Let’s face it: This Red Wings season is a lost cause. The NHL team sits in the cellar of the league standings and most fans have already turned their attention to the Draft Lottery in April. There isn’t much excitement in many of the team’s games and it is easy to get a general feeling of gloom. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on the organization’s prospects, to examine the Red Wings of the future across a plethora of professional and junior hockey leagues. And in helping you do so, I present to you the WingsNation midseason prospect stock report. We here at WingsNation have kept a spreadsheet going of the stats of every Red Wings prospect and editor-in-chief Cameron Kuom has been issuing monthly updates on the prospects.
What I am attempting to do over the course of three articles is to tie it altogether, giving a small blurb on every single prospect, indicating whether their season has exceeded expectations (stock up), met expectations (stock steady), or fallen short of expectations (stock down). These will be based on a combination of statistical performance, written anecdotes, video scouting, and in some cases, scouting with the help of other sources, particularly our friends at Griffins Nest, who have a far better sense of on-ice intangibles and development when it comes to AHL prospects than I do. Combining all of these factors, my goal is to give the readers a sense of where every prospect in the system stands halfway through the 2019-20 season.
Today we have North American based prospects (that are not playing in Grand Rapids) up. Later this week, we’ll have a report on the Griffins, as well as European based prospects.
Jack Adams, RW
|Union College (NCAA)||22||0||0||0||0|
Nothing new here. The former 6th round pick blew out his knee in the summer before what was going to be a crucial third season at Union College in the NCAA. As an overager who is set to turn 23 in February, it’s danger time for Adams, unfortunately due to injury.
Seth Barton, D
Barton is having another fine but mostly unremarkable season for UMass-Lowell in the NCAA, statistically speaking. His 5 points in 15 games is slightly better than his 10 points in 33 games pace from last year, but not significantly so. He has more of a pulse than other earlier Red Wings third round picks, but it’s tough to read much into his performance without watching more of him. As of right now, he remains a mostly unknown wild card without a big part of the franchise’s future.
Carter Gylander, G
|Sherwood Park (AJHL)||18||.928||1.94||21-1-0|
This one is tough to figure out. On one hand, Gylander is No. 1 in both save percentage and GAA in the AJHL, which would indicate a great season. On the other hand, his teammate Jordan Frey ranks No. 2 in both categories as well. Gylander’s team, Sherwood Park, is first in their division at 35-3, which generally points to a team that is simply dominant. So it’s tough to parse out how much credit should actually go to Gylander.
Regardless, it never hurts to have strong stats, as easy of a situation you may be in notwithstanding. Gylander is committed to Colgate for next season in the NCAA, and will then be a multi-year player. Like all late round goalies, who the hell knows? Regardless, at least he’s not majorly struggling.
Patrick Holway, D
A former 6th round pick, Holway transferred from the University of Maine to Merrimack College last season. Under NCAA rules, he had to sit out until the second semester, so he just recently made his debut for the Warriors. Therefore, there isn’t much to say about Holway until we get a bigger sample size.
Kasper Kotkansalo, D
|Boston University (NCAA)||21||17||0||4||4|
A big Finnish defenseman, Kotkansalo is now in his third year at Boston University and the offense is still not coming. Obviously, that’s not an integral part of his physical, stay-at-home style of defense, but he has played a bit at center this season and now having notched over 90 NCAA games, it’s clear what Kotkansalo is and that isn’t something great, quite frankly. With Detroit drafting a ton more defensemen in Steve Yzerman’s first year on the job, it is starting to seem doubtful that there will be room for him in Detroit’s future projections at this point with just 4 points in 17 games this season.
Stock: Steady but not good
Robert Mastrosimone, LW
|Boston University (NCAA)||18||17||4||6||10|
Mastrosimone is having a really nice freshman season for the Terriers, playing alongside Red Wings prospect Ethan Phillips (below). While advertised as a sniper, Mastrosimone has been able to get into the offense with some assists too. He also came close to making the U.S. WJC roster, which has to be considered a good sign of his development, given the talent on Team USA. Mastrosimone will most likely play a second year in college in 2020-21, then move to GR thereafter, but for now, Red Wings fans should be mildly pleased with his college production.
Stock: Slightly up
Jared McIsaac, D
Not much to report here, really. McIsaac had shoulder surgery, which knocked him out for September-November, and then returned for a couple QMJHL games (and was traded from Halifax to Moncton) before heading off to the World Juniors with Team Canada. It’s nice to see him notch a few points in both sets of games, and he’s looked solid defensively in the WJC (albeit working past one ugly mistake) but there’s no real way to assess his play until we get a bigger sample size.
Cooper Moore, D
Moore got off to a blazing start but has since cooled off. Although, 22 points in 39 games for a defenseman making the jump from prep hockey to the BCHL is nothing to scoff at. As a matter of fact, he’s second in points among U19 BCHL defensemen and third in points-per-game. As with any fifth round pick, expectations have to be low, but Moore is having the kind of season that makes you think he might be something more interesting than the average obscure-and-then-forgotten 5th rounder. Moore will play at North Dakota, an excellent D1 NCAA program, next season and will probably be a multi-year college player. Moore is a long term developmental defenseman to watch, albeit one who’s exceeded (low) expectations so far.
Ryan O’Reilly, RW
|Green Bay (USHL)||19||24||10||9||19|
Not that Ryan O’Reilly is having a much better year in the USHL than the one before. After posting 31 points in 57 USHL games last season, he’s up to 18 points in 20 games this year for the Green Bay Gamblers. O’Reilly is a winger with size and has committed to Arizona State to play NCAA hockey next fall. ASU has become a real NCAA Hockey program and should serve as a good path for O’Reilly’s development. It’s nice to see that we can’t write the former 4th round pick off so soon, but don’t really expect anything either.
Stock: Slightly up
Keith Petruzzelli, G
After two years sitting behind starter Andrew Shortridge, Petruzzelli is finally the guy for Quinnipiac and has good stats to go with it. That said, it’s important to remember that he plays in the notoriously defensive ECAC, where those numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as they would be in the NHL. He is in the upper tier of the NCAA, but not elite in either GAA or SV%, though both numbers represent improvement, which is good. He’s also been stronger lately, which is something Red Wings fans want to see more of going forward. Petruzzelli is definitely in the conversation when it comes to Detroit’s uncertain future between the pipes, but he isn’t much of a certainty either.
Stock: Slightly up
Ethan Phillips, C
|Boston University (NCAA)||18||18||1||5||6|
It’s been a solid freshman year for Phillips alongside Mastrosimone at Boston University. Phillips has played mostly towards the middle of the lineup and on the PK, allowing for his blazing speed to open up the ice. Phillips’ solid production makes him likely a 3 year college player, but one that could end up having a niche down the line in the Red Wings organization. For now, this is a respectable and mostly expected start to his D+1 season.