The Detroit Red Wings lost prospect defenseman Libor Sulak to a team in the KHL rather than continue to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL.
The Detroit Red Wings prospect Libor Sulak has decided that staying with Grand Rapids and resigning with the Red Wings is not in his best interest. The Red Wings announced that Sulak has left the team and decided to sign with the Severstal Cherepovets of the KHL. Sulak is a restricted free agent for the Red Wings and decided to leave the organization.
The 2018-19 season only allowed Sulak to play six games with the Red Wings where he did not show much, tallying zero points. Six games are not enough to judge a prospect’s skill at the NHL level, but his time with the Grand Rapids Griffins definitely is. He played in sixty-one games for the Griffins where he tallied five goals and nine assists for fourteen points. Sulak offered some upside on his ability to remain mobile and make smart decisions to join the rush for excellent scoring opportunities.
Sulak is a larger defenseman with a 6-2, 207-pound frame would be in the running for a position with the Detroit Red Wings next year alongside Oliwer Kaski (recently signed), Madison Bowey (acquired in Nick Jensen trade), and Dennis Cholowski. Sulak was one of the more intriguing prospects that the Red Wings had stashed away with the logjam of defenseman on the NHL roster. The Red Wings have until July 30th to make Sulak a qualifying offer to retain him rather than lose him to the KHL on his one year deal with Severstal.
Something to be considered is the retirement of Niklas Kronwall, he is still pondering retirement, and that would free up a spot in the top six guys for the Red Wings. It only frees up one spot if the Red Wings do not go out and sign a big name defenseman as they should. Sulak’s loss decreases the crop of good young defenseman going into the season, and even going into the draft if the Red Wings are targeting Bowen Byram, assuming he falls to the sixth overall pick.
Sulak leaving the Detroit Red Wings can be viewed one of two ways, a loss of a solid offensive defenseman, in case one of or some of the other prospects don’t pan out. The other way to view his departure is that it opens up a spot for someone like Jared McIsaac to make the team out of camp. He’s someone who surprised us this season with a beautiful individual season and could potentially jump right too an NHL roster. Either way, Sulak has departed the Red Wings for the KHL, and it could be a good thing or a bad thing, depends on how you look at it.