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What Are We Working With?

I do not own this picture. All rights go the owner of this image.

50 points in 16 games. This fantastic stat belongs to the 1st line of the Grand Rapids Griffins.First there is Tomas Jurco, the wizard with the puckOr this puckOr all of these pucks. Then there is Gustav Nyquist the man we came to love last year in the playoffs, especially when he made this play. And then there's Calle Jarnkrok who will furthermore be referred to as Ironhook. Ironhook unfortunately doesn't have any great highlight videos. But that's because he plays an incredibly solid 2 way game that is free of flashiness and finesse. All three of these players have drawn many comparisons to current NHLers, Jurco has been compared to a player out of Marian Hossa's mold. Ironhook has said to play a game almost identical to our very own Henrik Zetterberg.  

However Nyquist is kind of hard to peg. Although some people like to throw him in the Pavel Datsyuk mold, I am extremely hesitant to do that. When I watch Nyquist he has a lot of prowess and play making ability but I don't think he makes plays the same way that Datsyuk does. Nyquist is developing into a great two way player and maybe he is the equivalent of Pav on the Griffins. But I don't think his skill set will transfer into that at the NHL level. I see Nyquist becoming a very good top 6 forward but Pav is one of a kind and I hold him at a higher place than I hold Hossa or Z. I think Z and Hossa's game is significantly easier to replicate due to Hossa and Z not possessing any exemplary talents. Hossa has good hands good speed and a great shot. Z plays an extremely solid 2 way game. He is extremely proficient anywhere on the ice. He has great vision, makes great passes, and can finish well.This is not meant to be a knock on two top tier NHL players but they're not elite like Pav. Meanwhile Datsyuk has the ability to make jaw dropping plays, like this one. If I had to place Nyquist I would place him as a more talented Filppula. I think Nyquist's skill set will allow him to an effective 1st line winger. Filppula was never able to be productive as a 2nd line center and wasn't skilled enough to play on the Red Wings 1st line beside the Euro Twins. 

The first line of the Grand Rapids Griffins could very well be the 1st line of the future Detroit Red Wings. These are three dynamic players who have complimenting skill sets and all should absolutely look to the face of the next generation of the Red Wings franchise. Meanwhile we are left with gems like these  from the dynamic first line that Jeff Blashill currently gets to play around with.

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