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Red Wings Prospects in Awe of Datsyuk

Hall of Famer an instructor at team’s development camp



Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings
Red Wings icon Pavel Datsyuk is working as an on-ice instructor during the club's development camp this week.

Detroit Red Wings prospect Nate Danielson was describing it as a “Holy Crap” moment.

“We were actually talking about it and he walked in and we were like, ‘There he is,’” Danielson said.

He being Red Wings icon and newly-minted Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Datsyuk. The Magic Man is putting on a magic show for the betterment of the team’s future. He’s serving as an instructor during the club’s development camp.

“I was pretty shocked,” Danielson said. “He’s a guy that I watched growing up. To me, he’s kind of a person that is in the same category as Sidney Crosby. He’s someone that you looked up to. It’s kind of like a ‘Holy crap’ moment. ‘That’s Pavel Datsyuk.’

“Then I got to meet him and say ‘hi,’ which was pretty cool.”

Better yet, they also are getting to learn from the master.

“We did a couple of things with puck protection,” Danielson, Detroit’s top 2023 draft pick explained. “That was kind of his bread and butter, puck protection and stickhanding.

“He gave us a couple of little tips on things when you’re protecting the puck down low. How to create time and space for yourself.”

Datsyuk Red Wings YouTube Influencer

To the kids on the ice, Datsyuk is a living, breathing YouTube influencer.

They’ve all wiled away countless hours watching Datsyuk highlight reels. Now, their video hero is giving them hands-on tutoring.

“He was trying to teach me something out there, so that was pretty cool,” 2024 draftee Austin Baker said.

Datsyuk admits he delights in hearing the stories of the viewing parties in which he’s been the star attraction.

“I hope YouTube is still working, so nobody forgets me,” Datsyuk said with a smile. “I hope I help the kids to love hockey and make better moves.”

His advice to these kids who are hoping to become a part of the club’s future isn’t all that complicated.

“Trust yourself and of course you must believe,” Datsyuk said. “Many are drafted – it doesn’t matter. Hard work and trust yourself and be professional. How you sleep, how you eat, how you prepare. I think it’s many things.”