June 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Red Wings prospect Adam Almquist signs two-year contract with Russian team

Adam Almquist appeared in two games with the Red Wings last season. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)

Detroit – The logjam of defensive prospects in the Red Wings’ organization has gotten a bit thinner.

Defenseman Adam Almquist, according to reports out of Russia and Sweden, has agreed a two-year contract with Severstal Cherepovets of the Kontinenal Hockey League in Russia.

Almquist, 23, had four goals and 49 assists in 73 games in Grand Rapids last season. He scored one goal, while playing two games with the Red Wings.

Almquist, 23, had indicated throughout the season he would prefer not to remain in the AHL this upcoming season, so returning to Europe isn't a surprise.

An offensive defenseman, Almquist is a good passer and can skate. But his lack of size (5-foot-11, 178 pounds) and lack of a physical style were drawbacks in Grand Rapids.

Almquist had fallen behind Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko, Ryan Sproul, Nick Jensen and Mattias Backman on the defensive depth chart in the organization.

The Red Wings will retain Almquist's rights – he's currently a restricted free agent – by making a qualifying offer.