Detroit Red Wings: A Handful of Griffins a Phone Call Away

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 02: Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Matt Puempel (73) is congratulated by Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Matt Lorito (28), Grand Rapids Griffins defenceman Filip Hronek (13), Grand Rapids Griffins center Ben Street (10), and Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Eric Tangradi (26) after scoring a goal during the first period of the American Hockey League game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Cleveland Monsters on February 2, 2018, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 02: Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Matt Puempel (73) is congratulated by Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Matt Lorito (28), Grand Rapids Griffins defenceman Filip Hronek (13), Grand Rapids Griffins center Ben Street (10), and Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Eric Tangradi (26) after scoring a goal during the first period of the American Hockey League game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Cleveland Monsters on February 2, 2018, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Evgeny Svechnikov cannot afford to start as slow as he did last season for the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Svechnikov will turn 22 years old this October. Evgeny was “fighting” a slump all season long last year.

Svechnikov was unable to get anything going early on in the season before waking up a little in the second half.  Evgeny ended last season with 7 goals with Grand Rapids.  A sniping type player, but could only find twine 7 times in the AHL!

Not a great sign for the Red Wings prospect.  I expect Svechnikov to start this season in Grand Rapids.  The Detroit Red Wings have a plethora of young possibilities that may push Svechnikov out of immediate favor.

Evgeny needs to hit the ice and produce right away to prove his value and potential still exists.  If Svechnikov tears it up early in Grand Rapids, he may find himself back in Detroit skating as a top 9 forward.

Near the end of last season, the Detroit Red Wings called Svechnikov up to finish his season in Detroit.  They wanted to evaluate their 2015 first round pick.  Svechnikov played in 14 games and produced 2 goals and 2 assists in limited ice-time.  I need to stress the word limited, Blashill played Svechnikov about 8 minutes a night.

For a team way out of the playoff picture, Blashill coached as if they were in a playoff race.  It must be hard for a young player who found himself often struggling to get into a groove playing so few minutes.  If Evgeny makes a return to Detroit this season he needs to be utilized better, he’s not a grinder; he needs to play with skilled players to unlock his full potential.