The Detroit Red Wings will give two of their top AHL prospects a good look in the NHL this week, and the two youngsters seem poised and ready to make the most of their opportunity. They recalled winger Tomas Tatar and goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday, and will use at least Tatar if not both when the team hosts the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Tatar saw nine games of NHL action with the Wings during the 2010-11 season, and scored his first NHL goal. Since then he has proved to be a reliable scorer at the AHL level, and will bring some speed and toughness to one of Detroit’s top lines. He has 19 goals and 39 points this season with the Griffins, and is slated to play with Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula against the Flames. This is a chance the young Slovakian had to wait a while to get again, and he will be looking to contribute immediately.
Mrazek is in his first pro season with the Griffins and has been every bit as good as advertised. He has a 16-7-1 record, the league’s ninth best goals against average (2.26), and was in net a week ago for the Western Conference in the AHL All-Star Classic. He was a fifth round draft pick in 2010 and starred for the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s and for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship. It was assumed that his call-up meant he would start tonight and give Jimmy Howard a much-needed night off, but that does not appear to be the case now. If Mrazek is going to get into a game this week, the best bet may be in one of the weekend’s back-to-back games. Thomas McCollum, his fellow Griffins goalie, was returned to the AHL after a little over a week’s time in Detroit as Howard’s backup.
With Darren Helm and Mikael Saumelsson still out, Tatar has a good chance to showcase his skills in Detroit this week. Mrazek has been phenomenal this season, and will bring a great deal of excitement to Hockeytown when he does get his first start.