Red Wings Bolstered by Four Rookies
Playing four rookies in a season is unheard of for a team like the Red Wings. Extensive injuries have forced Detroit to call up the likes of Jan Mursak, Tomas Tatar and Cory Emmerton. First year defenseman Jakub Kindl made the Wings out of training camp as the seventh defenseman and up until the recently ad been a regular healthy scratch.
Mursak was the first rookie to earn a call-up and the 23 year-old forward has filled in admirably in his 17 game stint. The Maribor, Slovenia native has made an impact with his speed and stick handling ability playing on the third and fourth lines. Mursak has also shown off his vastly improved defensive game while giving the Red Wings something to think about for next season.
Tomas Tatar, the youngest of the rookies at 20 years of age, has played in 9 NHL games this season scoring his first career goal in his first game. The Dubnica, Slovakia native looked a step slow but still managed to make an impact with his creativity and offensive capabilities. Tatar will play in the NHL sooner rather than later, but he does need to increase his speed to land a top six role.
Cory Emmerton has made the most of is two game stint in Detroit, picking up his first career goal in his first NHL game. The 6-foot, 188-pound forward saw limited action playing on the fourth line, but he didn’t look out of place. Emmerton has had a difficult couple of seasons in Grand Rapids, but the organization still thinks highly of the 22 year-old forward.
Of the four rookies who have played in Detroit this season, Jakub Kindl is the only one who wasn’t a surprise. The former 19th overall selection in the 2005 NHL entry draft has seen his playing time increase after the injury to Brad Stuart. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound defenseman has earned more consistent playing time due to his improved defensive game.
With Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom on the brink of returning to the ice, the Red Wings should feel comfortable after surviving this test of their depth chart.