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ADAM ALMQUIST
Adam Almquist
Position: Defense
Shoots: Left
Vitals: 5’11” / 178 lbs.
Birthdate: February 27, 1991
Hometown: Jonkoping, Sweden
Acquired: Detroit’s seventh choice (210th overall) in the 2009 draft
CSS Ranking: 61st European skater (2009)
Contract: 2014 via CapGeek.com
RWC Says: Power-Play Quarterback

STORIES

AWARDS
  • 2010-11 Swedish Elite League top plus-minus (plus-20)
  • 2013-14 AHL Second-Team All-Star

HISTORY
2008-09
  • Posted terrific numbers with HV-71 of Swedish J-20 circuit (41-8-28-36).
  • Finished second among all J-20 defensemen in scoring.
  • Fired 66 shots on goal and had a plus-22 rating.
  • Struggled at pre- and mid-season tournaments with Sweden’s under-18 team.
  • Did not crack Sweden’s roster for world under-18 championship as a result.
2009-10
  • Started season with HV-71 in Swedish J-20 SuperElit League and dominated.
  • Despite being a blueliner, led all J-20 players in scoring through 15 games (15-5-29-34).
  • Left off Swedish team for IIHF world junior championship because of lack of size, strength.
  • Represented Sweden at world junior A challenge (4-2-0-2) in November.
  • Earned a call-up to HV-71’s Swedish Elite League team in late December.
  • Stayed in SEL for rest of season and made a big impression (28-2-6-8, plus-11, 30 shots).
  • Shined in playoffs, tying for league lead in defense scoring (16-1-10-11) en route to championship.
  • Also finished as the top-scoring junior in the post-season, a point ahead of Marcus Kruger.
2010-11
  • Returned to HV-71 and played a top-three role as a 19-year-old Swedish Elite League sophomore.
  • Logged an average of 19:47 of ice time per game and finished with a league-best plus-20.
  • Didn’t score any goals and produced less offensively than expected (52-0-16-16, 62 shots).
  • Surprisingly left off Sweden’s WJC team at mid-season for second straight season.
  • Signed by the Red Wings in late May to a three-year entry-level contract.
2011-12
  • Returned to HV-71 for third full Swedish Elite League season (42-3-8-11, 66 shots, 13 hits).
  • Plus-16 rating led HV-71 and tied Almquist for seventh in the SEL.
  • Finished fifth among HV-71 defensemen in ice time with an average of 19:26 per game.
  • Missed half of HV-71’s first round with illness before playoff exit (3-0-1-1-4, plus-3, two shots).
  • Joined Grand Rapids and made AHL debut in late March (3-0-0-0, minus-1, one shot).
2012-13
  • Became regular with Grand Rapids in first AHL season.
  • Finished second on team in defense scoring to Chad Billins (68-10-21-31, plus-13, 93 shots).
  • Plus-13 rating ranked second on the Griffins.
  • Enjoyed solid playoff run en route to Calder Cup (21-3-7-10, plus-5, 29 shots).
  • Missed final three games of Calder Cup Final due to a concussion.
2013-14
  • Appeared in four NHL pre-season games (4-2-2-4, plus-5, four shots, 16:14 ATOI).
  • Returned to Grand Rapids before opening day for his second AHL season.
  • Called up by Red Wings early in year and appeared in first two NHL games on Nov. 4 and 7.
  • Scored his first NHL goal (2-1-0-1, minus-1, two shots, 17:13 ATOI, 2:28 PP-ATOI).
  • Finished second in Grand Rapids scoring and anchored power play (73-4-49-53, plus-9, 129 shots).
  • Placed third in AHL defense scoring (53), third in overall assists (49) and fourth in PP assists (25).
  • Suffered lower-body injury in first AHL playoff game and missed rest of post-season.
  • Signed two-year contract with KHL’s Severstal Cherepovets with an opt-out after first season.

