Patrick Eaves, Jan Mursak and Cory Emmerton will battle for the final roster spot.
Cory Emmerton has a leg up on the other players in that he is out of minor league options. If the Red Wings try to send him down then he will likely be claimed by another team. Still, I do not think that he makes the team and will likely be leaving in a trade. He has the potential to be a solid player but never seems to stand out enough on the ice. He is average to good in most areas but not great in any.
Jan Mursak was supposed to make the team out of training camp last season but a broken ankle in training camp delayed his call up. He only played 25 games for the Red Wings last season. He is a hustle player with some potential.
Patrick Eaves was looking to make his mark with the team last season. Much like Drew Miller, Eaves is a player who gets a lot of production out of minimal ice time. Unfortunately, he took a puck to the face which resulted in a broken jaw and a severe concussion that ended his season after 10 games.
His recovery will dictate if he makes the team. If he has fully recovered from the concussion then he will fill the final roster spot. Mursak will continue to develop his game in the minors and would be the first call up. If Eaves is still not ready then Mursak makes the squad.
Of course the great wild card in this is the potential for trades. Beyond the players already under contract that are fighting for the last spot, the franchise also has Tomas Tartar, Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, Calle Jarnkrok, Riley Sheahan and Joakim Andersson all looking to make the roster in the next couple of seasons.
With that much depth and the probable need for at least one more defensive player, it is likely that some of these players and prospects will be leaving via a trade. There are still a few weeks to go until camp opens—if it opens—and a lot can happen in that time.
PJ Sapienza is a featured columnist covering the Detroit Red Wings as well as many other sports.
You can follow him on Twitter.
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