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Frk and linemates a ‘real treat to see’

Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:48 a.m. under 2012-13 RWC Reports
Martin Frk

Martin Frk (Credit: Red Wings Central)

A couple of flashy linemates have invigorated Martin Frk and have him playing the best hockey of his young career.

The 19-year-old right-winger had the game of his life on Friday as the QMJHL playoffs opened, recording an astonishing five goals and three assists in the Halifax Mooseheads’ 11-1 blowout of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Say what you want about the QMJHL’s owner-friendly 16-of-18-teams-get-into-the-playoffs gimmick that left the nationally-top-ranked Mooseheads 73-point favorites coming into the series — an eight-point game hadn’t occurred in the QMJHL post-season since Daniel Briere did it in 1995-96 and it even matched Mario Lemieux’s single-game best. Pierre Rioux holds the all-time playoff recored of 10 set in 1982.

If Frk’s blowup wasn’t a sign that his 2011-12 concussion woes are completely behind him, his numbers since returning from the IIHF world junior championship are more convincing: in his past 31 games, Frk has 28 goals and 27 assists for 55 points.

A big part of that is playing with two top-five draft prospects, the electrifyingly fast Nathan MacKinnon and the slick-mitted Jonathan Drouin. Getting bumped up to the top line has no doubt energized Frk after a slow start on the team’s second line.

Although the Red Wings’ second-round pick (49th overall) last June does not carry the unit with MacKinnon and Drouin, his NHL-calibre shot and offensive instincts have made him a perfect complement to them.

“That first line is phenomenal, to (combine for) 18 points in (Friday’s game) game, you have to be impressed with that,” Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon told Metro News after attending the game to scout MacKinnon and Drouin. “When they have it on a string and they’re playing at their optimum potential it’s a real treat to see; there aren’t many lines like that. They have that special chemistry and are so willing to play for each other.”

Frk, who is expected to vie for a spot with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins next season, has to improve his skating in a big way to be an effective pro, let alone an NHL prospect, and will need to continue to mature with regard to playing a complete game and being disciplined — as he’s shown signs of doing with an active eight-game no-minor-penalty streak, a career-best.

Frk is in the first year of a three-year entry-level contract in which he is earning a $92,500 signing bonus in addition to $10,500 in junior pay from the Red Wings. His contract will slide to begin in 2013-14, keeping him under contract through 2016-2017.

NOTES: Center Calle Jarnkrok has joined the Grand Rapids Griffins for a late-season stint. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the AHL, but one thing’s for sure, he’ll give their roster a boost with so many key players up in the NHL … Defenseman Adam Almquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) recorded his first career hat trick last week, a nice accomplishment for the offensive-minded defensemen … The Red Wings are in on the Danny Dekeyser sweepstakes, a defenseman Red Line Report calls him “the most NHL-ready prospect among the college free-agent collection,” lauding the 6-foot-3, 193-pounder’s mobility, puck-moving, physicality, nasty edge, penalty killing and shot-blocking … Goaltender Jake Paterson (Saginaw, OHL) did anything and everything to keep his team in it in a first-round playoff matchup against London on March 24, turning in a 67-save, second-star showing in a 3-2 loss where the Spirit were out-shot 70-43. London leads the series 3-0 … Defenseman Mattias Backman (Linkoping, SEL) face Skelleftea in the SEL semifinals. Backman continues to impress with four points in five first-round games along with a plus-6 … Defenseman Alexey Marchenko (CSKA Moscow, KHL) was scoreless in seven playoff games and saw his ice time cut to about six minutes per game … Defensemen Nick Jensen (St. Cloud State, WCHA) and Ben Marshall (Minnesota, WCHA) are both part of NCAA hockey’s Sweet 16 with a chance to advance to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh April 11-13. Minnesota is ranked second or tied for first with Quinnipiac in three major rankings, while St. Cloud State’s status ranges from ninth to 11th to 15th. Both defensemen have had good seasons.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids AHL AHL 58 23 37 60 34 +10 169
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL AHL 61 19 19 38 44 +3 125
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids AHL AHL 36 10 17 27 55 +1 84
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL AHL 34 3 6 9 35 +6 39
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids AHL AHL 36 2 4 6 23 +4 38
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 50 22 24 46 48 +14 167
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL AHL 57 9 18 27 30 +9 77
Nicastro, Max Grand Rapids AHL AHL 23 1 2 3 10 0 17
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL AHL 33 3 6 9 41 +2 26
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL AHL 62 16 19 35 29 +12 95
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL AHL 55 4 7 11 40 +1 69
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL AHL 59 11 9 20 84 0 114
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 62 10 11 21 18 +1 95
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL AHL 22 1 4 5 23 -2 15
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL AHL 21 3 3 6 2 +1 24
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids AHL AHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL ECHL 62 28 35 63 20 +2 256
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo ECHL ECHL 40 11 30 41 26 +17 113
Fournier, Gleason Toledo ECHL ECHL 15 1 0 1 12 +8 19
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL ECHL 17 12 13 25 6 +2 76
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State WCHA NCAA 29 4 26 30 12 +19 68
Marshall, Ben Minnesota WCHA NCAA 39 8 11 19 20 +9 71
McKee, Mike Lincoln USHL USHL/JR-A 40 3 18 21 292 +13 60
De Haas, James Penticton BCHL USHL/JR-A 53 5 19 24 19
Frk, Martin Halifax QMJHL CHL 56 35 49 84 84 +31 180
Ouellet, Xavier Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL CHL 50 10 31 41 44 +14 166
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 65 15 20 35 63 -1 139
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie OHL CHL 50 20 46 66 45 0
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 66 29 38 67 30 +13
Quine, Alan Belleville OHL CHL 52 23 44 67 30 +13
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver WHL CHL 18 8 14 22 16 +2
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current WHL CHL 72 7 21 28 105 -13
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL EUR 53 13 29 42 12 -2 136
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 53 2 24 26 34 +5 67
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN EUR 59 14 20 34 49 +5 260
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow KHL EUR 44 4 5 9 6 -2 46
Bodin, Rasmus Tranas SWE-3 EUR 6 0 3 3 0 -5
Bodin, Rasmus HV-71 SWE-J20 EUR-JR 13 0 1 1 10 -1 11

