Zach Nastasiuk Assigned to the Griffins

Captain Nasty joins Marc McNulty and Jake Paterson as Black Aces for the Griffins.

Zach Nastasiuk's team was eliminated from the playoffs last week and he has been assigned to the Griffins. Zach had a pretty good season, being named team captain and tallying 23 goal (4th on his team) and 51 points (2nd on his team) in the regular season and led his team in goals and points in the palyoffs. He also played in the Subway Super Series, signed his 3 year entry deal with the Wings, and was voted the Western Conference's 2nd best shot blocker. He finished the regular season at a -14, but his team also had a -32 goal differential and Zach was among the top forwards in time on ice from what I can gather, so it's not as surprising. For context, only 8 out of 28 players on the team had a plus rating. I had the chance to watch Nasty play earlier in the season and was pretty impressed with what I saw. You can find my full article here.

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2010-11 Orangeville Flyers OJHL 1 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
2011-12 Owen Sound Attack OHL 68 11 8 19 15 -10 5 1 0 1 0
2012-13 Owen Sound Attack OHL 62 20 20 40 32 21 12 4 7 11 0
2013-14 Owen Sound Attack OHL 62 23 28 51 26 -14 5 3 1 4 2

I think there's a chance Nasty could get a little playing time for the Griffins with all the forwards they've lost. While it would be very difficult to crack the defense or goalie lineup right now, the Griffins are still without Luke Glendening, Tomas Jurco, & Riley Sheahan, lost Calle Jarnkrok to Nashville, and have three free agent signed forwards on the roster, as well as a defenseman playing wing. I don't think it's probable, but Zach getting in at least a few games is certainly possible. If he looked decent in practice, I'd probably play him over Fournier at least. Nastasiuk just turned 19 so he'll probably return to the OHL next season before joining the Griffins full time the following season.

I saw a level of maturity from him that's uncommon at his age level. Red Wings Central says...

A versatile two-way forward who can play both center and right wing … Aggressive on the forecheck and not shy about playing a physical game … Flashes soft hands and offensive talent that has yet to be reflected in his statistics but that could make him more of a power forward than a role player … Can be used in all situations, including power play and penalty kill … Can deliver big hits and block shots … Has athletic genes, as his dad, Paul, played professional football as a running back in the CFL.

and Director of Player Developlent Jiri Fischer said...

"He’s got his determination, he’s got good size, he’s very smart, he’ll do anything, he’s a heart and soul guy every shift, his (competitive) level is comparable to anybody that has made it (to the NHL). He’s a great guy, 18-year-old captain, you don’t get to see that every day." — Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer (December 2013).

While it's not extremely likely, I kind of hope I get to see him play at least a game with the Griffins.