With the Grand Rapids Griffins in the third round of the American Hockey League playoffs for the first time since 2006, I went back and took a look at the makeup of that year’s roster compared to this season’s edition.
My first thoughts were posted to Twitter this afternoon:
Those numbers don’t count undrafted players who were signed by Detroit, but the 2006 ones do count Kent McDonell
— Clark Rasmussen (@detroithockey96) May 22, 2013
I had initially used the ten-game cutoff to remove players who were sent down for rehab stints or were emergency replacements for players called up to Detroit. I realized after the fact that I should just stick with the playoff rosters.
In the 2006 playoffs, the Griffins utilized 22 players. Nine of those were Red Wings draft picks but one of those was Kent McDonell, who left the organization and came back as a free agent. Additionally, two players (Darryl Bootland and Eric Himelfarb) were drafted by other organizations (Colorado and Montreal, respectively) but never played with them, signing entry-level deals with Detroit instead. Two more (Matt Ellis and Brett Lebda) were signed as undrafted free agents by the Red Wings.
This means that of 22 players, the 2006 Griffins playoff roster had 12 Detroit prospects.
This year there have been 20 players utilized in Grand Rapids’ playoff run. Twelve were drafted by Detroit (including Jan Mursak, who is on his way out of the Detroit organization). Two more (Francis Pare and Brian Lashoff) were signed as undrafted free agents.
Discounting Mursak, that puts the 2013 Griffins as having 13 prospects out of 20 players.
Obviously the individual players matter but it seems to show how far the organization has come since 2006 that more prospects are on the roster in this run than that one.