Red Wings prospects well-represented in QMJHL, WHL playoffs

While the Red Wings fight for their playoff lives in the remaining 8-game stretch of the NHL regular season, the club's prospects are gearing up to lead their junior squads into the CHL playoffs system.

Evgeny Svechnikov

Cape Breton vs Chicoutimi
Series begins March 25th

Svechnikov finished his sophomore QMJHL season with a team-leading 79 points (32 goals, 47 assists) in 50 games, topping his rookie season where he had just one point less in five more games played. Svechnikov led his team to third in their division with a record of 38-25-5-1. The story with Chevy is that he's a big power-winger with lethal offensive abilities. I expect Cape Breton will make a splash in the playoffs, but I don't think they have what it takes as a team to go all the way. They've been extremely dependent on the performance of Svechnikov's line all season long.

Adam Marsh

Saint John vs Acadie-Bathurst
Series begins March 25th

Marsh was a 7th round pick in last year's draft and has emerged as a very promising bottom-six winger for the Red Wings' farm system. He's not big, he's not super flashy, but Marsh has a great shot that makes him a very valuable sniper. Saint John won possibly the weakest division in the QMJHL, and has drawn a very likable matchup from Acadie-Bathurst, a team who had a losing record this season. Marsh posted 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists) in 48 games, and will likely serve another season with his QMJHL club. Saint John is a good team, but I'm not sure I see them making it past heavily-favorited QMJHL titans like Rouyn-Noranda.

Dominic Turgeon

Portland Winterhawks vs Everett Silvertips
Series begins March 25th

I really like what Dominic Turgeon did this year with the Winterhawks. He wasn't a point-per-game player, but his 70 points (36 goals, 34 assists) in 72 games smoked his career-best. Turgeon is thought of as a reliable two-way center who plays a smart puck-managing role. He is essentially a carbon copy for "The Red Wing Way." His 30-goal season in a defensively stout league shows that he has scoring upside. Portland has a great past of producing promising talent, and the team is set to compete in the WHL playoffs. This is Turgeon's fourth, and final season in the WHL. He's expected to enter Detroit's farm system next year.

Joe Hicketts

Victoria Royals vs Spokane Chiefs
Series begins March 25th

Since being signed as an unrestricted free agent, Joe Hicketts has emerged as one of the Red Wings' most promising defensive prospects. The Victoria Royals dominated the WHL this season on the back of Hicketts' captaincy, earning the team the best record in the league. Hicketts may come in a small package, but where the 5-foot-8 174-pounder from Kamloops lacks in size, he makes up with skating ability and overall elite vision for the game. In his final season in the junior circuit, Hicketts was awarded WHL Player of the Year for the Western Conference. Hicketts and his team will make a strong run in the WHL playoffs, but when it's all said and done, his next step is pro hockey. Hicketts will join the Griffins in their playoff run if time permits this season, and will be a full-time player at the AHL level next year. I expect big things from Big Joe. He's one hell of a player. The only other defensemen in the WHL to have better offensive production than Hicketts in the past two seasons are Ivan Provorov, and Travis Sanheim, who are both 1st-round picks of the Philadelphia Flyers.

-

Even though his team will not be participating in the OHL playoffs, I have to tip my hat to Vili Saarijarvi for his fantastic rookie season in Flint despite it being a complete circus the entire time. We all know the story with Firebirds ownership firing everyone because his son wasn't getting sufficient playing time, but branching away from that, Saarijarvi managed to finish top-10 among scoring for OHL defensemen and second in scoring for his team right behind draft-eligible Will Bitten.

So as you can see, the Wings prospects are all across the map in the CHL playoffs. Some top prospects, some middle prospects, and some that are flying under the radar. It will be exciting to see how they perform, and even more so when they join Grand Rapids after their seasons have ended.

Which of these prospects are you most excited for?

Evgeny Svechnikov303
Adam Marsh7
Dominic Turgeon20
Joe Hicketts180