Third-round aces discusses accent of demography allotment in team’s summer development camp.
Defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo had a ambition and 11 assists aftermost division for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League.(Photo: USHL)
Detroit — For abounding adolescent prospects, generally times, summer development camps NHL teams date are article they feel they charge go through.
Let’s face it, a anniversary off in aboriginal July anywhere adeptness feel better.
But don’t acquaint that to defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo, the Red Wings’ third-round abstract aces this accomplished June.
Kotkansalo took abroad abiding hockey tips and friends.
“I didn’t apperceive what to apprehend but I abstruse a lot, a lot of new actuality I will use,” said Kotkansalo, who will comedy at Boston University this season. “A lot of new contest (training regimens) that I haven’t done before, but will now.
RED WINGS SCHEDULE
“What to eat, advantageous stuff, and how important that is. A lot of added things that I didn’t apperceive about.”
But Kotkansalo additionally hopes these were the aboriginal capacity in continued an NHL relationship with approaching teammates in the Red Wings organization.
“I like that this affected is about alive (learning about) the organization,” Kotkansalo said. “Guys allocution about how we adeptness be arena together, hopefully with the Red Wings, and that’s what it is all about.
“They (coaches, advanced office) said this was annihilation about evaluation. It was added about learning, acquirements what it takes to be a professional.”
When the Red Wings called Kotkansalo, the choice wasn’t universally accepted by abstract “experts.”
Kotkansalo didn’t accept an aberrant division while arena Sioux Falls in the United States Hockey Leagues.
In 47 games, he had a ambition and 11 assists (12 points) with a plus-12 appraisement forth with 43 amends minutes.
But Red Wings scouts were absorbed with his admeasurement (6-foot-2, 198-pounds), strength, his alertness to hit, and adeptness to carry the puck.
He’s absolutely a activity at this point, but the Red Wings feel Kotkansalo has the capacity to become a pro defenseman.
More: Red Wings face abounding questions as affected approaches
While he may not excel in any areas, Kotkansalo appears to be a amateur who can do a lot of things well.
Kotkansalo prides himself on the actuality he can be acclimated in a array of ways.
“My backbone is basically I can comedy in any situation,” Kotkansalo said. “I’m a two-way defenseman, but I can be a abeyance defenseman. That adeptness be a strength.
“But there are a lot of things I accept to assignment on, and I apperceive that.”
Most analysts acquainted skating is article that Kotkansalo needs to improve, as able-bodied as some abhorrent parts, such as casual and cutting the puck.
Kotkansalo, who wasn’t abiding area he’d be drafted in June, was admiring it was early, and abnormally by the Red Wings.
Growing up, Kotkansalo followed the Red Wings because of the success of adolescent Finland built-in Valtteri Filppula, now with the Philadelphia Flyers.
But actuality allotment of the Red Wings organization, regardless, is a thrill.
“It was a affable surprise,” Kotkansalo said of being drafted by the Wings. “This alignment has been so successful, and so abounding abundant players accept played here.“To be allotment of it, I still can’t accept it. I’m actual excited.”
Choosing Boston University over inferior hockey was a difficult choice, but one Kotkansalo was adequate with.
“There’s the education, obviously, and that’s so important,” Kotkansalo said. “But for me, it’s the best abode to advance as a hockey player. It aloof apparel me well, bigger than arena at home (in Finland) or in the Canadian Hockey League (junior hockey).”
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