Carter Mazur and Marco Kasper, two players critical to the Detroit Red Wings’ rebuild, both seem to be taking a development step for the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Kasper recorded the first three-point game of his North American career. Mazur added a goal and an assist to help the Griffins down the Chicago Wolves 6-3 for their second consecutive road win.
The Red Wings are hoping to see Kasper pick up his scoring in the AHL. He totaled a goal and two assists against Chicago, and has five points in his past five games. Kasper had 12 points in 28 games.
“(Kasper’s) a competitor and so when he’s moving his feet, he’s on top of his checks,” Grand Rapids coach Dan Watson said. “He’s winning the loose puck races. He’s winning the 50/50 battles. That’s where he gets engaged and stays engaged in games.”
Watson said Kasper (drafted eighth overall in 2022) works hard at his craft.
“He wants to learn, he wants to get better,” Watson said. “And that’s where it has to start is with him and now we’re gonna give him the tools to continue to get better, he is getting better and will continue to get better. ”
After a slow start this season coming off an injury, Mazur, 21, now has four goals in his past five games. Mazur looks more like the player he was last spring. He debuted in Grand Rapids with six points in six games.
🔝 shelf for Mazur pic.twitter.com/sPnMU2dl8E
— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) December 30, 2023
Big Win for Swedes
Defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka (drafted 17th overall by the Red Wings in 2023) played 19 minutes to help Sweden down Canada 2-0 at the World Junior Championships in Sweden. He had one shot on goal for the Swedes who are one of the favorites to win the gold medal. Sandin Pellikka boasts nine goals in 25 games in the Swedish Hockey League this season. But he hasn’t been on the score sheet at the WJC.
Detroit prospect Anton Johansson (drafted 105th overall in 2022) played three shifts — all in the first period — for the Swedes.
Defensemant Antti Tuomisto (drafted 35th overall in 2019) scored against Chicago. He has two goals and three points in eight games for the Griffins. He started his season late because of injury…Elmer Soderblom picked up an assist against the Wolves to give him four points in three games.