Despite being out of the playoffs, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has been busy. The bulk of Holland’s time has been spent scouting, writes the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. Traveling everywhere from Slovakia to Toronto, Holland is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to retooling the Red Wings after disappointing season. Holland noted that he’s “focused on the draft” and looking “at the kids,” scouring everything from the U18 World Championships to an OHL playoff game between Mississauga and Peterborough. Holland was also busy watching his current crop of prospects, catching the Grand Rapids Griffins games and seeing his farm team open up a 2-0 series lead on Milwaukee.
- With all the scouting, Holland told MLive’s Ansar Khan that he expects “two or three” Griffins to be on the Red Wings’ roster to start out the 2017-18 season. While Holland wasn’t going to guess on who those players would be, Khan speculates that defenseman Robbie Russo, and forwards Tomas Nosek and Tyler Bertuzzi are possibilities. Bertuzzi seems the surest bet, as the nephew of former Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi got off to a hot start in the AHL playoffs, scoring a couple goals in their latest victory.
- Speaking of prospects, one to keep an eye on is Axel Holmstrom, who is “turning heads,” according to St. James. Holmstrom, who is not related to former Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom, was a seventh round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Griffins bench boss Todd Nelson lauds Holmstrom’s puck handling and vision, but could use some work on his skating. Though he suffered a knee injury earlier this season in Sweden, Holmstrom has impressed in his short time with Grand Rapids. While the plan is to keep him in the AHL next season, Holmstrom could find himself in Detroit sooner should his play continue to impress.