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Kasper Can Cook Up Ways to Make the Red Wings



First-round draft pick Marco Kasper hopes to make the Red Wings' roster this season (Photo by Tim Robinson)

TRAVERSE CITY — After  Marco Kasper’s season ended due to a broken kneecap last spring, he went back to Sweden to finish his senior year of high school.

“It was stressful, playing hockey all the time,” he said of his final year of schooling. “I would go to school after practice. It was (also) a lot of fun, going to school with my friends. I got to meet a lot of new friends.”

Kasper made more friends over the summer during his rehab in Detroit.

“It’s fun to be around all the guys,” he said Friday after practice at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. “And getting to know the new coaching staff. They’re all great guys. It’s fun to be back on the ice again. We just have to keep competing hard.”

Grand Rapids coach Dan Watson, who is coaching the Red Wings team in the NHL. Prospects tournament this weekend, is impressed with Kasper’s compete level and more.

“He’s got good stick detail,” Watson said. “He’s gonna find that offensive touch this year, for sure. But again just another smart player, moves his feet well and makes the players around him better. I liked his game (Thursday).”

It was Kasper’s first game since suffering a broken kneecap against Toronto in his NHL debut last season.

“It was a good game,” Kasper said of Thursday’s game. “A couple of turnovers cost us at the end of the game. We played hard. It was a gold first game.” 

Kasper worked diligently in rehabbing the knee during offseason workouts in Detroit. So much so that Director of Player Development Dan Cleary fretted at one point that Kasper was working too hard.

Kasper asserted there was nothing to fear.

“I did some extra work to  make sure the knee was good to go,” he said. “I think I know my body well and when I need a rest. I really like to practice, and as long as I benefit I’m going to practice for as longest I can.”

His practice goals go beyond hockey. Kasper, an Austria. who speaks German and English, picked up Swedish while playing there, likes to keep his Swedish on point while speaking with Swedish teammates Elmer Soderblom and William Wallinder during workouts this summer.

He also boasts a skill most high school graduates don’t — cooking.

“I can cook salmon or steak,” he says. “No microwaving.”

Kasper’s odds of making the Red Wings in next week’s training camp are long, but team officials have liked what they’ve seen thus far and have the expectations a former first-round pick dictates.

“I just have to focus on myself, play a 200-foot game and compete really hard,” he said. 

He and the Red Wings hope that eventually will be a recipe for success.

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Looking forward to seeing him this year. Think he will take another step like last year and high hopes long term he is even better than we think.

He can learn and grow wherever the team feels is best for him. If they think he needs to be in the NHL then great, but if they feel he could use time in the AHL then also great. Confusing when fans think they know more than the team on this. Though as a fan I would like to see more of him and I don’t watch much more than highlights from GR so my selfish motive is I want to see him play.

NO rush on players like this though and whatever is best for them long term is the key. They are not the part of the plan that is here and now, these young kids are part of the plan that in 2-3 years ends up with a team that is cup capable every year. That is what really matters.

It is clear with him he does not know how to pace himself even if he says so. He goes all out all the time and that is great but an 82 game season will spring that marathon not sprint reality on you. Like Raymond his first year and Berggren last year I fully expect him to burn out his first year. He will learn though and that high energy is a positive once he does learn to throttle enough not to crash. You can tell when Yzerman talks about him he is really high on him and wants him on the team ASAP, but he is also likely trying not to force it. Can he be a key part of that young core Yzerman keeps talking about? Hoping so. We will see.

Tom Rady

Tav I think they only want him in Det if he will play every nite. I think he has to be in the top nine forwards. I think that will be tough. They dont want him on a fourth line playing 8 min a game. If thats it, they want him playing 20 min a nite in GR in all situations..Wait andsee