John Niyo, Ted Kulfan and Gregg Krupa look at the Red Wings and what the team should do in the offseason to turn things around. Detroit News
Detroit — The Red Wings are about to get an up-close look at one of their best prospects.
Defenseman Dennis Cholowski, the team’s 2016 first-round draft pick, will join the Grand Rapids Griffins this week after his junior team was eliminated in the Western Hockey League playoffs.
Portland was eliminated Friday by Everett, the series lasted five games, ending Cholowski’s junior career.
In 12 playoff games, Cholowski had seven points (five goals, two assists).
For the regular season, split between Prince George and Portland, Chowlowski had 66 points (14 goals, 52 assists).
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound defenseman has added weight and muscle without sacrificing speed or quickness, which makes him an intriguing prospect.
Cholowski isn’t a physical defenseman, but his long reach and sound instincts make him adequate on defense.
Cholowski left St. Cloud State last spring and was able to play one game with the Griffins (the regular-season finale) before staying with Grand Rapids for much of its playoff run.
Grand Rapids opens defense of its Calder Cup in the AHL playoffs on Saturday against Manitoba.
Whether Cholowski jumps immediately into these AHL playoffs remains to be seen.
Cholowski could be joined in Grand Rapids, at some point, this spring by the organization’s other most intriguing prospect, 6-foot-6 forward Michael Rasmussen.
Last year’s first-round pick, Rasmussen’s Tri-City junior team will play Everett – which just knocked out Cholowski’s Portland team – in the next round of the WHL playoffs.
CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS
Central Division Semifinals
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Manitoba Moose
Saturday, April 21: at Manitoba, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 22: at Manitoba, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, April 25: at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
x-Thursday, April 26: at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, April 30: at Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.