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Zach Nastasiuk: Natural Born Leader

Nastasiuk 2014The fact that the Red Wings named Zach Nastasiuk an alternate captain says a lot for his leadership abilities. The 19 year-old was chosen ahead of several players who have more years of hockey experience because of his leadership ability and work ethic.

“We think he’s a natural leader,” Griffins Head Coach Jeff Blashill said. “He just has a quality about him that makes others follow him. It isn’t something you teach.”

Nastasiuk, who serves as team captain for Owen Sound of the OHL, was the only Red Wings alternate captain who … Continue Reading

Shouldering the Load: Wheaton Finally Healthy and Ready for Big Year

Wheaton1Despite the fact that he’s been in the organization for over a year, this is Mitch Wheaton’s first training camp with the Red Wings. Last season he could only watch while he recovered from shoulder surgery. He also didn’t participate in the development camp earlier this summer while he recovered from surgery on the opposite shoulder.

“My first year after the draft I had shoulder surgery and couldn’t play at development camp or training camp,” Wheaton said. “Last year my other shoulder felt a little bit sore throughout the season and I … Continue Reading

Sniper Mentality: Martin Frk Aims at Becoming a ‘Shoot First Player’

Frk1There isn’t anyone more disappointed in his first professional hockey season than Martin Frk. Big things were expected from the 49th overall selection in the 2012 NHL entry draft, but spending significant time in Toledo of the ECHL was not one of them. Frk was demoted after having difficulty cracking the Griffins lineup and spent 15 games with the Walleye before returning to Grand Rapids to finish the season.

“It was a hard year for me,” Frk said. “I don’t know if I didn’t come ready for the whole season, but I … Continue Reading

September 16th Game Gallery

Transition Time: Athanasiou Ready to Start Pro Career

Athanasiou1Not much intimidates Andreas Athanasiou including transitioning to professional hockey after four OHL seasons. the 6-foot-2, 200 pound forward had his most successful campaign last season with 49 goals and 95 points in 66 games for Barrie.

“I think it was a good year,” Athanasiou said. “I was coached by Dale Hawerchuck and he taught me a lot. I had the opportunity to play and be the turn to guy.”

Despite struggling early in the season, the 20 year-old signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings in November. The deal gave … Continue Reading

September 15th Game Gallery

September 11, 2014 Appearance on the Vic McCarty Show

20111223-153119.jpgI appeared on the Vic McCarty Show on September 11, 2014. We discussed the NHL prospect tournament and Red Wings training camp. To listen to the podcast click here.

Underrated Backman Quietly Making His NHL Case

Backman 2014 Mattias Backman isn’t getting the same fanfare as other Detroit prospects, but it’s not because he’s underperforming. The 6-foot-2, 176 pound defenseman has an assist and is a plus-1 through two NHL prospect tournament games for the Red Wings.

“I feel comfortable out there,” Backman said. “The rink size here is smaller, but I am learning every day. That is why I am here.”

This isn’t Backman’s first North American experience after he came over at the end of last season to finish the year with Grand Rapids of the AHL. The … Continue Reading

September 13th Game Gallery

September 13th Practice Gallery

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