Checkup on the 2012 Detroit Red Wings Draft Class
The Detroit Red Wings haven't been drafting top notch NHL ready talent for quite some time now, but rather players who need time to develop with the AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins before they take the next step towards the NHL. Which has paid off very well for them over the past few years as most players take two or three years to develop in the AHL before stepping into the Red Wings lineup. The system that the Detroit Red Wings have is definitely paying off as when they are in need of players to step up they are confident in those who do come up to play in the NHL. Today we will take a look on those players who were drafted in the 2012 NHL draft and how they are playing now and where they are.
Red Wings first selection in the 2012 draft came in the second round as they drafted Martin Frk 49th overall. Frk has completed his Major Junior career in the QJMHL with the Halifax Moose heads as he played 152 career games as he racked up 163 points (seventy three goals, ninety assists). Martin Frk had a lot of talent surrounding him when he playing with the Moose heads as MacKinnon was there along with Drouin who he played with the most, but that doesn't take away the fact of how good of a player he is. Frk was most known for his rocket of a shot in the high slot and his playmaking abilities. Frk also has a rich history in winning as he was a part of teams whom won two QJMHL titles with the Moose heads and one Memorial Cup title last season. Frk started the 2013-2014 season with Detroit's ECHL affiliate Toledo Walleye, Frk knew he has to prove himself early on so he played fifteen games with the Walleye and recorded thirteen points (five goals, eight assists). After his short stint in Toledo the Griffins thought it was time for him to play in the AHL. Frk has now played twenty four games with the Griffins as he has only recorded two assists so far. But that's not because of his play by any means; it is because there has been zero consistency in the Griffins lineup this season due to all the call ups they have to deal with when players go to the Red Wings.
Jake Paterson was the next drafted to the Red Wings in the 2012 draft as he was drafted in the third round (eightieth) overall. Paterson is in his fourth year with Saginaw in the OHL. Paterson has been "the guy" in Saginaw since the 2011-2012 season, I say that because the Saginaw Spirit hasn't had any other goalies who have been able to play alongside Paterson. Paterson has played more than three quarters of the game in each season since 2011-2012 season. Paterson is most recognized for how many games he does play and how well he does play in each and everyone, he knows he is the guy and his teammates rely heavily on him each night. Paterson outside the OHL is most known for his contributions to the World Junior hockey tournament this past year and the year prior to that as he made the team two years straight. Paterson will be in running for a starting job in Grand Rapids if he does not stay back and play an over age year with the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL. When Paterson does come to the Griffins he will push himself and other goalies around him as he wants to be the best as he proves that each and every night.
Andreas Athanasiou drafted in the fourth round (110th) overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. Athansiou has been talked about in the OHL for his terrific vision to create plays, his explosive speed that he brings, lastly how much velocity he has on his shot. These are just some of the things Athanasiou has in his tool box, the Red Wings seen something special in the speedy forward just 2 seasons ago in Barrie of the OHL. He was traded from the Knights to the Colts in the OHL of the 2012 season to give Athanasiou more chance to play in the OHL because they knew he deserved it. When Athanasiou went to Barrie it is safe to say he never looked back as he racked up sixty seven points in sixty six games (twenty nine goals, thirty eight assists). He not only controlled games when he began to play with the Colts but rather did it in superstar like fashion as almost every night he either created a play or did it himself that ended up on the highlight reel the very next night. Athanasiou has the confidence to totally take control of game with his speed and vision. Athanasiou sits ninth this season in OHL scoring with the Colts as he has sixty eight points (thirty two goals, thirty six assists). This comes as very good news for Red Wings staff as he still potentially has one more year left in the OHL as a over age player. Though could be called upon to join the Griffins next season with the skill he has displayed so far this season.