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Minutes harder to come by on the farm

Published Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 2:10 p.m. under 2013-14 RWC Reports
Mitchell Callahan

Mitchell Callahan (Credit: Mark Newman)

Ice time is suddenly a lot harder to come by with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

With the Detroit Red Wings assigning what amounts to an entire NHL line — Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo and Cory Emmerton — to their top American Hockey League affiliate this season, the moves have no doubt put a squeeze on a number of young forwards trying to establish themselves with the reigning Calder Cup champion.

That’s not even mentioning Gustav Nyquist, who — deserving of an NHL job long ago — is stashed in the minors and leading the Griffins in scoring due to his cap hit and waiver-exempt status.

While the moves probably won’t hurt top-line talents such as Calle Jarnkrok and Tomas Jurco, they will most assuredly take ice time from players lower on the depth chart, including top-10 prospects Riley Sheahan and Landon Ferraro as well as sniper Teemu Pulkkinen and Tootoo-type grinder Mitchell Callahan. Perhaps the biggest impact is on fringe AHLers such as Martin Frk, Marek Tvrdon and Andrej Nestrasil, who will barely get a sniff in Grand Rapids as long as four NHLers are in town.

“Every player brings different things to the table, so we try to do our best to put them in a position to be successful,” Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com, regarding how he approaches fitting players into the lineup.

It’s not all bad news: the reassignments give the Red Wings tremendous depth if injuries strike and create heavy competition among prospects to earn their ice time with not just their talent but hard work. As the old adage goes, the cream always rises to the top.

NOTES: Right-winger Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or, QMJHL) is making his pitch for a spot on the Canadian world junior team during the CHL-Russia Super Series. He had the game-winning goal and an assist in the QMJHL’s 3-2 win over Russia on Nov. 18. The two teams square off again on Nov. 20 … Red Wings assistant GM Ryan Martin apparently had this advice for Mantha after training camp ended, per NHL.com: “In order to play in the NHL you need to be a 200-foot player, so that’s what you’ll have to go back and work on and do all the little things.” … High praise for Luke Glendening from Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, per MLive.com: “He plays good every time he’s (in Detroit). He’s just smart. Good player, good faceoff guy, real good penalty kill guy. We don’t hide him when we play him. He goes right on the penalty kill. He does good things for us. We think he’s an NHL guy.” … Jurco is on a hot streak, with four goals and three assists in his past four games, including a hat trick on Nov. 15. Said Blashill to MLive.com: “I liked his effort and attention to detail (on Nov. 15). Sometimes the puck goes in and sometimes it doesn’t, but when he plays like he did tonight, he’s going to get lots of chances to score.” … Jarnkrok is also coming around offensively as many have hoped he would, with three goals and three assists in his past seven games … Left-winger Andreas Athanasiou (Barrie, OHL) signed his three-year entry-level contract this week. No surprise there, and the speedster is coming alive lately: five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in his past 12 games … Left-winger David Pope (West Kelowna, BCHL) has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury. He’s played in just 10 of 21 games this season … Defenseman Marc McNulty (Prince George, WHL) is also sidelined with a leg injury … Right-winger Trevor Parkes (Toledo, ECHL) is making the most of his stint with the Walleye and has a team-leading 14 points in 12 games.

Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 13 0 8 8 14 -2 29
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 5 4 9 18 +7 35
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 9 10 19 6 +7 42
Marchenko, Alexey Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 1 8 9 2 +6 2
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 13 2 3 5 8 +1 19
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 5 7 12 6 +9 36
Glendening, Luke Grand Rapids AHL PRO 9 3 3 6 14 +6 12
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 5 5 10 4 +8 38
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 7 6 13 12 +7 36
Frk, Martin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 6 0 0 0 6 -3 3
Tvrdon, Marek Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 13 3 3 6 8 0 38
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 5 0 1
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 0 0 0 +2 2
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 2 3 5 10 +4 17
Ouellet, Xavier Grand Rapids AHL PRO 14 0 3 3 +6 20
Nedomlel, Richard Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 2 -1 1
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL PRO 12 8 6 14 8 +3 46
Frk, Martin Toledo ECHL PRO 5 3 3 6 8 -3 9
Nicastro, Max Toledo ECHL PRO 12 0 3 3 4 -2 18
Nedomlel, Richard Toledo ECHL PRO 4 1 1 2 7 -1 7
Tvrdon, Marek Toledo ECHL PRO 8 4 2 6 4 -7 18
Mantha, Anthony Val-d’Or QMJHL CHL 23 24 30 54 26 +5 132
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 17 6 3 9 33 -5 42
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 21 8 16 24 30 +4
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 24 9 11 20 10 -7
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 20 6 21 27 32 +4
McNulty, Marc Prince George WHL CHL 21 4 6 10 40 0
Wheaton, Mitchell Kelowna WHL CHL 11 0 6 6 12 +2
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR 20 12 8 20 10 -1 54
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 22 2 5 7 4 +8 29
Melen, Hampus Tingsryds SWE-J20 EUR-JR 11 0 5 5 14 -6 17
Bodin, Rasmus Linkoping SWE-J20 EUR-JR 14 0 2 2 2 -3 5
De Haas, James Clarkson ECAC NCAA 14 2 3 5 10 -2 20
Marshall, Ben Minnesota BIG-10 NCAA 10 2 2 4 8 +4 24
McKee, Mike W. Michigan BIG-10 NCAA 7 0 0 0 40 -1 0
Pope, David W. Kelowna USHL/JR-A JR-A 10 6 4 10 2

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 16 9 7 0 0 3.43 .907
Coreau, Jared Grand Rapids AHL 1 0 1 0 0 3.82 .846
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 7 4 2 1 0 2.79 .904
Coreau, Jared Toledo ECHL 5 0 3 2 0 4.74 .848
62 Comments
  1. Patrick W. says:

    He’s losing his “scouting eye” because two sixth-round picks have struggled? At least you’re keeping expectations realistic…

  2. Daryl says:

    Calm it down a few notches. I never said I expect these guys to be the next superstar. These are two players drafted and playing in a league with talent equivalent to the juniors. If these guys can’t even make it in a fourth line role in a lower league you can’t say that isn’t a little disconcerting. Most 7th rounders are still regularly playing and producing on their teams. I just said it worries me that he felt the need to take a flier on a couple of guys who can’t even make their respective teams. I like Hakan and what he’s done for us, and I’m not saying he’s lost his touch, just that his most recent picks are a bit worrying.



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