The Wings Nation Top 20 Prospects: A full look

Over the past 20 days, we’ve profiled many of the Red Wings prospects. 20 of them, in fact.

Through a complex rating system called “CONSENSUS RANKINGS”, we went through and ranked the best the Wings have to offer.

Here’s who cracked our list:

(Click each link for the full profile)

#20: Louis-Marc Aubry

via Scott Maxwell:

He played a large role on the team’s fourth line this season, which at times was the most effective line for the Griffins. He was also a key contributor for the penalty kill, which finished 14th in the league at a solid 83.7% clip.

#19: Jake Paterson

via Kyle Krische: 

Paterson is in that weird limbo where he seems to be too good for the ECHL, yet not consistent enough yet to warrant the roster spot in Grand Rapids where he could go cold playing second fiddle to Coreau. 

So long as he keeps playing there’s always a chance though down the line. I just think as a 22-year-old when in a system with Mrazek and Coreau, both under age 25 and ahead of him by a wide margin, we have to assume he’s likely the odd man out.

#18: Zach Natasiuk

via Adam Laskaris:

A captain in Owen Sound for the two seasons following his draft year, and above a point-per-game in his draft+2 year isn’t anything to scoff at… it’s just really yet to translate to the pro game.

A diamond in the rough? Maybe. But he’s got a long way to go before he proves himself anything close to NHL-ready.

#17: Filip Hronek

via Sam Blazer:

Any time a player can go for above a point per game in any league, no matter the validity, you have to be happy with it. It is also very encouraging to see that this wasn’t just one season where Hronek dominated. He had himself a string of good seasons leading up to his draft year. Don’t sleep on him just yet.

#16 Givani Smith

via Adam Laskaris:

Smith doesn’t have mind-blowing numbers and they brought him in as a role player, using a second-round pick on him when they probably could’ve waited another round or two to pick him… but what they did draft him for, he’s pretty good at — being a shift disturber and getting in people’s faces.

#15 Dominic Turgeon

via Kyle Krische:

He plays a complete game and is a valuable asset in all types of situations. While his playoff numbers might not dazzle, that’s where you get a sense of the type of player Turgeon is. When the competition gets stiff, he’s depended on heavily as a shutdown guy for a Portland Winterhawks’ team that has seen a lot of playoff success with Turgeon on the roster.

#14 Tomas Nosek

via Adam Laskaris:

Nosek might be one of those guys to be shipped off to a new environment, because it’ll prove quite the challenge for him to hop onto the NHL roster in this current lineup. Also, he doesn’t particularly stand out for any reason at the AHL level, so it’s not very sensible to call him up in the first place. Honestly, there’s not too much more to say about a guy who’s had an okay but not stellar first few seasons in the Wings organization.

#13 Dylan Sadowy

via Nick Seguin:

Sadowy shone in the Red Wings annual development camp in Traverse City, scoring a hat trick in the first scrimmage and blocking shots at the other end of the ice. His two-way play isn’t something that is reflected in the above numbers, but it’s something that’s been praised by scouts. 

#12 Ryan Sproul 

via Scott Maxwell:

He’s shown his offensive potential over the years, producing in both the OHL and AHL. This season may have been his best yet, putting up an AHL career high 12 goals and 35 points, as well as nine points in nine playoff games. He’s become one of the Griffins best defensemen, but he still has some work to do on his defensive game.

#11 Dennis Cholowski

via Brad Krysko:

He made significant strides from his first to second season playing for the Chiliwack Chiefs of the BCHL, increasing his offensive output by 13 points in 5 fewer games. He was one of the bigger risers in the draft going from a projected mid-late second round pick at the midterm rankings to a late first round projection in most final rankings, eventually rising all the way up to #20.

#10 Axel Holmstrom

via Kyle Krische:

The most alluring part of Holmström’s stat lines are the international tournaments and playoffs. His first playoffs as a rookie in the SHL Holmström managed to put up a staggering 18 points in 15 games, just two points shy of the 20 points he put up all regular season and a scoring pace matched only by the Sedin’s before him in the league.

#9 Joe Hicketts

via Adam Laskaris: 

Hicketts has stepped up to the challenge at every level he’s played, and has produced offensively, to boot. A first-team WHL Western Conference All-Star in 2016, a World Junior gold medallist and an all-around threat on the ice, having a guy like Hicketts as a free-agent signing is a pretty great pickup for the Wings.   

#8 Jared Coreau

via Kyle Krische:

Once he finally got up to the Griffins as a regular, he managed to keep his save percentage above a .920 and his goals against below a 2.50, despite sharing starting duty with McCollum. When Howard went down to injury this past season, the team opted for the more experienced McCollum to play backup over Coreau, so we still have yet to see Coreau in an NHL game.

#7 Robbie Russo

via Nick Seguin:

Russo’s high number of assists indicates that he can move the puck well. And what does everyone talk about the Red Wings needing? A good puck-moving defenceman. At 6’ and 190 lbs, Russo will have to fill out a bit more to compete that the NHL level, but that’s an achievable goal for a kid with this much talent.

#6 Martin Frk

via Adam Laskaris:

Frk first really gained exposure onto the international stage with one of the Greatest Junior Hockey Teams of All Time™, the 2012-13 Halifax Mooseheads. Having already been drafted by the Wings the year prior, Frk put up 84 points in 56 games, and 33 points in 17 games in the playoffs, alongside Nathan Mackinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

#5 Vili Saarijarvi

via Brad Krysko:

Saarijarvi may not be the Wings top prospect but at this point in the franchise flux, he may be the most important. One of the things the Wings are in short supply of currently are mobile defenseman with high offensive upside and the way the game is currently played, there is a high importance for this type of player.

#4 Tyler Bertuzzi

via Kyle Krische:

Now a regular on the Griffins and one of the most consistent playoff scoring wingers in Detroit’s system, the excitement from the fanbase has been growing exponentially around this kid to the point where many hope he gets a look with the big club upcoming season.

#3 Xavier Ouellet

via Scott Maxwell:

Ouellet has developed into a well rounded defenseman in the AHL, with good upside for NHL potential. He has some NHL experience, and he’s likely going to get his fair share of ice time this year, since he is waiver eligible this season.

#2 Evgeny Svechnikov

via Brad Krysko:

Evgeny is a straight up elite offensive player. He shoots exceptionally well, he reads the play better than almost any forward in the QMJHL, he skates well for a player his size, oh and he’s 6’2”, 198 pounds. He’s built to score and he does it very, very well.

#1 Anthony Mantha

via Scott Maxwell:

In the future, look for Mantha to be at the very least a top six forward. Perhaps he can turn into a top line power forward that drives the net and does the dirty work for the team. Regardless, he’ll be a very good forward in the future, part of the reason why he is our choice for the Red Wings best prospect.


Only 11 months until the 2017 draft…