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FUTURE GRIFFINS?

Martin Frk, Detroit's first selection (49th overall) meets Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Sixteen players who suited up for the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2011-12 were drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, ranging from a trio of first round picks (Tom McCollum, Riley Sheahan and Brendan Smith) to a pair of players selected with the second-to-last pick in the draft (Adam Almquist and Logan Pyett).

This weekend in Pittsburgh, Pa., the Red Wings added six more players who could one day skate for the Griffins as they hope to achieve their NHL dreams. Here's a brief overview of each selection.

RW Martin Frk - 2nd round, 49th overall - Halifax (QMJHL)
Height: 6'0   Weight: 204   Shoots: Right   Born: 10/5/93 in Pelhrimov, Czech Republic
Scouting Report: Frk recorded 29 points (16-13--29) in 34 games with the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads. Frk (pronounced FERK) was ranked 20th by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau but saw his stock slip out of the first round due to an injury-plagued season. The skilled winger is known as one of the best pure goal-scorers in the draft due to his heavy shot and elusive puck handling ability. Frk, who will return to Halifax next season but can join the Griffins in 2013-14, cites Pavel Datsyuk as his favorite current NHL player and wears #91 because of his childhood idol, Sergei Fedorov. Click here to view his YouTube highlights.

G Jake Paterson - 3rd round, 80th overall - Saginaw (OHL)
Height
: 6'0   Weight: 176   Catches: Left   Born: 5/3/94 in Mississauga, Ontario
Scouting Report: Paterson was the ninth goaltender selected this year, part of a third round that featured seven goalies drafted overall. Paterson played in 42 games for the OHL's Saginaw Spirit this season, posting an 18-18-3 record with a .904 save percentage. He is known for his outstanding quickness and determination. Paterson is due for at least two more seasons in major junior before potentially joining the Griffins. Click here to watch a recent interview with Paterson.

LW Andreas Athanasiou - 4th round, 110th overall - London (OHL)
Height
: 6'0"   Weight: 179  Shoots: Left   Born: 8/6/94 in Woodbridge, Ontario
Scouting Report: Athanasiou was part of a stacked London Knights club that won the OHL championship and advanced to the CHL Memorial Cup Final. Like Tomas Jurco, who is expected to be on the Griffins in 2012-13, Athanasiou has made waves on YouTube for his unique puck skills and creative shootout moves. The 17-year-old winger recorded 37 points (22-15--37) in 63 games for the Knights this season.

D Mike McKee - 5th round, 140th overall - Lincoln (USHL)
Height
: 6'4"   Weight: 232   Shoots: Left   Born: 8/17/93 in Newmarket, Ontario
Scouting Report: When analysts describe the typical Red Wings player or prospect, they often focus on speedy, skilled players who are average or below average size. In McKee, the Red Wings added a 6-foot-4, 232-pound defenseman who led the USHL with 237 penalty minutes and 12 fighting majors. McKee is said to skate well, and he also contributed 19 points (2-17--19) to the Lincoln Stars blueline. Griffins fans won't have to travel far to see the physical defenseman in action, as McKee is committed to play college hockey for the Western Michigan Broncos next season. Click here for a CBC interview with McKee.

D James De Haas - 6th round, 170th overall - Toronto Lakeshore (OJHL)
Height: 6'2"   Weight: 197   Shoots: Left   Born: 5/3/94 in Mississauga, Ontario
Scouting Report: Detroit's fifth selection was De Haas, a two-way defenseman who notched 29 points (10-19--29) in 45 games for Toronto Lakeshore in Ontario's Jr. A circuit. De Haas is slated to play college hockey at Clarkson University in 2012 or 2013. He is known for his defensive zone awareness and shutdown ability, but he possesses a strong skating ability that helped him lead his club's defensemen in scoring.

C Rasmus Bodin - 7th round, 200th overall - Ostersunds (Sweden-3)
Height
: 6'6"   Weight: 207   Shoots: Left   Born: 5/5/94 in Sweden
Scouting Report: Detroit's ability to find late-round gems is an annual topic of discussion at the NHL Entry Draft. Glancing at the roster shows that Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and more recently, Gustav Nyquist, were all late-round picks who rose to stardom. The team is hoping for another diamond in the rough in the behemoth Bodin, who stands at 6'6" and was the tallest player selected this year. Bodin split the season between Ostersunds IK's under-18 team and third-tier men's team, recording 26 points (9-17--26) and 94 penalty minutes at the junior level and 10 points (3-7--10) in 20 games at the senior level. He will play for the more well-known HV-71 junior team next season.



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