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Zadina, Hirose assigned to Grand Rapids

In the midst of a brutal rebuilding year, fans of the Red Wings get their hope from watching young players develop. And with the slew of injuries to veterans the team has experienced this year, they’ve gotten the opportunity to showcase some of their most promising prospects.

Alas, the development of an NHL players is like a rollercoaster. It has lots of ups and downs. Tonight, the Red Wings sent two of them down, to play with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL.

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Let’s start with Taro Hirose, who signed as a college free agent at the end of last season and immediately impressed as he went on a multi-game point streak. He continued to impress throughout training camp, standing out as one of the Red Wings top prospects. As a result, he made the team and has played in the first 23 games of the season. He’s been slow to get going, only recording two goals and seven points throughout that time.

Filip Zadina is one of the team’s top prospects, being picked sixth overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He’s got a big shot and a lot of confidence. He scored a goal and two assists through his nine game NHL debut last season. This year, he started in Grand Rapids to build his confidence and is just finishing a five game stint where he only recorded two assists.

That being said, Zadina played really well and probably deserved to play with some better line mates. Instead, Jeff Blashill kept him lower in the lineup, playing with veterans who couldn’t really keep up with him.

I’m not too concerned with this move for either of these prospects. They can find their footing in the AHL and not feel the effects of constantly losing (and losing big) in the NHL.

It’s all part of their development. It’s all part of the process. It’s all part of the rollercoaster.

That’s just how you build a career in the NHL for yourself.

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