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Tatar the heart of a champion

Published Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:30 p.m. under 2012-13 RWC Reports
Tomas Tatar

Tomas Tatar (Credit: Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins)

If Tomas Tatar has indeed played his last AHL game, he certainly capped his minor-league career with a bang.

Not able to crack the Detroit Red Wings’ playoff lineup, the 22-year-old winger made the most of his time on the farm this spring, leading the Grand Rapids Griffins to the Calder Cup this week and claiming the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP.

Tatar led the league in goal-scoring in the post-season, tallying 16 times — including seven on the power play — in just 24 games while finishing second in the points with 21.

It was a breakout performance for Tatar, who once recorded seven points in a game with the Griffins but who had not topped 24 goals in any of his four AHL campaigns. He found the net nearly twice as often in the playoffs as in the regular season, going from 0.37 to 0.66 goals per game.

“Tatar’s one of those guys all year that I saw that when the game’s on the line he just seemed to get better and better,” Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com. “He’s got that kind of character and mental toughness. He really wants to win, and learned how to handle his emotions.”

Added Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan, jokingly at the Calder Cup celebration party, according to MLive.com: “This guy, he is not normal. He was never on time, he never meets the dress code, but he shows up on the ice every night and he flipping dazzles.”

The 5-foot-10, 186-pounder is clearly ready to suit up for Detroit, and since he is no longer waiver-exempt, he is fully expected to be a regular for the Red Wings in the fall. He showed well in his NHL call-ups this season, recording four goals and three assists in 18 games.

It was a phenomenal run for the Griffins, who had never won the Calder Cup. Other prospects who made a big impression up front were two-way center Landon Ferraro (five goals, 11 assists), slick winger Tomas Jurco (eight goals, six assists), former first-round pick Riley Sheahan (three goals, 13 assists, plus-7) and grind-line type Mitchell Callahan (six goals, five assists).

Callahan was a revelation in the final two rounds, where he produced five goals and four assists in 13 games to push himself back on the Red Wings’ radar as a potential role player. Jurco’s productive run was impressive given his status as one of the league’s youngest players.

Adam Almquist chipped in with three goals and seven assists from the back end before suffering a concussion in the final while Red Wings Central’s No. 1-ranked prospect, Petr Mrazek, was a worthy MVP candidate in his own right, playing every minute of every game en route to a 15-9 record, four shutouts, a 2.31 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Four prospects who had already graduated from Red Wings Central’s list — Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff — also played key roles in the win. Nyquist and Andersson bumped fellow forwards Teemu Pulkkinen and Louis-Marc Aubry from the lineup after being reassigned in late May following the Red Wings’ playoff run.

Following is the final 2012-13 statistical report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL AHL 9 0 3 3 0 +3 10
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL AHL 2 0 0 0 2 -1 7
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL AHL 2 0 1 1 2 -1 3
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL AHL 72 24 23 47 44 +6 156
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL AHL 36 3 6 9 35 +5 43
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 61 23 26 49 50 +8 205
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL AHL 68 10 21 31 34 +13 93
Nicastro, Max Grand Rapids AHL AHL 25 1 2 3 10 0 18
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL AHL 38 3 6 9 43 +1 29
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL AHL 72 16 20 36 33 +5 115
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL AHL 64 4 8 12 60 -2 80
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL AHL 71 11 9 20 93 -3 136
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 74 14 14 28 22 +6 119
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL AHL 30 1 5 6 23 -1 24
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL AHL 25 3 3 6 2 +1 28
Coetzee, Willie Grand Rapids AHL AHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL ECHL 64 28 40 68 22 +6 260
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 19 14 16 30 6 +6 86
Jensen, Nick St. Cloud State WCHA NCAA 42 4 27 31 14 +19 76
Marshall, Ben Minnesota WCHA NCAA 40 8 11 19 20 +8 73
McKee, Mike Lincoln USHL USHL/JR-A 42 3 18 21 292 +15 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 31 18 11 2 2 2.63 .904
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 4 0 3 0 0 4.32 .847
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 42 23 16 2 1 2.33 .916
Mrazek, Petr Toledo ECHL 3 2 1 0 0 2.02 .944
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 31 15 11 3 2 2.76 .899

SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 24 8 6 14 21 +1 69
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL AHL 24 16 5 21 23 -1 78
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL AHL 24 5 11 16 11 0 46
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL AHL 24 3 13 16 10 +7 46
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL AHL 21 3 7 10 12 +5 29
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL AHL 14 0 1 1 0 +3 16
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL AHL 24 6 5 11 33 +1 33
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL AHL 6 0 1 1 2 +2 3
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL AHL 14 3 2 5 10 +2 26
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL AHL 1 0 0 0 0 -2 4
Coetzee, Willie Toledo ECHL ECHL 6 0 4 4 2 -4 6
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL ECHL 6 3 2 5 6 -1 26
Nestrasil, Andrej Toledo ECHL ECHL 4 1 2 3 0 -3 17
Nicastro, Max Toledo ECHL ECHL 4 1 0 1 0 -2 3
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 10 2 4 6 4 +6 15
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit FIN EUR 6 2 3 5 2 +2 38
Frk, Martin Halifax QMJHL CHL 17 13 20 33 32 +13 68
Frk, Martin Halifax MEM CHL 3 4 2 6 8 +5
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 9 6 1 7 6 +1 24
Ouellet, Xavier B.-Broisbriand QMJHL CHL 15 7 9 16 22 +7 54
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie OHL CHL 6 2 3 5 0 -4
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 22 12 13 25 11 +6
Quine, Alan Belleville OHL CHL 17 8 7 15 6 +9
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current WHL CHL 5 0 1 1 2 -2
De Haas, James Penticton BCHL USHL/JR-A 15 3 6 9 8
McKee, Mike Lincoln USHL USHL/JR-A 5 0 4 4 18 0 4

GOALIES: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L SO GAA SV%
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 24 15 9 4 2.31 .916
Pearce, Jordan Toledo ECHL 4 2 0 1 1.95 .936
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 4 0 4 0 5.36 .860
92 Comments
  1. Shawn says:

    Well, 16 hours a day doesn’t seem to be enough for some of these experts, because their analysis of Detroit’s draft needs is a bit lacking.

    Man, I’m excited for Sunday!

  2. YVR says:

    Yes, I am also looking for Sunday and plan to watch the entire 5 hour production, and I will really be po’ed if Holland drafts any big lug out of Sweden named Rasmus. Also will watch with interest what Jimmy Nill does in the 10th spot, and subsequent rounds, for Dallas. ps to Kenny: remember the past 4 SC winners were top heavy with Canadians; just sayin’.



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