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Red Wings Prospect Mazur Enjoys Playing in the ‘Gritty Areas’



Carter Mazur, Detroit Red Wings prospect

In his second day of his professional career, Grand Rapids Griffins rookie Carter Mazur was more than thankful to find himself playing beside two players who totaled more than 650 games of pro experience.

“Having two good linemates like (Danny) O’Regan and (Taro Hirose) who have been around for a long time.. they kind of helped me settle down, and find my game,” Mazur said. “Once I found my game, I felt pretty confident. I stuck with what I know.”

Mazur has made a solid first impression.

The prize Red Wings’ forward prospect left Denver University Tuesday to sign a three-year contract with the Red Wings. That will start next season. First, he signed an amateur tryout offer from the Griffins to give him pro games this year.

Detroit fans have been awaiting his arrival because he blends a scoring touch with a feisty playing style. He could end up playing a role similar to what Tyler Bertuzzi played before he was traded to the Boston Bruins. Mazur plays a brave game and he scored 22 goals in 40 games this season.

Spunky Performer

The 6-foot, 178-pound spunky winger didn’t score in his American Hockey League debut, but had three shots on goal in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Wolves. He was engaged and visible.

“I would describe myself as a 200-foot player who loves to get to the gritty areas,” the Jackson, Michigan native said. “And I have some skill to my game.”

He was a finalist for NCHC defensive forward of the year this season during his sophomore season at Denver.

Griffins coach Ben Simon thought his team benefited from the energy that Mazur’s arrival brought to the game. He had plenty of friends and family in attendance. Plus, the fan base is aware that he’s considered one of Detroit’s better prospects.  Some fans are wondering whether Mazur might get a shot to make the Red Wings next season.

Feeding Off Mazur

The added excitement of a youngster playing his professional game just adds to the emotion.

“There’s a lot of buzz and excitement and you can feel it,” Simon said. “It’s refreshing for the group….It can be infectious.”

This was an important game for the Griffins. They still have an outside shot of making the playoffs. By picking up a point, they are now seven points out of a playoff spot.

“Carter had a good showing,” Simon said.

Mazur the Red Wings and Grand Rapids said they want him to have fun and have some success. He had some jitters, but it’s been such a whirlwind couple of days that he didn’t have much time to think about it.

“I think it’s a bit faster for sure,” Mazur  “I feel getting used is getting a hard thing, taking it day-by-day, taking everything I see from older guys and building off that.