-18, +9. The Red Wings are convinced the blazing fast Athanasiou will play in the NHL, and he’s certainly showing the right this stuff. He has broken out since a much-needed trade from London.

18. C Louis-Marc Aubry (-4), Grand Rapids (AHL), 22-1-3-4-21, +1, 31 SOG. The lockout has hurt Aubry, among others, because he’s been shuffled down the Grand Rapids depth chart. He’s playing well defensively but his scoring totals have suffered.

19. C Alan Quine (–), Peterborough (OHL), 18-8-11-19-10, -12. Quine has returned from mononucleosis and hasn’t missed a beat. That’s great to see, and if he can build off his strong start, he should have a line on a contract before his June 1 signing deadline.

20. D Alexey Marchenko (–), CSKA Moscow (KHL), 31-4-3-7-4, +1, 27 SOG. Marchenko is a darkhorse prospect with tremendous upside. He’s a KHL regular now and it might not be long before he’s moving quickly up this chart now that he’s finally healthy.

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36 Comments
  1. Lukas says:

    I love this site. Its great to have in-depth knowledge of the up-and-coming Red Wings! I am stoked to see how this group pans out. I think with our aging roster, Detroit’s brass will ease some of this talent into the Starting Roster. I am MOST excited about Jurco. I know his stats are far from earth-shattering, but give this kid some time. He’s a stud, and has all the talent to score 30-35 goals at the NHL Level one day. He’s definitely our top sniper coming up.

  2. Shawn says:

    Have to agree with most guys here… even in my most fanciful dreams, Sheahan isn’t Keith Primeau, let alone the next Keith Tkachuk. I like the guy and I hope he makes it, but everyone is right; he’s likely a 3rd liner with Andersson well ahead in the depth charts. I would like to see him turn into a Marty Lapointe or a higher-skilled Drew Miller. Maybe I’m wrong, but until youtube views equal NHL success, that’s about where my expectations will remain; I haven’t seen anything else that puts him above that level yet.

  3. karlander says:

    Shame to see Mitch Callahan fall off the list. I have watched Grand Rapids play about 8 times in past year. Every game he is actually one of the best players on the ice in terms of defense, energy, and opportunistic play. Trouble is; he isnt putting up points with the ice time he has. I agree with posters who say Riley Sheehan is overated. He is not a good akater at that level, he is not a great passer. I am not sure what he is allegedly great at ? Tatar is skating with more authority this season and looks pretty good. No one seems to notice Nyquist has trouble receiving difficult passes. Watch for it. He is losing scoring chances because of it. Ferraro looking much improved. I think Jurco is overmatched at the moment. The AHL has diminished his offensive prowess so far. Hopefully Jarkrok is the real deal.

  4. yoopergirl says:

    Where is Brian Lashoff on this list? And he is actually at training camp right now with the Wings.

  5. Papa says:

    If all this praise for these players comes true, the Wings are well on their way to a team similar to the great Oiler or Islanders teams.

  6. Caliwingnut says:

    Thanks for all of the good scouting first time to hear about the kids on there way up without all of the politics
    I ve been in Fresno ca 12 years now and there is very little in the way of hockey
    To bad more wings and wings related sites don’t have this callaber of information
    Thanks to all



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