Detroit Red Wings Prospects to Watch: Joe Hicketts


The Detroit Red Wings have always been a team that has managed to find hidden gems in the NHL draft. However Joe Hicketts has the potential to be a gem the team picked up after the draft. Hicketts went undrafted after the 2014 draft, yet made it through Red Wings training camp and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the team in September of 2014.

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Before Hicketts went undrafted in the 2014 draft he spent three seasons in the Western Hockey League playing for the Victoria Royals. There the defencemen played two full seasons with the Royals. In the 2012-13 season Hicketts played in 67 games netting 6 goals with 18 assists. The following season he missed three months due to an upper-body injury that caused him to have surgery.

The next season however, Hicketts came back and in the 2014-15 season scored 12 goals and racked up 52 assists in 62 games. That same season Hicketts made it to team Canada for the IIHF U20 Championships in which was held in Canada. There he made a name for himself as he helped team Canada win a gold medal in the tournament. The young defencemen didn’t score any goals but did help out with 3 assists in 7 games.

Hicketts also played for team Canada two other times in international play. Once in 2013 at the IIHF World U18 Championship in Finland where he and Canada won a bronze medal. The again in 2014 when the team traveled to the Czech Republic to play in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament where they took home a gold medal.

This young kid is an interesting story, his injury could have stopped him, but the one they call Jumbo Jim Hicketts, didn’t give up.

The Red Wings were the that team that took a chance on him. While he may seem small Hicketts has a giant upside. He is a great puck mover that get the puck where you need it, when you need it there. He has the ability to execute power plays as a leader and can help run them while he is on the ice. He has shown the ability to score and will work his heart out to show you that he is worth keeping around.

He will have to be able to stay healthy consistently though, getting hurt a ton won’t help much. This could easily be fixed by adding some more weight on to him. Maybe having him put on more muscle in the off-season. If anything it will protect him, but also make him a much better player on the ice. He likes to run guys over, but, with his 5′ 8″, 187 pound build, the pushing is sometimes hard. However putting on some more muscle in the off-season could be the cure-all for that problem.

Did you know who Joe Hicketts was before the start of the season? He is the first of the Detroit Red Wings prospects that the causal fan may not have known about. Do you see him being in the Grand Rapids system next season? Do you see him having to spend the typical time down in the AHL before he makes the move to the NHL? Let us know below and don’t forget to stay connected to Detroit Jock City for all your Red Wings news as the off-season continues on.

Next: See how Anthony Mantha is working through the AHL

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