With literally nothing going on in the hockey world right now I thought that it would be best to do a breakdown on the Red Wings top-10 prospects starting today with #10.
One little note is that I don’t count Brendan Smith or Gustav Nyqvist as prospects anymore as they both have played quite a bit of NHL games and will be with the Red Wings this season no doubt. However, if they were on the list they would be #1 and #2 respectively.
# 10: Brian Lashoff, D, 22 – To kick off the series we have Brian Lashoff who went undrafted before being signed by the Wings after training camp back in ’08. During the past season, which was Lashoffs second full season in Grand Rapids, he played 76 games while managing to score 19 points.
Lashoff was never really considered a future Red Wings or an elite prospect however after a phenomenal training camp this summer all that would change. While playing great, Lashoff started to really turn heads while drawing multiple comparisons to former Wing Brad Stuart.
Lashoff is the type of defenseman who, like Nick Lidström, tries to make the right play at the right time. Brian is a shut-down defenseman in the making and he also has a really hard shot and is very mobile. He is a physical defenseman and has been getting bigger and bigger as every year passes. Lashoff also isn’t afraid to drop the gloves which he has done quite a few times.
The big negative on him is that he has struggled with injuries his entire career and missed half of his rookie campaign in Grand Rapids to a separated shoulder.
During the past two seasons Lashoff hasn’t had the pressure of guys like Brendan Smith but that will change dramatically this season with Smith playing in Detroit and players like Garent Exelby leaving. Brain will have a much bigger role this season and he will most likely play second or maybe even first pairing duties down in Grand Rapids this upcoming season.
Going forward Lashoff will be a welcomed addition to the Wings. I don’t see him breaking the roster for another two seasons but if he continues to improve he no doubt has a shot. Considering that after Brendan Smith the Wings have very few quality young defenseman Lashoff will no doubt get some call-ups during the next two seasons.
With Lashoff set to become a RFA after the 2012-13 season he will no doubt have to prove that he is worth a new contract. However, considering what he has done so far I would be shocked if the Wings didn’t tie him up for a few more years.
About the Author
Written by Chris Neubacher
Die-hard Red Wings, Tigers, Lions and Pistons fan. Having lived most of his life in Detroit Chris loves sports and respects the city and what it stands for.