Detroit Red Wings: A look at Prospect David Pope

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 09: The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks huddle around their goal before their game against the Providence Friars during the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship semifinals at TD Garden on April 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 09: The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks huddle around their goal before their game against the Providence Friars during the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship semifinals at TD Garden on April 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Red Wings drafted forward prospect David Pope in 2013.  Pope hopes to prove to Detroit this spring that his potential was worth the five-year wait.

The Rundown

The Detroit Red Wings selected David Pope with the 109th overall (4th round) selection in the 2013 draft.  Pope who turns 24 years old this September is considered a late bloomer but his 6’3 frame to go along with being a 200 pound forward has potential to translate into an NHL regular.

The Red Wings are pretty high on prospect David Pope; they feel he will compete for a roster spot during the preseason.  What has stood out to scouts is Pope’s ability to shoot the puck.  Pope is the beneficiary of a snipers shot.  His size allows him to shield off defenders & protect the puck well while driving to the net.

This past May Detroit signed Pope to his first professional contract, a two-year entry-level deal worth 925,000 per season.  Pope spent his last four seasons playing for the University of Nebraska-Omaha of the NCAA. In Pope’s final season he was able to score 20 goals to go along with 21 assists to total 41 points in 35 games.

Pope has developed tremendously over the past four seasons.  In Pope’s first two college seasons combined he recorded 22 points in 64 total games.  Pope’s final two seasons were much more successful recording 72 points in 69 games.  In David Pope’s ENTIRE college career he only recorded 41 penalty minutes over four seasons.

Ansar Khan of Mlive.com spoke with the Detroit Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff this past spring about David Pope; he had this to say;

"“He’s a kid that has improved his skating over the years and I think that’s helped him get to the areas where he can score,” Horcoff said. “He’s great on the power play, he’s got a real good one-timer off the flank and a great wrist shot in stride. He’s a kid that’s really come on the last couple of years and had a great senior year.”"

The Expectation & NHL ETA;

The Detroit Red Wings have an abundant amount of forwards rostered and quite a few more looking to make the Red Wings team through the preseason.  David Pope who is older than most players at the time of signing his first professional contract will compete with many young players for a final roster spot.

Although I expect David Pope to start his professional career in Grand Rapids rather than Detroit, it will be nice to get a first-hand look at Pope in September during the preseason to see how his game translates to the NHL level.

Pope will get an opportunity to be a regular in the Detroit Red Wings line-up soon, I just don’t expect it this October. Pope will be a candidate to become a late-season call-up after the Red Wings roster is thinned out a bit.  Pope will be someone to track in Grand Rapids all season long, if his scoring ability translates from College to the AHL quickly he may be in Detroit sooner than originally anticipated.

Next. Detroit Red Wings: Chris Osgood Waits for Call to the Hall. dark

Detroit has been lucky in the past acquiring talent late in the draft.  The hope is Detroit drafted a hidden gem back in 2013, and it starts to pay off in 2018.