Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we feature defenseman Oscar Plandowski.
How Acquired: Selected 155th overall, 2021 NHL entry draft
2021-22 Stats: 64-4-13-17 (with Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL)
Contract Status: Unsigned
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Charlottetown Islanders
When Oscar Plandowski sought out a scouting report on his progress as a budding hockey prospect, he never had to go far. In fact, a trip to the living room of the family home would suffice.
Ken Plandowski, Oscar’s dad, is the director of amateur scouting for the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.
“Believe me, I grew up with some pretty constructive criticism,” Oscar Plandowski said. “When I get it from coaches, it’s not as bad. I’ve grown up being able to take heat on games.
— QMJHL (@QMJHL) January 20, 2022
“When I was a lot younger, I’d get more upset or angry at (his dad) when I got criticism. But in the long run it’s pretty helpful having someone who knows the game to be able to critique me.”
Teams like to do their homework when they are making a draft pick. Delving into a player’s background and family relationship is all part of the process. In Plandowski’s case, that task was easily accomplished by Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman.
“His father and I worked together in Tampa,” Yzerman explained. “He was one of our head amateur scouts. I met Oscar when he was a little boy.”
Oscar the prospect could fill an important need on an NHL roster. He’s a right-side defender.
— Denis Leblanc (@DenisL_1981) December 3, 2021
“Obviously a right shot, a very good skater, good size, very good skater, good shot,” Yzerman said of the 6-foot, 190-pound Plandowski, 19. “Our guys liked his size, his skating ability and he’s a right-shot D.”
Offense doesn’t appear to be part of Plandowski’s game, however. In 64 games this season with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders, he collected 4-13-17 totals. Last season saw him posting 5-12-17 numbers in 39 games. Appearing in 15 games playoff games this season as Charlottetown marched to the conference finals, Plandowski’s contribution was one goal.
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
Plandowski’s skating and puck-transporting abilities are the strengths of his game. The former shouldn’t be surprising, since his mother Jill is a power skating coach. Among her clients is Jared McIsaac, another Red Wings defensive prospect.
“Excellent skating, puck-moving defenseman, creative with the puck, skilled hands to control the puck while gaining the zone, uses his hands and feet to open up lanes, solid vision and puck distributor,” was the scouting report on Oscar Plandowski offered by Dan Stewart of Draft Prospects Hockey.
Stewart also added a caveat regarding Plandowski’s on-ice abilities. “He can play a little risky and get himself out of position by being too aggressive at times, although his skating helps him recover many times,” Stewart added. “Likely a bit of a project puck mover for the Wings.”
In all honesty, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Plandowski to carve out a role with the Red Wings. Firstly, the team is already rich in defensive prospects. Secondly, as a fifth-round pick, historical statistical data is showing that he has a 17% chance of making the NHL.
It’s unlikely he’d even get serious consideration for an NHL call prior to 2025.