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Ferraro under the gun during stretch run

Published Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:47 a.m. under 2013-14 RWC Reports
Landon Ferraro

Landon Ferraro (Credit: Mark Newman)

Landon Ferraro has the rest of the season and training camp to show the Detroit Red Wings he belongs in the NHL — otherwise he’ll be riding the waiver wire.

The 6-foot, 179-pound center, in his third American Hockey League season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, has 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points, along with a plus-2 rating, in 46 games. His statistics are lower than expected — and lower than his points-per-game pace in 2012-13 — but head coach Jeff Blashill predicts a more productive finish to the campaign.

“I’ll think he’ll end up with more (points) than what he’s projected,” Blashill said. “The last 30 games, you’re going to see a very offensive Landon Ferraro and a very productive Landon Ferraro. He’s done lots of real good things and it just hasn’t resulted in point production that I think it’s going to. If he continues to do those good things over time, the point production will come.”

He’s already trending in the right direction. In his past 11 games, Ferraro has a modest five goals and three assists, his most productive stretch of the season.

The 22-year-old, whose father Ray scored 408 NHL goals during his 1,258-game career from 1984 to 2002, is the type of player who has been used in every situation during his time in the AHL, from five-on-five to the power play to the penalty kill. His best assets are his blazing speed, terrific shot and his ability to generate offensive chances on his own.

Selected in the second round, 32nd overall, in 2009, he put up 24 goals among 47 points as an AHL sophomore last season and was a key cog in the Griffins’ run to the Calder Cup last May, finishing fourth in team scoring with 16 points in 24 games.

Ferraro requires waivers to return to the minors next season along with forwards Riley Sheahan, Mitchell Callahan and possibly Luke Glendening, who is waiver-exempt for 27 more regular-season and playoff games. The Red Wings, meanwhile, have at least 10 returning forwards excluding unrestricted free agents and waiver-exempt Tomas Jurco and Anthony Mantha.

While a productive finish will help Ferraro’s cause, so too will his versatility. He was used at center in 2012-13 and has seen time on both wings this season. With a little more work on the finer details of his all-around game, Ferraro could be a valuable NHL asset as a utility player.

“It will be interesting to see if he can ultimately be good at both (positions),” Blashill said. “That gives him 12 positions on an NHL team instead of four. That’s an important thing. I think he’s becoming a more well-rounded player, more prepared to play wing or center.”

NOTES: Winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Grand Rapids, AHL) has climbed into a tie for 11th in AHL scoring with his team-leading 41 points in 49 games. His plus-16 rating is tied with Mitchell Callahan for best on the team and sixth in the league while his 142 shots are 13th in the AHL … With 14 points in his past 12 games, defenseman Adam Almquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) is sixth in league defense scoring and just five points away from second spot behind prolific Toronto Marlies blueliner T.J. Brennan, who has a league-best 51 points … Right-winger Mitchell Callahan (Grand Rapids, AHL) now has a team-best 19 goals, one more than Pulkkinen. That’s an impressive 31-goal pace over an 82-game campaign for the gritty forward and leaves him tied for ninth in the AHL … Right-winger Martin Frk (Grand Rapids, AHL) finally found the net, recording a goal and an assist on Feb. 8 against the Rochester Americans … Right-winger Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or, QMJHL) recorded his fifth five-point game of the season on Feb. 9 and is three points away from the 100-point plateau, although his league-leading point total is now just five points ahead of New York Rangers third-rounder Anthony Duclair with 14 games remaining. Dating back to January 2012, Mantha has a remarkable 120 goals in his past 144 games … Right-winger Zach Nastasiuk (Owen Sound, OHL) has been out with an upper-body injury but isn’t expected to miss much time … Center Luke Glendening can’t be assigned to Grand Rapids during the Olympic break because of NHL regulations, but Riley Sheahan was sent back. Sheahan has three goals and eight assists in 18 games with Detroit … Left-winger Mattias Janmark (AIK, SHL) has just one goal, along with three assists, in his past 10 games.

Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.


Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 2 31 33 42 +1 84
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 49 19 8 27 43 +16 137
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 32 13 19 32 14 +10 91
Marchenko, Alexey Grand Rapids AHL PRO 44 3 15 18 10 +14 31
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 28 8 10 18 10 +1 49
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 48 8 15 23 32 +5 107
Glendening, Luke Grand Rapids AHL PRO 18 5 7 12 18 +8 26
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL PRO 49 10 16 26 14 +15 79
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL PRO 49 18 23 41 26 +16 142
Frk, Martin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 27 1 3 4 14 -12 27
Jensen, Nick Grand Rapids AHL PRO 21 0 0 0 4 +7 12
Tvrdon, Marek Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 12 14 26 31 +2 127
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 15 1 0 1 14 -3 22
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL PRO 11 0 0 0 0 +3 6
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL PRO 16 1 2 3 13 +2 24
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL PRO 43 5 8 13 12 -4 47
Ouellet, Xavier Grand Rapids AHL PRO 46 4 9 13 20 +4 61
Nedomlel, Richard Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 0 0 2 -2 1
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL PRO 27 17 17 34 20 0 106
Frk, Martin Toledo ECHL PRO 15 5 8 13 10 -11 27
Nicastro, Max Toledo ECHL PRO 43 0 14 14 20 -9 85
Nedomlel, Richard Toledo ECHL PRO 32 6 5 11 86 -2 45
Tvrdon, Marek Toledo ECHL PRO 22 9 4 13 6 -8 59
Aubry, Louis-Marc Toledo ECHL PRO 18 7 7 14 10 -4 62
Jensen, Nick Toledo ECHL PRO 3 0 0 0 0 -2 4
Mantha, Anthony Val-d’Or QMJHL CHL 44 47 50 97 57 +21 241
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 43 16 7 23 59 -2 93
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 49 35 37 72 44 +16
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 50 17 23 40 22 -11
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 29 10 25 35 49 +9
McNulty, Marc Prince George WHL CHL 52 13 21 34 96 0
Wheaton, Mitchell Kelowna WHL CHL 40 5 18 23 26 +17
Tvrdon, Marek Kelowna WHL CHL 12 4 4 8 6 +1
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR 39 17 11 28 54 -8 93
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 48 5 14 19 12 +23 58
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 28 3 7 10 14 -10 36
Marshall, Ben Minnesota BIG-10 NCAA 26 3 10 13 50 +6 52
McKee, Mike W. Michigan BIG-10 NCAA 11 0 0 0 46 0 1
Pope, David W. Kelowna USHL/JR-A JR-A 37 18 15 33 18


Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 35 18 14 2 2 3.45 .908
Coreau, Jared Grand Rapids AHL 3 0 2 0 0 4.01 .860
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 16 11 4 1 1 2.26 .921
Coreau, Jared Toledo ECHL 11 1 7 3 0 4.36 .868
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 33 19 9 1 2 2.28 .924


  1. John P says:

    First as to the argument between Patrick and Jay. Here is a quote from Jim Nill after drafting Ferraro. “If everything works out the way you project, you hope he’s going to be a second-line forward,” Nill said. You usually don’t use your first/early second round pick for a role player.

    The Wings had a perfect opportunity to give Ferraro, Callahan and any other player they needed to evaluate some playing time, due to the injuries. Instead they have given Glendening a permanent spot during this time. How is Glendening better than Ferraro or Callahan? All three are right handed shots, so that’s a draw. Ferraro can play all three forward positions, he is faster and has a lot more offensive skills, the scouts say he has a good defensive game and does a good job killing penalties. Callahan is a much better agitator and will actually drop the gloves. When Callahan is on the ice people are aware because they know his hits hurt. Callahan is stronger on the puck than Glendening. Callahan’s big drawback is whether he has the offensive tools to be a 4th liner. Callahan has improved offensively and couldn’t be any worse than Glendening’s 4 points in 33 games. It’s beginning to look like the Wings do not want any players who fight on their team. They have pretty much neutered Callahan from 14 fights his rookie season to just five the next. Who is to say how Ferraro or Callahan would respond to playing in the NHL. They may actually play better like Lashoff did. One thing is for sure, you wont know unless you let them play.

