The Detroit Red Wings’ season has been over for a couple weeks now, but some of their top prospects are just one win away from winning the Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. The Red Wings sent Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Danny DeKeyser down to join the Griffins after they saw their season end in the second round of the playoffs, and those three have played a huge role in helping stake Grand Rapids to a 3-2 series lead over the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) in the Calder Cup Finals.
Nyquist led the Griffins in scoring during the regular season and has added two goals and five points in nine playoff appearances. Andersson was one of the biggest surprises in Detroit this season, and he has been able to add two goals and six points during the AHL postseason. Tomas Tatar, a 2009 second round pick who is expected to compete for a roster spot with the Red Wings, leads the team with 14 goals and 19 points in the playoffs. The Griffins have also received a strong effort from Jan Mursak (11 goals, 17 points), who was waived by the Red Wings late in the season and will head to the KHL next season. Goaltender Petr Mrazek turned a few heads during his brief appearance with the Red Wings this season, and continues to look like the heir apparent to Jimmy Howard with a strong postseason performance.
Grand Rapids took a 3-0 lead in the series against Syracuse before losing on Friday and Saturday. The two teams now head back to New York for game six on Tuesday. While the Red Wings would have preferred a deeper playoff run of their own, they can at least have hope for the future thanks to the strong performance of their top prospects.