After the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks were shut out last night by the Everett Silvertips, 2016 1st Round Draft Pick Dennis Cholowski is ready for some off-season training. Or, so he thought...
With Dennis Cholowski's Portland Winterhawks eliminated, the defenseman will report to @griffinshockey middle of next week, AGM Ryan Martin told me.— Pete Wallner (@petewallner) April 14, 2018
With the Grand Rapids Griffins set to face the Manitoba Moose in the AHL Playoffs, Cholowski has a chance to witness first-hand what the next stage of his development will look like. Given Ken Holland’s comments about getting younger and how we’ve done poorly with defense lately, we also can’t rule out the possibility that Cholowski could see some playing time in this series (and hopefully several more series to come this season).
There are currently 9 defensemen on the Grand Rapids roster (not counting Cholowski, who isn’t officially added at this time), including Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek, and Vili Saarijarvi who we as fans want to see getting lots of ice time to aid their development. There are a lot of names ahead of Cholowski on the depth chart, but seeing him get significant minutes could be a sign of a welcomed shift in organizational philosophy. Here’s to hoping he does well with whatever minutes he gets!
Elsewhere in the WHL playoffs, the Everett team that just eliminated Cholowski’s squad will face off against Michael Rasmussen’s Tri-City Americans squad in the next round of the WHL postseason. Rasmussen has 24 points in the eight games it took Tri-City to sweep their first two opponents so far and should also be joining the Griffins after his postseason run in the WHL is complete.