SCOUT COMMENTS
“If it all came down to hockey sense, he probably would have been a first-round pick. The hockey sense is something else. It’s as good as I’ve seen in many years … On the offensive blue line he can really control the power play. He’s calm with the puck and he has a very good first pass out of his zone. When forwards find open ice, the puck is on the tape.” — Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson (June 2009) … “We know he’s got to get stronger, but you’re rolling the dice on his hockey sense. You hope he turns into the type of player like (Tobias) Enstrom in Atlanta.” — Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill (June 2009) … “It’s all about strength for him. He’s so weak. He gets pushed off the puck, and around the net, he has a tough time.” — Andersson (December 2009) … “He’s really good with his stick. As good as he is passing the puck and everything, he also breaks up plays really well with his stick. One-on-one, he’s really effective with poke-checking the puck, which makes up a bit for his lack of strength. If he wants to get to the next level after this, without a doubt, he needs to hit the gym this summer, and the next couple of summers.” — Andersson (May 2011) … “He has outstanding poise with the puck and outstanding skill with the puck, so that’s allowed him to be a real good player 5-on-5 and he has a real good skill-set for the power play. He can slide along the offensive blue line, show shot and pass, show shot and shoot, and he’s got a real good one-timer.” — Grand Rapids head coach Jeff Blashill (February 2013) … “If he can work at it and get to 187 pounds, with his skill set he may be able to play.” — Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock (MLive.com, September 2013) … “He’s talented. Moves the puck. He’s an undersized guy, but his skill set and his hockey sense are so good that he might be able to play. He’s going to have a huge winter, then a great summer next summer, then see what happens. But he looks to me, his mind and his athleticism are NHL. His body is small.” — Babcock (Detroit Free Press, September 2013) … “He has to fall in love with the gym — and eating. The challenge is there for him. He has a lot of talent and he can move the puck.” — Babcock (Detroit News, November 2013) … “He’s got a body type that’s not easy to add mass to. He’s got to continue to get stronger and that will be a big key for him.” — Blashill (February 2014) … “He makes everybody better on the power play, the way he distributes the puck, his smarts, his demeanor … He’s gotten stronger ever year, more muscular every year, and now it’s going to be up to (Red Wings head coach) Mike Babcock to see where Adam would potentially fit on the roster (in 2014-15) and if he can run the power play.” — Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer (May 2014).

STRENGTHS
Off-the-charts hockey sense, which Hakan Andersson calls “as good as I’ve seen in years” … Blessed with natural hockey gifts starting with a sensational mind and the hands to match it … Outstanding on the power play, with a hard point shot and terrific vision … Makes crisp, fast, tape-to-tape breakout passes and leads the breakout … Makes smart decisions … Not afraid to take a hit … Compared in 2013 by Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock to Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom.

WEAKNESSES
Small and slight and could still benefit from added strength … Average skater who needs to pick it up, something that could come along with added leg strength … Can be overwhelmed defensively, but it may just be a product of his small stature … Needs to do a better job avoiding big hits, as he can get punished by a tenacious forecheck … Doesn’t shoot the puck often — only 222 shots in 141 AHL games from 2012 to 2014 — especially for a player getting his power-play ice time.

PROJECTION
Almquist established himself as one of the premiere offensive defensemen outside of the NHL after a terrific AHL campaign in 2013-14. With slim odds of cracking the Red Wings in 2014-15, Almquist opted to sign a KHL deal and will join Severstal Cherepovets. If the Red Wings tender him a qualifying offer, they will retain his rights as a restricted free agent until 2018. If he ever does make the NHL, it will be as a bottom-pairing Torey Krug type who runs the No. 1 power-play unit.

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2006-2007 HV71 J18 J18 Allsvenskan 1 0 0 0 0 | Playoffs 1 0 0 0
  Sweden U16 (all) International-Jr 8 0 1 1 2 |          
 2007-2008 Småland 1/Röd TV-Pucken 8 1 6 7 10 |          
  HV71 J18 J18 Elit 13 7 9 16 26 |          
  HV71 J18 J18 Allsvenskan 5 1 3 4 2 |          
  HV71 J20 SuperElit 23 1 6 7 12 | Playoffs 3 0 0 0
  Sweden U17 (all) International-Jr 6 0 2 2 6 |          
 2008-2009 HV71 J20 SuperElit 41 8 28 36 44 | Playoffs 6 1 5 6
  Sweden U18 (all) International-Jr 14 1 3 4 10 |          
 2009-2010 HV71 J20 SuperElit 15 5 29 34 14 |          
  HV71 SHL 28 2 6 8 10 | Playoffs 16 1 10 11
  Sweden U18 (all) International-Jr 4 2 2 4 2 |          
  Sweden U18/19 WJAC-19 4 2 0 2 2 |          
 2010-2011 HV71 ET 8 1 1 2 6 | Playoffs 3 1 0 1
  HV71 J20 SuperElit 0 0 0 0 0 | Playoffs 5 2 0 2
  HV71 SHL 52 0 16 16 32 | Playoffs 2 0 0 0
  Sweden U20 (all) International-Jr 7 2 2 4 6 |          
 2011-2012 HV71 SHL 42 3 8 11 26 | Playoffs 3 0 1 1
  HV71 ET 6 0 0 0 0 |          
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 3 0 0 0 0 |          
 2012-2013 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 68 10 21 31 34 | Playoffs 21 3 7 10 12 
 2013-2014 Detroit Red Wings NHL 2 1 0 1 0 |          
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 73 4 49 53 56 | Playoffs 1 0 0 0
 2014-2015 Severstal Cherepovets KHL 19 0 4 4 12 |          

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com



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