Red Wings’ 2014 Development Camp Sweater Number Stuff

I write about possible sweater number changes every summer and with Monday’s release of the Red Wings’ 2014 Development Camp roster, we’ve got the first opportunity to take a look at some possibilities.

As always, the official disclaimer from Detroit is that these numbers mean nothing. As I always say, however, history doesn’t show that. Usually if a number is assigned to a player in camp, it won’t be worn by a roster player in the coming season.

Last year was the first year since I’ve been tracking that players in development camp were assigned numbers already worn by roster players, as Petr Mrazek‘s #34 went to free agent try-out Andrew D’Agostini. Tomas Tatar‘s #21 was given to Luke Glendening but there is evidence that Tatar was going to switch to #90 before Stephen Weiss got it. Phillippe Hudon getting the #63 previously worn by Joakim Andersson was the first sign of Andersson taking #18.

This year we have no obvious changes as all of the players wearing numbers that were taken last season have the numbers that belonged to departing free agents.

There are some oddities and humorous assignments, though.

For the first time I can remember, numbers in the 90s are in use. One of those is Axel Holmstrom being assigned the #96 formerly worn by the unrelated Tomas Holmstrom. Similarly, returning camp invitee Dean Chelios wears the #24 previously worn by his father, Chris Chelios. Dominic Turgeon will don a number one higher than that of his dad, Pierre Turgeon, having been assigned #78. The team missed out on one more such opportunity, as Tyler Bertuzzi keeps his #59 rather than taking his uncle’s #44, with Todd Bertuzzi now out of the Red Wings’ plans.

For the record, I expect the #44 to go to Colin Campbell in the main camp.

Only one returning player who isn’t a free agent tryout is changing his number from last season, as David Pope drops down from #64 to the #63 vacated by Hudon.

Numbers for players making their first appearance at development camp are as follows (again, with free agents excluded):

Player Name Number
Christoffer Ehn 92
Axel Holmstrom 96
Dylan Larkin 25
Ben Marshall 51
Mike McKee 58
Dominic Turgeon 78
Julius Vahatalo 94

Larkin takes the #25 vacated by Cory Emmerton, Marshall gets the #51 assigned in training camp to Brennan Evans last year, and Mike McKee gets the #58 previously assigned to Max Nicastro, who was not giving a qualifying contract offer by Detroit.

Red Wings’ 2012 Draft Recap

I’ve noted before that the draft isn’t as interesting to me as I acknowledge it should be, as I grew up in a time when the players the Red Wings drafted seemed unlikely to ever play for the team anyway.  As such, while I think some of Detroit’s draft picks this season are interesting, I’m not reading too much into any of it.

With no pick in the first round (sent to Tampa in the Kyle Quincey deal, the Lightning selected big Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski), the Wings started in the second round at #49 overall.  Here are their choices…

#49 – Martin Frk (F, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL)
#80 – Jake Patterson (G, Saginaw Spirit, OHL)
#110 – Andreas Athanasiou (F, London Knights, OHL)
#140 – Mike McKee (D, Lincoln Stars, USHL)
#170 – James De Haas (D, Toronto Lakeshore Patriots, OJHL)
#200 – Rasmus Bodin (F, Ostersunds IK, SWE)

Bodin came in late to win the best name award from me.  It would have gone to Frk but I have to go with a guy named Rasmus.

I like the Frk pick, it’s a typical Wings move in that he had been highly-rated and slid, with the Wings willing to take a chance.  The kind of thing we always point out Ken Holland doing with free agents like Danny Cleary or Mikael Samuelsson.

Same with Athanasiou, to a certain extent.

We’re not going to see any of these guys in Detroit any time soon, though, so that’s why you won’t see me getting too excited right now.