BUFFALO, NY — The Red Wings have selected defenseman Dennis Cholowski at 20th overall, a pick that was acquired from Arizona in the Pavel Datsyuk trade earlier this evening.
Cholowski is noted as an offensive defensemen with a lot of raw talent. It was an unexpected pick, but they got their defenseman. He's an extremely good skater, though he will need some work with lateral movement. I'd say he's a bit of a reach at 20th overall, and most would agree, but he is a good player that can be developed into a top-four NHL guy.
When asked about players he watched growing up, Cholowski mentioned former Red Wings great Nicklas Lidstrom as one of his favorite players to watch. "He was just so calm with the puck, and that's something I'm really trying to develop as a player," Cholowski continued and expressed his commitment to becoming a smart, two-way defender that can be relied on every night.
While his shot isn't as hard as you'd like from a blue-liner, Cholowski has great passing abilities - The kid knows how to go tape-to-tape to get the puck up ice. He's committed to St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and he spoke about how important education was to him, but at the end of the day the ultimate goal is to be an NHL player. I'd call him an extremely cerebral kid - He wants to study electrical engineering, and he said one of his favorite things to do is read books. He's a sharp one. Very well-spoken, too.
Born: February 15, 1998
Vitals: 6'1" / 177 Lbs
Team: Chilliwack (BCHL)
Hometown: Langley, British Columbia
From Future Considerations:
Cholowski is an extremely raw young defenseman. He is very thin and undeveloped physically. He is an elegant skater who moves around the ice with great footwork and uidity. While clearly lacking in strength, he still is able to zig-zag around the ice powerfully. His edge work is great, and once he builds more power he will be a dominant skater. He maintains good angles off the rush and has a great stick. He consistently breaks up plays with great stick positioning and makes it dif cult for players to generate offense by constantly pestering puck carriers. His anticipation is seen at both ends of the rink as he quickly steps in front of lanes to thwart attacks, and also quickly identi ed transitional opportunities to jump start his team’s offensive attack. Cholowski shows great vision through the middle of the ice and is a constant threat to expose mistakes with his quick identi cation of developing opportunities. He handles the puck deftly and uses his long reach to change passing angles. Cholowski has a very weak shot from the point, but that is something that can improve with time. He has everything that is very dif cult to teach anticipation, instincts and a long, athletic stride with great edges. On the other hand, everything that he lacks such as strength and defensive positioning—can be taught. He has great upside as an all-situations puckmover with the smarts to create offense.
This story is developing.