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Five Things You Should Know about the Grand Rapids Griffins



donovan sebrango, detroit red wings

The Grand Rapids Griffins have only played two games this season and already there’s a buzz about defenseman Simon Edvinsson. He put up three points in his second American Hockey League game. Edvinsson boasts four points in his first two games.

How long will he stay down in Grand Rapids? Even Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman may not know that. He will want to see a larger sample size. Don’t forget that when everyone is healthy, the Red Wings already have nine defensemen on their roster.

The Griffins have three games this week. There is plenty to discuss about the Griffins beyond Edvinsson. Here are five things you should know about the team after the first two games:

Crowded Field

The Grand Rapids Griffins have eight defensemen on their roster. That means some Detroit prospects are sitting. Donovan Sebrango didn’t play either of the team’s first games. Wyatt Newpower and Eemil Viro played one of the two games. Edvinsson, Jared McIsaac, Brian Lashoff, Steven Kampfer and Albert Johansson have played both games.

Viro was -2 in his one game and Johansson is +1 in his two games.

Berggren Banged Up

Jonatan Berggren suffered an undisclosed injury in the Griffins’ first game and didn’t play the second game. His status for this week has yet to be determined. He didn’t pick up a point in his first game.

Best of Best

With three goals and two assists in two games,  center Austin Czarnik, 29, was named Howie’s Hockey/AHL Player of the Week for the opening week. The Red Wings signed the Michigan native to a two-year deal in July, mostly to help the Griffins. But he could also be a potential call-up if the Red Wings have injuries. He has 142 games of NHL experience.

One of his claims to fame is he scored first NHL goal at the new Little Caesars Arena in 2017. He was playing for the Boston Bruins then in a preseason game. Czarnik has some skill. He has been a 25-goal scorer at the AHL level.

Homegrown Talent

The Griffins’ roster boasts six Michigan natives in Austin Czarnik, Steven Kampfer, Joel L’Esperance, John Lethemon, Dominik Shine and Tyler Spezia.

Pontus Debut

Pontus Andreasson, signed out of the Swedish Hockey League as a free agent, didn’t register a point in his first games with the Griffins. The late-blooming 24-year-old center registered 18 goals and 38 points in 52 games for Lulea last season.