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  • Prospect Update: Detroit Red Wings 2012 Entry Draft Class

    By Cody Hallett
    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. It 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 in on those players who were drafted in the 2012 NHL draft.

    Martin Frk, RW - Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)

    The 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 scoring 73 goals and 90 assists for 163 points. Frk had a lot of talent surrounding him playing with the Moose heads as Nathan MacKinnon was there along with Jonathan 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. He started the 2013-2014 season with Detroit's ECHL affiliate Toledo Walleye, Working his way into the AHL after scoring five goals and eight assists in his first 15 games proving he is too good for the ECHL. 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, G Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

    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 the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL, and has been "the guy" in Saginaw since the 2011-2012 season. I say that because he plays an excessive amount of games for the Spirit each season due to their lack of adequate backup support. Paterson has played in more than three quarters of the teams games for the last three seasons. Outside the OHL, Paterson is most known for his contributions to the Canadian World Junior hockey team this past year and the year prior to that as he made the team two years straight. Paterson will be in the 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, LW Barrie Colts (OHL)

    Andreas Athanasiou was drafted in the fourth round 110th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. Athanasiou has been talked about in the OHL for his terrific vision to create plays, his explosive speed that he brings, and how much velocity he has on his shot. He was traded from the London Knights to the Barrie Colts to give Athanasiou more chance to play in the OHL. When Athanasiou went to Barrie he never looked back as he racked up 67 points in 66 games. 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 produced a highlight reel play or goal. Athanasiou has the confidence to totally take control of game with his speed and vision. Currently, Athanasiou sits ninth this season in OHL scoring with the Colts with 32 goals and 36 assists. This comes as very good news for Red Wings staff as he still potentially has one more year left in the OHL as an over age player.

    Follow Cody on Twitter: @Hallett_One9

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