June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General view of the stage and draft board order prior to the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the Lockout Class of 2012. Let’s see how each player has progressed since being drafted by The Red Wings in June.
The Red Wings did not have a pick in the first round pick because of a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning which saw Kyle Quincey return to Detroit. So, our list begins with Martin Frk in the second round.
2nd Round (49th pick overall) Martin Frk –
Last season Martin Frk season was interrupted by a concussion he sustained in the beginning of the season causing him to miss four months of games. When he returned from the concussion he put up 29 points (16 goals) in 34 games, but it was a very streaking season for him. In the draft Frk dropped out of the first round and into the laps of the Detroit Red Wings who were surprised, but very excited.
This season Martin Frk overcame some early troubles this season (Read about them here) and needs to learn how to control himself on the ice. On the stat sheet he has 37 points (13 goals) so far this season in 27 games and is on his way to having his best season for the Halifax Mooseheads. He has 38 points (13 goals) in 28 games so far this season.
Frk will likely be joining the Grand Rapids Griffins next season. Making the jump from the QMJHL to the AHL will be a tough one for Frk, but he has the size, strength, and offensive ability to be a very good player not only in the AHL, but in the NHL
3rd Round (80th pick overall) Jake Paterson –
Jake Paterson’s first year with the Saginaw Spirit was a tale of two seasons. In his first 17 games he posted a record of 6-11-1-0 with 4.30 GGA and a .886 SV%, but in the second half of the season things turned around for him. He posted a record of 12-7-2-1 with 2.67 GAA and a .921 SV. Ken Holland was the first to say that the Red Wings drafted him because of his mid-season turn around.
In his second season with the Spirit he has been more consistent that last season. This year he has a record 11-12-2-1-1 with a 3.49 GAA and .901 SV% which is on par with last season. He has not been able to win games consecutively as much as he did last season, but he has cut down on the losing streaks as well. He is still very raw and will need another year in the OHL to polish his game some more.
Update: Paterson has made Canada’s World Junior roster.
4th round (110th pick overall) Andreas Athanasiou –
Last season was a bumpy one for Andreas. He saw a slight increase in points from his first season with the London Knights, from 22 points to 37 points. Of his 37 points last season 22 of them were goals. Andreas fell from a projected top 15 pick to 110th mostly due to his maturity and inconsistency. His maturity on and off the ice last season created a situation with the Knights and he was designated a healthy scratch for games towards the end of the season, OHL Playoffs, and the Memorial Cup.
Before the beginning of the 2012-13 OHL season London traded Andreas to the Barrie Colts for three draft picks. The trade gave him a fresh start on a new team and a larger role on the offence. This moved has helped Andreas flourish. He currently has 33 points (15 goals) in 30 games and is 5th on the Colts in points. Andreas is being giving a lot of chances in Barrie to produce and he is taking advantage of it. He could be another late round steal for the Red Wings.
All three players will be given a shot to make the Griffins next season, but of the three I only expect Frk to make the next step in the AHL. While, Paterson and Athanasiou would still be able to gain a lot of experience from another year in the OHL. These are three solid prospect for the Red Wings. Martin and Andreas provide more depth on offence for the Wings as the core group of Franzen, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg continues to age and Paterson gives the Wings much needed depth in the goalie position.