Stock Watch for Detroit Red Wings' Top Prospects

Isaac SmithAnalyst IJanuary 17, 2014

Stock Watch for Detroit Red Wings' Top Prospects

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    The Detroit Red Wings have a plethora of standout prospects, but which ones are rising and which are falling as of late?

    With the slew of injuries that has hit the Detroit Red Wings this season, the Wings have seen some of their younger prospects rise to the challenge of filling the shoes of veteran players on injured reserve.

    But what about the other top prospects that are not playing in the NHL this season?

    Here is the stock watch for prospects trending up or down.

    Note: Prospects in this slideshow have never played in the NHL. This eliminates top up-and-coming players like Petr Mrazek from this list.

Anthony Mantha, Up

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    Anthony Mantha is putting on a clinic this season.

    The Detroit Red Wings' 2013 first-round pick has 75 points in just 34 games in the QMJHL and leads "The Q" in scoring despite having played nine games less than the second-place scorer.

    Mantha also took his talents to the international stage, finishing fourth in scoring at the 2014 World Juniors in Sweden with 11 points in seven contests. Canada took fourth at the World Juniors.

    While being a QMJHL scoring champion doesn't guarantee NHL success (with the past three scoring leaders not playing in the NHL as of yet), Mantha's nose for the net will serve him well when he eventually moves on into the AHL.

Jake Paterson, Down

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    Jake Paterson made Team Canada for the 2014 World Juniors and was even named starting goaltender for the tournament.

    But Paterson was lit up in the early part of the tournament and lost his job to Zach Fucale. Paterson finished the tournament with an 86.79 save percentage and a 3.36 goals-against average. 

    Despite his lackluster tournament, the former 2012 third-round pick is having an average season with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. Paterson has a 13-9-2 record but an unsightly 3.54 GAA and a 90.3 save percentage.

    Don't expect Paterson to be going anywhere quickly, as far as playing in subsequent leagues is concerned, but Paterson is winning games, which is more than some Red Wings goalies can say at this point in time.

Teemu Pulkkinen, Up

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    Teemu Pulkkinen might be remembered for his hit on Michael Kostka and subsequent suspension, but Pulkkinen is quietly having a good season in the AHL.

    "Pulk" is second on his team with 30 points in 39 games and is a plus-17. The 22-year-old Finland native has fit in well with a Grand Rapids Griffins squad trying to defend its 2013 Calder Cup championship. 

    Although he is still a year or two away from challenging for a full-time NHL roster spot, Pulkkinen has shown signs of promise through his ability to adapt to the North American game.

Calle Jarnkrok, Down

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    Calle Jarnkrok is the Red Wings' second-round pick from the 2010 draft and played his first AHL action last season, picking up three assists in nine contests.

    This year has been even tougher sledding for the young Swede, as he has just 18 points in 39 games for Grand Rapids.

    Jarnkrok was highly touted initially but has taken a long time to come over to North America and still is not showing signs of being able to perform at an AHL level, let alone an NHL level.

Ryan Sproul, Up

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    Ryan Sproul is having an outstanding season in his first full campaign with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The speedy, puck-moving defenseman has 21 points in 39 games.

    Sproul shows promise as a future power-play quarterback with four of his seven goals coming with the man advantage.

    When the Detroit Red Wings were missing a large chunk of their defensemen this season, they called up Xavier Ouellet instead of Ryan Sproul. The move was a curious one, but Sproul just turned 21 years old.

    As he continues to mature in the AHL, Sproul could be a viable option on the Red Wings blue line in as early as a couple of seasons. If he continues to play this well and is as good in his own end as he is offensively, Sproul should be a future top-four defenseman in Detroit.

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