The Detroit Red Wings hosted their annual development camp for prospects this week (in Traverse City, Mich.), and the organization’s future stars had the chance to get on-ice instruction from some of the team’s former players. While former Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer has been a familiar face at events like this in recent years, there was one new addition for the 2013 camp – recently retired winger Tomas Holmstrom. Time will tell how much this year’s group was able to learn, but if the recent success of the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate (Grand Rapids Griffins) after working with some of these former greats is any indication they should be in good shape.
Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood are among the former Red Wings who had an active role with the Griffins this season. Osgood’s work with goaltenders Thomas McCollum and Petr Mrazek played a large role in the team’s success, and having Chelios and Fischer around is a huge boost for the Red Wings’ defense prospects. One of Draper’s best attributes as a player was his ability to win faceoffs, and now the team is able to have him work with young centers. Holmstrom had a very particular set of skills, and was reportedly the one who approached the team about working with prospects at the camp after seeing a lack of players in front of the net in the league this season.
In addition to the skills these former players are able to teach on the ice, all were also well-respected for their work ethic and character off the ice. That’s something that can’t be taught, but being in the presence of Red Wings legends can only inspire these young players to model their game in the same way.