Photo Credit: © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Rasmussen, Cholowski, and Ehn make opening night lineup

The process seems to be in full gear at the start of this season. Michael Rasmussen, Dennis Cholowski, and Christoffer Ehn will be on the Red Wings lineup on October 4th when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets on opening night.

This is a big change from the Red Wings’ past. No more “over-ripening” in the minor leagues and having players waste some of their most productive years not in the NHL.

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Rasmussen certainly impressed during his five preseason games. Scoring two goals and four points in that timeframe looks like a successful preseason to me – he even managed to get twelve shots on goal.

The most common forwards that Rasmussen was paired up with during the preseason was Zadina, Larkin, and Bertuzzi, so it will be interesting to see where Blashill puts him in the lineup on October 4th.

Dennis Cholowski is creating his own hype train with his sleek passing and great mobility. He has surely earned his spot in this lineup by his performance in the preseason. Having to go up against stars like Patrick Kane and David Pastrnak is still challenging in an exhibition game.

His most common partner on the blueline was Nick Jensen for the past couple weeks. That pairing can definitely be a realistic third or even second pairing when Cholowski makes his NHL debut.

Christoffer Ehn is arguably one of the lesser-known prospects that Detroit has in their system. Drafted in the 4th-round in 2014, Ehn has been mainly playing in the SHL for the past three years. Part of the legendary Frolunda alumni now, Ehn will look to bring his two-way game to a bottom-six role for the Red Wings this year.

Ehn played both center and on the wing this preseason, so we will have to see what position he prefers the Swedish forward to play. With Helm, Athanasiou, Glendening, Rasmussen, and now Ehn able to play center – the line blender will surely be in full effect.

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Injuries surely play a part in these young players getting this chance. Mike Green, Trevor Daley, and Jonathan Ericsson are day-to-day with injuries that might keep them off the blueline this upcoming week. Evgeny Svechnikov seems to be working through an injury as well, so he might take Ehn’s spot after all of this. But I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Frk is sent down instead.

This is a symbol for things to come. The Red Wings will no longer be mocked for leaving their young players to ripen and rot down in the AHL. They are making room for these players to make their mark in the NHL and take some risks.

No one would bat an eye if Ehn was sent down to Grand Rapids today, but he wasn’t and that’s a good sign. Instead, they felt internally that they would rather have the 22-year-old forward taking up a roster spot than the face-puncher Luke Witkowski. A change of the times.

This season might be painful, but at least there will be some young talent to get excited about. A transition year that hopefully leads to the Red Wings becoming a young, fast, and skilled team in the future.

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October 4th couldn’t come soon enough.