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Red Wings prospect Dennis Cholowski signs with WHL’s Prince George Cougars

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NHL: NHL Draft Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like Red Wings 2016 1st-round pick Dennis Cholowski will be wearing a different sweater next year — not one that dons the Griffin or the Fish. It was announced Monday that Cholowski has signed a standard contract with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.

The Prince George Cougars are thrilled to announce that 1998-born defenceman Dennis Cholowski (Langley, B.C.) has signed a Standard WHL Player Agreement with the Prince George Cougars.

Originally selected by the Cougars in the 10th round (200th Overall) in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, the 6’0”, 170 pound Cholowski is one season removed from being selected 20th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2016 NHL Draft. Last season with St. Cloud State (NCAA) he scored a goal and 11 assists for 12 points in 36 games. Back in April he signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings ending his NCAA eligibility. He spent each of the two previous seasons in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs and was named a BCHL second team all-star in 2015-16 after scoring 12 goals and 28 assists for 40 points in 51 games. That same season he added four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 20 playoff games.The Prince George Cougars are thrilled to announce that 1998-born defenceman Dennis Cholowski (Langley, B.C.) has signed a Standard WHL Player Agreement with the Prince George Cougars.

More from Prince George’s press release...

With the recent signings the Griffins have made, this doesn’t seem like a bad option for the 19-year-old rearguard who has impressed at development camp, as well as the World Junior Summer Showcase. Cholowski had a less-than-stellar freshman year in the NCAA with St. Cloud State, before signing his three-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings.

Cholowski was drafted by Prince George at 200th overall in 2013 at the WHL Bantam Draft, so they had his rights, further explaining why it isn’t so surprising now that he no longer has commitment to the NCAA.

Smart move for both him and the Red Wings, as he can now develop in a bigger role with the Cougars, albeit a lesser competition than the AHL, or ECHL for that matter. He was destined to be a healthy-scratch with the Griffins, and I’m not all too keen on developing top prospects in the ECHL. “Dennis is a world-class player who we expect will log major minutes for us in all situations,” Prince George GM Todd Harkins says.

Cholowski was drafted 20th overall in 2016 with the pick acquired in the trade that sent Pavel Datsyuk’s now-expired contract to the Arizona Coyotes.