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Can Mazur Rise Up in AHL Playoffs Like Bertuzzi Did in 2017?



Carter Mazur

NHL general managers and scouts don’t generally like comparisons for their draft picks because they believe they create unreasonable or unfair expectations. But that doesn’t mean the Red Wings wouldn’t love to see Carter Mazur have a breakthrough postseason similar to the one Tyler Bertuzzi enjoyed in 2017.

With four in four points, plus 12 penalty minutes, Mazur is off to a strong start going into tonight’s Game 1 against the Milwaukee Admirals in the best-of-five Central Division Final (8 p.m. ET, in Milwaukee).

Mazur feisty playing style, coupled with his offensive product, has drawn comparisons to Bertuzzi. Second-round pick Bertuzzi was 22 when he got everyone’s attention with nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 19 games.  The Griffins won the AHL championship that season. Bertuzzi also put up 50 penalty minutes. Mazur is also 22 coming off a regular-season in which he put up 17 goals and 37 points in 60 games for Grand Rapids. Bertuzzi, bigger than Mazur, was drafted 58th and Mazur was chosen 70th in 2021.

“He battles hard in the corners and around the net and that’s where he’s getting rewarded by getting to the net,” Watson said. “He’s gonna get rewarded if he’s willing to go to those areas, which he is.”

Berggren Mr. GWG

Jackson native Mazur will play on Grand Rapids’ top line with Jonatan Berggren and Austin Czarnik. Berggren leads the Griffins in postseason scoring with three goals and five points. Czarnik played much of the season with the Red Wings.

The Red Wings put emphasis on improving the Griffins this season because they wanted Detroit prospects to have playoff experience before arriving in the NHL.

GM Steve Yzerman has already watched some of his top prospects in the first. Berggren has been impressive with three game-winning goals. Like he did all season in Grand Rapids, he is rising up when the game is on the line.

Defenseman Simon Edvinsson is leading the Grand Rapids defense. The Red Wings are very interested in seeing Marco Kasper in important games. Kasper has a chance to make the Red Wings next season. Kasper has chipped in a pair of goals, and been hard to play against, in the first four games.

Goalie Sebastian Cossa, a Detroit first round pick, rotated with veteran Michael Hutchinson in the regular-season, but he’s the No. 1 goalie in the playoffs.  Meanwhile, the Admirals, Nashville’s farm team, used veteran Troy Grosenick over top prospect Jaroslav Askarov in their last three games.

This series is important to 6-foot-8 Elmer Soderblom who is trying to use his size more this season. He had a goal in the first round against the Rockford IceHogs. He missed the first two games of the postseason because of an illness.