One does not simply stop Filip Hronek. You can only hope to contain him.
Hronek has been soaring for the Grand Rapids Griffins as of late. So much so that his great play couldn’t wait for my monthly prospect column. He was treading water at first, but has now found his stride and is reinforcing the confidence management had in him.
He hasn’t been taking over games, but it’s his consistency night in and night out. In his last nineteen games he has recorded sixteen points (five goals and eleven assists), and has only been held off the scoresheet in five of those contests. He’s currently riding a five game point streak, and has played a huge role in the Griffins late season resurgence. To give you an idea, he’s currently averaging 0.57 P/PG, and Travis Dermott (who is now playing in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs) is averaging 0.64 P/PG. Not too far off from a guy making a big impact in the NHL, while being almost a year younger.
In fact, he’s been on another world relative to his teammates, being their best blue-liner by a wide margin.
— thomas (@nosalaryretaind) February 6, 2018
At this rate, he might as well have part ownership in the team. He’s been one of the best all-around defensemen in the AHL, let alone at age twenty.
With Detroit most likely going to be selling off Mike Green and Xavier Ouellet, among others at the trade deadline, a roster spot will open up, which should make for a perfect showcase for Hronek. But unfortunately, because of the ELC sliding rules, we can’t have nice things. Should Hronek come in for nine games and play very well, the Wings will have to decide if they should send him back down. With the Wings current cap crunch, they’re going to have to buy time until some bad contracts expire/traded away, and letting Hronek’s ELC slide another year is ideal. No matter how he plays, the writing seems to be on the wall that he closes out the year in Grand Rapids.
Now before we start rioting, there are still positives to this narrative.
- His ELC slides.
- He can fine tune his game after getting a taste of the NHL.
- He will get the chance at a more prominent role in GR’s playoff push/run, and play meaningful hockey.
- He can put on more weight before becoming a regular (he’s so skinny his eyes are single file).
With that said, there is no doubt he has earned himself a nine game stint. Just be prepared for him to get the Blashill treatment, because Blashill.