The Detroit Red Wings have an AHL roster brimming with quality young defensive prospects and yet they still have time for Wyatt Newpower.
The Red Wings signed Newpower to a two-way contract for $750,000 with the idea that he can be a stabilizing force on the Grand Rapids Griffins roster. Newpower, 25, is an old-school player who offers size (6-foot-3), hard-nosed play (led the Griffins with 59 penalty minutes this season) and toughness (six fighting majors).
The Minnesota native blocks shots and thinks defense first. Coaches appreciate what he brings to their table. This is a player who played four games with a broken hand this past season before admitting to himself that he needed to go on the injured list.
Former Griffins coach Ben Simon used to call Newpower “an old soul.”
Crowded GR Roster
The Red Wings have Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, Antti Toumisto, Eemil Viro and William Wallinder with the potential to play in Grand Rapids this season. But new Griffins coach Dan Watson will likely carve out playing time for Newpower. He played 59 games last season, The Griffins want to make the playoffs this season after missing the past two seasons. Newpower can help the Griffins win.
Newpower isn’t one of Detroit’s top prospects, but the Red Wings like who he is as a player and a person. He works his way into the lineup by competing hard and playing a sound all-around game. At some point, you could see the Red Wings giving him a few games in Detroit just to see how he performs.
Prior to turning professional, Newpower captained the University of Connecticut in 2019-20. He completed his collegiate career by winning the Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman Award, in addition to a spot on the Hockey East Second All-Star Team.