Wings Prospects Play In Champions Hockey League And 4 Nations Tournament
There's a National European break in regular season hockey going on right now, but a few Red Wings prospects are hitting the ice for some special games. As I mentioned in this weeks' Prospect Report on WiiM Radio, the Champions Hockey league resumes today for their playoffs, and three Wings prospects are participating.
At 11:00 AM Eastern Time, Christoffer Ehn and Frölunda played HC Litvinov in a 2-1 loss, Ehn had 2 shots on goal. At 11:30 AM, Julius Vahatalo and TPS Turku played Storhamar Hamar,in a 4-3 win, Vahatalo had 2 shots and was a +2. Finally, at 1:00 PM Axel Holmstrom and Skelleftea played Eisbaren Berlin in a 5-2 win, Holmstrom had an assist and 1 shot. You can see the full schedule here and a pretty playoff bracket below.
Source: Champions Hockey League Twitter
In addition to the CHL, Christoffer Ehn and Axel Holmstrom are also on Team Sweden's U20 roster for the 4 Nations Tournament, which is part of their preparation for the World Juniors. That tournament starts today and goes through Saturday, November 8th. Zeb over at Habs Eyes On The Prize is my expert consultant on European leagues and teams, and said both Ehn and Holmstrom will most likely sit out the final 4 Nations game, in order to be rested for the CHL game the following Tuesday. So both Ehn and Holmstrom are playing today in the CHL, Thursday in the 4 Nations, Saturday in the 4 Nations, and Tuesday in the CHL, and Vahatalo will play in the CHL games.
After playing 13 of his first 14 games of the season on loan to from Frölunda to BIK Karlskoga in the Hockey Allsvenskan League, Ehn is back with Frölunda although only having 1 point in 7 games. Zeb provided some insight into what role Ehn is playing on Frölunda
Frölunda is trying out a few combos as Mattias Janmark stole a spot in Dallas with the Stars and no one really expected that. The team is on top of the league with 40 points and is really dominant. Ehn is on the fourth line with Artturi Lehkonen (a Habs prospect) and Robin Frigren. Lehkonen and Frigren were supposed to be the 2nd line this year with Mattias Janmark, but has moved down to being the 4th line for obvious reasons. Ehn needs to grow into SHL and he might be able to. Frolunda head coach Roger Rönnberg is the former National Junior team and used to work with youngsters. He's one of the reasons Frölunda is having a lot of young players in the system right now. Ronnberg is not afraid of using young players in big situations, the problem is that Frölunda is absolutely stacked with talent this year. Last time they looked this good was the lock out season 2005...
Ehn is 19 and playing in what I call the "big boy" league, the Swedish Hockey League, as opposed to a Junior 20 league. It's not surprising for him to be lower in the depth chart given his age, and even more so when you consider how deep Frölunda is. It's also more challenging to contribute in a meaningful way when he's only playing an average of 6:04 per game and with on special team usage. The good news is that he's young and his coach is all about working with and developing young players.