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Red Wings' Christoffer Ehn has opportunity to take on bigger role after trade

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Red Wings forward Christoffer Ehn is without a point in 11 games this season.

Detroit — When someone gets traded, or gets hurt, or gets sent down, it usually spells opportunity for another player on the team.

Someone is going to get those minutes, that role.

With Jacob de la Rose shipped to St. Louis in the trade for Robby Fabbri, de la Rose’s minutes on the fourth line and penalty kill are up for grabs.

One beneficiary could be Christoffer Ehn.

A fellow Swede like de la Rose, Ehn plays a similar defense-first game. With that in mind, coach Jeff Blashill feels Ehn can make a contribution, and has a chance to take on a larger role.

“When you trade Jacob de la Rose, you’re trading a good, solid fourth-line centerman who can kill penalties,” Blashill said. “One of the reasons that we felt we could make that move was we felt Christoffer Ehn could provide a lot of the same stuff. He (Ehn) had been in and out of the lineup.

“Christoffer Ehn isn’t the same player, but has a lot of the same attributes. He has to defend great, forecheck hard, be real good on the penalty kill and be good on faceoffs.”

Ehn, 23, has yet to notch his first point after 11 games this season, and he has a minus-5 rating.

But the Wings have consistently felt there’s more offense to be had from Ehn, who is a good skater, but simply hasn’t yet produced larger offensive numbers.

“He’s a little faster than Jacob, not quite as big,” Blashill said. “Jacob shoots a little bit better, but in the end, offensively, they kind of have produced the same.

“He (Ehn) just needs to be a really good penalty killer, needs to win faceoffs, and needs to be someone that can go out and check when we want them to check against the other teams’ best.

“I’ve used that (fourth) line at times as a secondary match. I use (Dylan) Larkin’s line a lot, but then if I want to get Larkin’s line more in different situations, I can come back with that line.”

I remember you

Being a junior player in the Toronto area, Fabbri has familiarity with plenty of Wings from their youth hockey days.

“A lot of the young guys, I know from growing up,” Fabbri said. “I know (Tyler) Bertuzzi, playing junior with him (in Guelph of the OHL), and guys like Larkin and (Brendan) Perlini, just going through the draft process with the, you kind of get to know each other.

“It’s nice to have familiar faces around.”

Larkin remembers playing against Fabbri when they were youth players

“He was always dangerous with the puck, he always had the puck on his stick,” Larkin said. “He was one of those guys, being from Detroit, he’s from Toronto, you knew who he was and you knew going into the game that it’s Robby Fabbri, so he’s going to make plays and he’s going to be a star out there.”

Larkin is glad to have that attribute on the Wings’ side now.

“It’s cool have that and be in the same room with him now,” Larkin said. “We came up the through the same draft, we’re pretty familiar with each other through events and just knowing each other through time.

“I’m excited he’s here, and I think he’s excited that he’s here.”

Ice chips

After getting the victory Friday, goaltender Jonathan Bernier got his second consecutive start Sunday against Vegas.

…With Fabbri’s arrival, forward Taro Hirose was a healthy scratch for  second consecutive game. Hirose was struggling with only five points (all assists) in 17 games with a minus-8 rating.

... Defenseman Filip Hronek received his rookie of the year award from the Detroit Sports Media before the game.

Twitter: @tkulfan