The Red Wings will have a handful of prospects competing in the World Junior Summer Showcase, which takes place at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan (formerly known as Compuware Arena) from July 28th to August 5th. The full schedule can be found at the Team USA website. It’s a great opportunity to see some of the world’s best up-and-coming talent in hockey. Other names making headlines are 2017 2nd overall pick Nolan Patrick, and the highly-coveted Swedish phenom Rasmus Dahlin, who is projected to be a top pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
For Team USA, 2017 pick Keith Petruzzelli will stand between the pipes for Team Blue. The six-foot-six goaltender was taken 88th overall by the Wings, and he’s shaping up to be the “goaltender of the future” for the team. Petruzzelli will move onto Quinnipiac University later this summer, where he’s committed to play with their program.
Forward Givani Smith and defenseman Dennis Cholowski, both 2016 picks, are listed on Team Canada’s roster. Smith, a big power-forward with an “in-your-face” style of play, enjoyed a 26-goal season for a bad Guelph Storm in the OHL. Cholowski, the former 1st round selection in 2016, had a less-than exciting season with St. Cloud State, but after signing his entry-level contract with the Wings, he’ll look to take his game to the next level with access to training on the pro level.
Team Sweden will have another Red Wings goaltender prospect between the pipes in Filip Larsson. In my opinion, Larsson has been an underrated acquisition for the Wings after they got him at 167th overall in 2016. The 18-year-old net minder put up an impressive 925 sv% and 2.24 GAA through 31 appearances in SuperElit. Larsson will make the move to North America next season, where he’s playing with Tri-City in the USHL. The other Red Wings prospect is rearguard Gustav Lindstrom. Lindstrom was one of a few off-the-board picks for the Wings in 2017. Lindstrom is a project, but he appears to be a medium-risk, high-reward type of puck-rushing defenseman with a well-rounded game.
Finally, defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo will see time on Team Finland’s blue line. The Wings took Kotkansalo at 71st overall in the 2017 Draft — he’s described as an apt-skating defender with exceptional vision in his own zone. He hasn’t had the most gaudy offensive numbers, but from what I hear, he’s a gifted kid who could see time as a 3-4 defenseman in the future. Kotkansalo will also spend time in the NCAA this year - as he’s committed to Boston University.
That recaps all of the prospects representing the Red Wings in this years World Junior Summer Showcase. Again, if you can make it out, I highly suggest it. It’s going to be a fun week packed with hockey in Plymouth. I’ll be in attendance doing some coverage for WIIM, and, of course, watching the Rasmus Dahlin show. Seriously, I can’t wait to watch this kid play in person.