After lucking out in the 2018 draft when star prospect Filip Zadina slid a few picks right into the hands of the Detroit Red Wings at No. 6, expectations have been high for the highly-touted winger. After a respectable season in the AHL, those expectations have only increased as many fans hope to see Zadina in the top-six as quick as possible. However, NHL.com’s Nicholas Cotsonika writes that the 19-year-old is likely going to find himself back in Grand Rapids to start the season.
Zadina hasn’t had as much time to train this offseason as he strained a hamstring while training and was limited during Red Wings development camp earlier this summer. However, the youngster also must prove that he can play a two-way game, something that he has struggled with. He finished last season in the AHL with 16 goals and 35 points, but also had a minus-17 in that span as well as a minus-five in nine games with the Red Wings. The team would like to see Zadina improve on those numbers before bringing him in a top-six role.
Of course, a dominant performance in training camp could change the minds of the Detroit coaching staff, but for the moment, it looks like Zadina might have to start his season in Grand Rapids.
- MLive’s Ansar Khan writes that after missing 39 games last season, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green finally looks healthy and should be able to contribute big minutes in Detroit. Nothing went right for Green who missed all of training camp and several games to start the season with a virus. He then lost another 13 games with a foot injury during December and January and never found any rhythm because of that. Despite that, he still finished second among defenseman in scoring, who had five goals and 26 points in just 43 games. Now healthy, Green could become a serious threat again for the team, especially on the power play.
- NBC Sports Scott Billeck looks into how long new general manager Steve Yzerman might stick with head coach Jeff Blashill. Usually, new GMs like to choose their own head coaches, but Yzerman did not get that opportunity as former GM Ken Holland handed Blashill a two-year extension just before Yzerman joined the organization. Despite the lack of wins, Blashill has proven to be an excellent coach who is adept at developing young players as he has gotten the most out of Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha so far in their young careers. The team hopes he can continue to develop some of their other prospects as well. However, Yzerman who is adept at building a winner as well, will be who decides how long Blashill stays with the organization.