The Red Wings have announced the recalls of defensemen Filip Hronek and Joe Hicketts as well as forward/defenseman Luke Witkowski. To facilitate the recalls, Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall have been put on IR, as explained by MLive’s Ansar Khan.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 3, 2018
With injuries to Kronwall, Ericsson, and Mike Green being out for at least a month as he recovers from the virus he caught, it looks like the Wings will have three young defensemen in the opening night lineup. If the DeKeyser-Cholowski and Daley-Sulak pairings from practice hold up, the opening on defense will be opposite Nick Jensen.
While it’s currently unknown who will slot in, Filip Hronek did run a power play unit in preseason games and could be the third man in if Jeff Blashill wants to get yet another look at Hronek on the power play, this time in a regular season game.
On the other hand, Joe Hicketts slotting in next to Jensen on the third pair would allow Blashill to run a left-hand/right-hand pair without interrupting the DeKeyser/Cholowski and Daley-Sulak pairs.
Having three or potentially four rookie defensemen in the lineup is something fairly unprecedented for any club, especially the Red Wings. Having prospects end up proving they’re NHL ready has set them up with valuable development time as the organization waits to find out who will end up developing into a long-term option on the Red Wings defense which is due for some massive changes over the next couple seasons as contracts come off the books.