Red Wings bring prospects home to LCA for development camp

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — With the excitement of this past weekend’s NHL Entry Draft still alive, the Red Wings are about to embark on the next phase of the summer.

They open development camp Tuesday, this year at Little Caesars Arena, to introduce and instruct NHL life to recent draft picks.

Defenseman Dennis Cholowski, the Red Wings' top pick from 2016, will be at this week's development camp at Little Caesars Arena.

All 10 picks from this past weekend’s draft class — including-first rounders Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno — and past top picks Michael Rasmussen (last year’s No. 1 pick) and Dennis Cholowski (2016) are all scheduled to attend.

“It’s an opportunity to educate and instruct them,” said Ryan Martin, the Red Wings’ assistant general manager. “There’s a lot that goes into being a professional (hockey player). They’ll get an idea of what goes into it.”

The camp runs Tuesday through Saturday — there’s an intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday to end the camp — and there will be plenty of on-ice instruction every morning.

But unlike other camps, or something like the prospects camp tournament in September, there is no real evaluating taking place this week.

“It’s more about having them get to know us, and us getting to know them, and building a trust,” said Shawn Horcoff, director of player development. “At some point during the week we’ll sit down them, we’ll talk one-on-one, we’ll learn about who they are.

“Last year we took them to dinner and spent time with them. We’ll do something like that again this week. There’s a lot to go over.”

Though the actual hockey is important, players get a well-rounded education.

Nutrition is heavily emphasized, and learning how and when to use social media.

“Life skills,” Martin said. “Things they’ll have to deal with now as they embark on a pro career.”

One big change this week is the actual location.

The camp is being relocated to Little Caesars Arena from Traverse City’s Centre ICE Arena, where it’s been held for multiple years.

In Traverse City, players had the beach, could golf, and various outdoor activites they could take part in with fellow draft picks.

But the switch to LCA — specifically the Belfor Training Center (the practice rink) — has different benefits.

“I love it,” Horcoff said. “It gives them a chance to work in an NHL facility, a chance to see what it’s like here, and it gives them something to aspire.”

Essentially, the young players will live the life of an NHL player this week, getting to see how the NHL trains on and off the ice.

“With the benefits of having a state of the art facility, players will have an opportunity to work with Mike Kader (strength and conditioning coach) in the training facility, they’ll have their meals prepared for them (in the dining area), use the locker rooms,” Martin said. “It’s an excellent opportunity for them.”

Ben Simon, the Grand Rapids Griffins new head coach, and staff from the Wings minor league affiliate Toledo Walleye will handle the majority of on-ice practices, with Horcoff and Dan Cleary also participating.

A limited number of free tickets remain on a first-come, first-served basis for the practices and scrimmage.


When: Tuesday-Friday, with scrimmage Saturday.

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

Tickets: Free, and available in limited quantities on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, go the Wings’ website. Fans may reserve up to 4 tickets for each day.


On-ice workouts at Little Caesars Arena will be open to the public this week during the Red Wings’ development camp. Here is a schedule of on-ice workouts:



10:40-11 a.m. – Goaltenders

11 a.m.-noon – Practice


12:25-12:45 p.m. – Goaltenders

12:45-1:30 p.m. – Practice

2-3 p.m. – Defensemen

3:15-4:15 p.m. – Forwards



9:10-9:30 a.m. – Goaltenders

9:30-10:30 a.m. – Practice


10:55-11:15 a.m. – Goaltenders

11:15-noon – Practice

12:30-1:30 p.m. – Defensemen

1:45-2:45 p.m. – Forwards



8:55-9:15 a.m. – Goaltenders

9:15-10 a.m. – Practice

10:15-11 a.m. – Testing


11:25-11:45 a.m. – Goaltenders

11:45-noon – Practice

12:45-1:30 p.m. – Testing



8:55-9:15 a.m. – Goaltenders

9:15-10 a.m. – Practice

10:15-11 a.m. – Testing


11:40-noon Goaltenders

Noon-12:45 p.m. – Practice

12:45-1:30 p.m. – Testing



Noon – Scrimmage