The Detroit Red Wings have loaded up on young skill in the NHL draft over the past half-decade. Now, they’re using free agency to add young grit.
After signing former University of Michigan captain Luke Glendening late last year and watching him crack their lineup in a shutdown role this season, the Red Wings inked Lake Superior State graduate Colin Campbell last week with similar things in mind.
Campbell, who signed a two-year pact starting in 2014-15, is a burly 6-foot-1, 203-pound right-winger who recorded 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 36 games as an NCAA senior. He will finish the season in the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
“He’s kind of in the mould of a Kirk Maltby,” said Lake Superior State assistant coach Tim Christian, a Grand Rapids, Mich., native who just completed his 10th season behind the bench with the Lakers.
“He’s physical, he’s hard to play against, he’s a competitor and he’s a tough kid.”
Campbell was never drafted and initially caught the eye of scouts as a sophomore, when he recorded nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 37 games to finish third in team scoring. Christian said the Lakers expected to lose Campbell to the pros after his junior season, but he ended up missing most of that campaign after having surgery for an upper-body injury in the summer of 2012.
Campbell returned this season to play a key role for Lake Superior State as an assistant captain, finishing second in team scoring and tied for 17th in the WCHA.
When asked how Campbell compares to Glendening, Christian said they are similar but noted that Glendening is a better skater while Campbell has better stick skills.
His best asset, Christian said, is his strength.
“He’s really hockey strong,” Christian said. “Some players are strong in the weight room but not strong on the ice. He’s got both.”
And he knows how to use it, Christian said.
“He brings some force. He’s able to win puck battles. He’s just a strong, hard, competitive kid.”
Campbell’s biggest challenge as a pro will be learning to play at a faster pace while making a physical impact against bigger, stronger opponents. His skating will also need to continue to improve.
He’s stepped right into the Griffins’ lineup and has appeared in six AHL games. He recorded his first professional goal on March 29 and he has a plus-1 rating along with seven shots.
NOTES: Center Andrej Nestrasil (Grand Rapids, AHL) has really come alive. He has eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in his past 18 games, with most of that production coming after the Calle Jarnkrok trade. He has 31 points in 63 games on the season … Jarnkrok, sent to Nashville to acquire David Legwand, is off to a good start in his NHL career. He has a goal and four assists along with a plus-5 rating while averaging 14:40 of ice time in six games … Defenseman James De Haas (Clarkson, NCAA) has been named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team. He had a good freshman year, recording six goals and seven assists along with a minus-12 in 38 games … Several Red Wings prospects received attention in the annual OHL coaches poll: Andreas Athansiou, Eastern Conference (most dangerous in the goal area, best skater); Jake Paterson, Western Conference (third best shootout goalie); and Zach Nastasiuk, Western Conference (second best shot blocker) … Right-winger Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or, QMJHL) has been nominated for league MVP as well as for the Paul Dumont Trophy as personality of the year … Left-winger Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph, OHL) returned to the lineup for the first time since early December because of a neck/head injury and contributed three goals and an assist in three games, helping the Storm past Plymouth 4-1 in the OHL first round. “It felt great to be back and it felt great to be used in key situations,” Bertuzzi told ourwindsor.ca. “I guess the coaches felt like I could step up into that spot, and it’s good to be relied upon.” … Others to advance beyond the CHL first round: Mantha (Val-d’Or over Bathurst 4-0), Athanasiou (Barrie over Sudbury, and Mitchell Wheaton and Marek Tvrdon (Kelowna over Tri-City 4-1) … Eliminated in the CHL first round were: Zach Nastasiuk (Sault Ste. Marie over Owen Sound 4-1), Jake Paterson (Erie over Saginaw 4-1), and Philippe Hudon (Drummondville over Victoriaville 4-1) … Defenseman Marc McNulty signed an amateur tryout contract with to join AHL’s Grand Rapids for the rest of the season … Forwards Landon Ferraro and Mitchell Callahan made their NHL debuts recently. Neither recorded a point, but Ferraro averaged 8:58 of ice time in four games while Callahan saw 9:01 in his lone contest.
Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.
SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT
|Almquist, Adam||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||66||4||46||50||54||+8||120|
|Callahan, Mitchell||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||69||26||18||44||51||+23||192|
|Jurco, Tomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||32||13||19||32||14||+10||91|
|Marchenko, Alexey||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||49||3||15||18||14||+11||34|
|Sheahan, Riley||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||31||8||10||18||12||-2||51|
|Sproul, Ryan||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||61||8||16||24||45||+3||124|
|Glendening, Luke||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||18||5||7||12||18||+8||26|
|Jarnkrok, Calle||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||57||13||23||36||14||+19||99|
|Pulkkinen, Teemu||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||64||30||25||55||30||+20||187|
|Frk, Martin||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||46||2||9||11||20||-11||41|
|Jensen, Nick||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||39||0||8||8||6||+14||29|
|Tvrdon, Marek||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||1||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Ferraro, Landon||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||63||15||15||30||46||-2||171|
|Aubry, Louis-Marc||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||34||1||1||2||14||-3||44|
|Fournier, Gleason||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||22||0||2||2||2||+3||16|
|Parkes, Trevor||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||29||3||3||6||19||+3||42|
|Nestrasil, Andrej||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||63||13||18||31||24||0||100|
|Ouellet, Xavier||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||64||4||12||16||22||+5||84|
|Nedomlel, Richard||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||3||0||0||0||2||-2||1|
|Campbell, Colin||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||6||1||0||1||5||+1||7|
|Nastasiuk, Zach||Owen Sound||OHL||CHL||62||23||28||51||26||-14||–|
|McNulty, Marc||Prince George||WHL||CHL||67||17||25||42||115||-10||–|
|De Haas, James||Clarkson||ECAC||NCAA||37||6||7||13||18||-12||49|
|McKee, Mike||W. Michigan||BIG-10||NCAA||21||1||0||1||54||+1||11|
|Pope, David||W. Kelowna||BCHL||USHL/JR-A||45||27||23||50||20||–||–|
GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT
|Coreau, Jared||Grand Rapids||AHL||5||0||4||0||0||4.39||.873|
|Mrazek, Petr||Grand Rapids||AHL||28||21||6||1||3||2.04||.926|
|McCollum, Thomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||43||22||12||3||2||2.35||.920|
SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT
|Pope, David||W. Kelowna||BCHL||USHL/JR. A||6||2||4||6||2||—||—|
|Nastasiuk, Zach||Owen Sound||OHL||CHL||5||3||1||4||2||-4||—|
GOALIES: PLAYOFF REPORT