The Detroit Red Wings continue to send their young players overseas to begin the season, this time loaning Filip Hronek to Mountfield HK in the Czech Republic. Hronek still has one year remaining on his entry-level contract and will almost certainly be back for the start of NHL training camp (though the release does not specifically state that).
Selected 53rd overall in 2016, Hronek has been one of the bright spots for the Red Wings in the last few seasons. His development from a second-round afterthought to full-time NHL puck-mover has been almost seamless, with plenty of success along the way. Now 22, he’s coming off his first full season in the NHL and a career-high 31 points in 65 games. While he came with a close to league-leading -38, that has a lot more to do with logging 24 minutes a night for a historically bad team than it does about Hronek’s ability at this level.
Moving forward there is no doubt that Hronek figures strongly into the Red Wings plans as a pillar on the back end, but given his offensive ability, the team would be wise to bring in other names that could take some of the defensive pressure off the youngster.
For now, he’ll be getting some time overseas to continue his development while he waits for hockey to resume on North American ice.