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 50 25 18 5 1 3.53 .901
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 26 15 10 1 2 2.80 .899
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 4 0 3 0 0 4.32 .847
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 35 21 11 2 1 2.23 .916
Mrazek, Petr Toledo ECHL 3 2 1 0 0 2.02 .944
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 30 15 11 3 2 2.65 .903

SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow KHL EUR 7 0 0 0 0 -1 5
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas SEL EUR 4 0 0 0 6 -3 7
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 5 1 3 4 0 +6 10
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN EUR 4 0 1 1 6 0 24
Frk, Martin Halifax QMJHL CHL 3 6 3 9 0 +6 16
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 3 3 1 4 2 +3 10
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Broisbriand QMJHL CHL 3 1 2 3 6 +3 5
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie OHL CHL 3 0 3 3 0 -3
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 3 2 3 5 0 +4
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current WHL CHL 4 0 0 0 2 -1
De Haas, James Penticton BCHL USHL/JR-A 4 2 2 4 0

GOALIES: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 3 0 3 0 5.32 .882
11 Comments
  1. TD says:

    Järnkrok will only be there for 9 games and then go back to Sweden for the WC’s.

  2. RW19 says:

    I forgot Frk was 19 and could be in GR next season. The Griffins are going to be really stacked if all these soon-to-be AHLers actually earn a spot. Nice problem to have if you are Detroit. Almost seems like the Wings could have a glut of very nice NHL ready players around 2014-15/2015-16.

  3. John P says:

    I am not as high on Frk as a lot of Wings fans are. I think his ranking of 13 is right on target. The games I have seen him play he has seen somewhat undisciplined and cheating towards his offensive game. As the article stated he has also had maturity issues. That being said that line is fun to watch, they just simply outmatch their competition. I hope he has the maturity and patience to transform his game when he reaches the AHL. Thanks for the update it is much appreciated.

  4. Patrick Johnson says:

    John P- more than likely he is ranked 13th because he is not NHL ready… although there is a reason the once thought to be top 10 pick dropped to the second round… however, there isnt anything not to like about him with the exception of his skating, but if you read the article it says he has gotten better. it will likely be 3-4 years before he will be a full-timer in Detroit, and by then most expect that to be fixed.

  5. YVR says:

    Being the sniper on the line with the two best players, MacKinnon and Drouin, in this year’s draft makes me wonder why he(Frk)only scored 35 goals in 56 games. Can you imagine how many goals a young Stamkos would have scored on that line? I saw Frk play a few times on tv and it seemed he had more energy in one direction than the other; and he did take the undisciplined penalties (which can be corrected). If the Wings can develop him into a second liner, they will have succeeded.

  6. Daryl says:

    YVR- You have to take into account that he started out the year on the second line. Frk didn’t even move onto the Mackinnon-Drouin line until halfway through the season. It’s probably a reasonable guess that his last 31 games were all with the top group where he’s almost a goal and an assist per game. Regardless, i do agree with your assessment. Frk probably will make a nice 2nd line sniper if he can round out his game.

  7. Stevie Y says:

    The DeKeyser signing shows that the Wings still are aggressively trying to put a top team on the ice. Interesting to see what other moves they make before the deadline. Can you imagine a defense core of Smith, Sproul, DeKeyser, Oulette, Lashoff, Backman, Marchenko and Jensen. They will be together in one form or another for the next decade.

  8. YVR says:

    @Stevie Y…agree with most of your D roster except for Marchenko and Jensen…but think Kindl has shown enough this year to get another 3-4 yr contract, and Kronwell is signed until 2019 so he will be on the team…Ericsson and Quincey only have two yrs left on their contracts so should be parlayed for decent player and pick since Oullet and Sproul will be ready by then…White will not be back next yr and Colo and Huskins are fodder….the D is looking good and when all these young studs hit their peak together in 5-6 yrs. well that is how Stanley Cups are won.

  9. ScottD says:

    Hey now that Sproul and Nedomlel are done with their seasons does anyone think we will see them in Grand Rapids soon? Or will they wait until next season.

  10. Stevie Y says:

    Sproul should be in Grand Rapids this week as he has already been signed to a contract. Nedomlel may never suit up for rand Rapids because with the DeKeyser signing, they are now loaded on D and really don’t need him. Other young D Detroit has signed to contarcts are Ouellet, and Marchenko. They will also have Backman and Jensen under contract beginning in 2014. No room for Nedomlel. They can only sign 50 guys to contracts and I don’t believe that Nedomlel will be one of them.

  11. Shawn says:

    Wow. It’d be a shame if we didn’t at least see Nedomlel play in Toledo for a year and go from there. He’s the type of player that I would expect might play even better in a men’s league like the AHL.



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