Previously on T25U25: 24 - Ryan O’Reilly
Joe Hicketts tanked to #23 after seeing himself ranked #11 last year.
Is it because:
- Our youngest prospects are rapidly improving?
- He had his chance and it’s too late now because we already have the role of “undrafted superstar defenseman” covered?
- The Joe Hicketts Mafia is not as influential as once feared?
- He has simply shown dedication to the Art of the Tank and proven a good student of the Modern Red Wings Way™?
- He has been three raccoons and one frog stacked on top of each other this whole time?
Everyone who answered 3...thoughts and prayers.
Born: May 04, 1996 (23 years old)
Birthplace: Kamloops, BC, CAN
Height/Weight: 5’8” / 181 lbs
Red Wings: 11GP, 0G/0A, 0PIM
Griffins: 64GP, 3G/24A, 67PIM (oops)
That Hicketts is still in the conversation for an NHL job speaks to his high heart, hustle, and GRIT/60 compete levels. He’s never listened to a single naysayer ever, in his whole life, and is absolutely fearless.
He has worked his way up through the leagues and found ways to consistently excel because he knows he won’t get the benefit of the doubt a large swedish defenseman...with dark hair and a pleasant face...and a #52 on his jersey would, so he has to be twice as good as the next guy in line.
And he would fight Chara, probably.
Seriously, he is compact and can, has, and will have full-size players taking runs at him immediately regretting their life choices. That low-center of gravity is no joke. Mick calls Bert a “junkyard dog” and Hicketts definitely is one as well.
This is not a real stat, but you have to admit he is just insanely likable, I mean how can you not root for the literal little guy every time he steps on the ice?
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. GET OUT OF HERE REGGIE I’M TRYING TO TALK HOCKEY! [sad elephant noises].
Anyway, Joe Hicketts is short.
Well so what he doesn’t fit in with society’s standards for Men Who Wear Sword Shoes And Hit Flat Orbs With Hooks? While his looming presence may not intimidate many hockey players, he could probably startle any number of small dogs, if he wanted to.
There’s really no area of his game that stands out as a blatant weakness. He’s smart, he’s tough, he can skate, he has good positioning — what hurts him as much as anything is the clusterjam of the whole Detroit defense pipeline for the past...decade.
Hicketts has been hovering in that no-mans land between Grand Rapids and Detroit for a while, I believe the locals call it Lansing, and we’ve seen a lot of prospects get stuck there.
He’s got a 2-year contract to prove himself, and while it’s not expected he will crack the opening night roster our fragile elder statesmen will likely give Hicketts another chance or five to be called up this season and prove he belongs on an NHL roster full-time.
We have some contracts mercifully ending next offseason, and if Hicketts can establish that one of those freed up slots should belong to him - as basically a veteran defensemen of *checks notes* yep still under 25 years old - he could be settling in for the long haul.
Not convinced? Well, perhaps a tweet with no context will change your mind!
The Red Wings are yet to allow a goal in the Joe Hicketts era— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) January 23, 2018
Let’s Go Red Wings!