    Babcock has let his personal feelings towards Glendening affect his judgement on who is in the line up. Just because you like a player and respect the fact he beat the odds and is “a coach’s dream” doesn’t mean he deserves to play. It sounds more like he is a suck up to me. Holland is also making a mistake. If Ferraro would have been called up and played well he would have some trade value. Canadians take blood lines seriously and if Ferraro showed he could play in the NHL one of the Canadian teams would probably have been interested.

    The Wings have shown poor judgement in personnel decisions the last few years and this decision to only play Glendening is another one. Before any of you blast me about how great Holland and Babcock have been, I will remind you that is the Past! Right now they are putting an average product on the ice and deserve to have their actions questioned.

  2. Huss says:

    “The Wings have shown poor judgement in personnel decisions the last few years and this decision to only play Glendening is another one. Before any of you blast me about how great Holland and Babcock have been, I will remind you that is the Past! Right now they are putting an average product on the ice and deserve to have their actions questioned.”

    I don’t look at this the same way, and the fact that you’re using a point you made about who should be our 4th line center is kind of a reaching a bit to support this notion. If you want to knock the Franzen and Weiss deals, fine. But give me a break with Ferraro/Glendening argument. And give me a bigger break with the idea that Canadian teams would be all over Landon because he is a Ferraro. This is a billion dollar business – not some nepotistic fantasy we fans like to conjure up some times.

    Anyways, I see an organization that has transitioned seamlessly from an era in which it lost some of the most iconic NHLers over the past twenty years(not to mention adjusting to the salary cap era), and they’ve done it in such a way that they’ve still been able to compete in the playoffs while stockpiling assets on the farm. Give credit where credit is due: Our farm system is unanimously recognized as a top 10-15 outfit, and we have a ton of potential, high-end NHLers in the pipeline. That’s without the benefit of any early draft picks. Are we as good as we were from ’96 to ’09? No. But our heads are above water, when we could have very easily been drowning. From the looks of it, the mountain top isn’t too far away yet again.

  3. Huss says:

    Also, I think Babcock has done his best coaching for the Wings the past two seasons considering all of the injuries the Wings have dealt with.

  4. ScottD says:

    Did anyone notice Athanasiou had 5 goals and two assists tonight? Talk about a heck of a run this kid is putting together this year. He with Mantha should be fun to watch in Grand Rapids next year!

  5. Patrick says:

    I didnt… now that is someone I think should be bumped up to possibly a top 5 prospect…. beast mode just because he didnt make the team out of camp like he wanted…

  6. Patrick says:

    I think what is most impressive about Athanasiou’s stats (like Mantha) is that he is the only one on his team doing it… for lack of a better term, he is carrying his team to success and actually Mantha has way more help… top 5 skaters combined for each team (excluding Mantha and Ath):

    Mantha-106 goals 203 assists
    Athanasiou-89 goals 140 assists

    goalie help is about the same…

  7. RW19 says:

    Patrick I wouldn’t get carried away with numbers here. Barrie is an upper middle of the pack team with some good players, including top prospect Aaron Ekblad. They are stacked with 19 year olds and of course their three 20 year olds. He has a decent, veteran support group.

    Athanasiou looks really good, almost great this year, but in Junior you always have to factor in the age. He is 19 now going on 20, he’s gotten bigger and stronger but he playing against a lot of 17 year olds. Like last night, I believe they said the Dogs had four 17 year old defensemen.

    Still, he has turned himself into a very good prospect. Quick Launch

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