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Compher Comes to Red Wings as Advertised

Compher delivering goods for Detroit



J.T. Compher, Red Wings
J.T. Compher is on pace for a career-high 70 points in his first season with the Red Wings.

When Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde talks about what the team is getting from center J.T. Compher, the descriptive he likes to use is “as advertised.”

“Very good player,” Lalonde said. “Maybe a little more of an increased role of what he probably did throughout his career in Colorado. A very good player in every situation was kind of our vision with him and he’s been very good.”

There were a number of facors about Compher’s game that drew the Red Wings toward him as the ??-year-old was becoming an UFA last summer.

A versatile player, Compher can play all three forward positions. He’s an adept passer of the puck. Compher can be useful on the power play and is adept as a penalty.

“I really appreciated the player when we targeted him.,” Lalonde said. “I was already a big fan. And he has not disappointed.”

With 4-13-17 totals through 20 games for Detroit, if you do the math, goal-wise, Compher is right on pace. He’d finish with 17 at his current pace. Over his final two campaigns with the Avalanche, Compher’s average was 17.5 goals per season.

However, he’s on pace for 54 assists and a career-high 71 points.

Red Wings Appreciate Simplicity Of Compher’s Game

Introduced to Detroit’s top power-play unit three games ago, the group is 5-for-15 during that span. Compher’s been on the ice for all five man-advantage goals. In a 5-2 win at Boston, Compher opened the scoring on the power play and later dished a deft cross-crease pass to captain Dylan Larkin for the power-play marker that iced the game.

“Some puck retrievals, he won some face-offs, made some plays,” Lalonde said of the qualities Compher brings to the power play.

Compher Excited For What Detroit Can Accomplish

Playing for a Stanley Cup winner in Colorado, Compher was learning the value of being versatile.

“Being on a good team like that in Colorado, you had to find a way to be useful, or your weren’t going to be in the lineup,” Compher said. “It’s kind of whatever the coach asks there, I was willing to do and I’m trying to bring that same attitude here.

“Whatever Newsy (Lalonde) and the coaching staff ask is what I’m willing to do. Offensively, defensively I want to be as rock solid as possible and be ready for any situation.”

He was there from the beginning as Colorado was evolving from the NHL’s worst team into a Cup winner. Compher is feeling similar growth steps being made in Detroit, and sees the evidence of that progress emerging during the club’s current three-game win streak.

“I think as a team we’re finding something,” Compher said. “It hasn’t been consistent the whole time, a few growing pains but that’s pretty normal for early in the year.

“These last few games kind of show what we’re capable of, but it’s gotta be consistent every night. That’s what we’ve been talking about.”