Bloggers Breakouts 2011 - Detroit Red Wings

It could possibly be a little late for another Blogger's Breakout but this one is good and I totally dropped the ball here so need to try to make things right.  Joe Amici, huge Red Wings fan and loyal FHS reader sent me his own version of a Wings Blogger's Breakout post back on September 30th and due to some scheduling conflicts I was going to post it a few days later but my brain escaped me for a while there and I totally forgot about it until now.  Apologies Joe as this is great stuff and we always want to encourage our readers to participate in the content on the site.

We asked Joe answered seven fantasy questions related to the Wings... check below for his answers.

If you're interested in FHS' breakout picks and fantasy take on the Wings check out our draft kit which includes The Breakout Bible, the Fantasy Scouting Report (with SuperStats included) and our Fantasy Prospect Database.


Q1) Detroit's Breakout of the Year?
With the Red Wings' "rebuild on-the-go" style, we are blessed here in Detroit with a breakout player every couple years. This year, breakout is written all over Ian White. The only team White has played for that remotely resembles the offensive power of the Wings is the Sharks, which he was just under a 0.5 point-per-game pace before getting injured. Thats about a 40-point season. With Lidstrom at even strength and the potential to play first or second lie powerplay duties with Holmstrom or Cleary parked in front of the net, the still-young (27 years old) White looks to have a career year.

Q2) Darkhorse Breakout on Detroit?
Jiri Hudler is considered Darkhorse in my book. Although he's already had a 57 point year with the Wings, after a year overseas and a sad 37 poiny year last year, most expect about a 45 point ceiling for Hudler. However, he's shown potential his whole career (point-per-game season in KHL and 97 point in 76 AHL games in the '05-'06 season. He's darkhorse because depending on his line assignment, Hudler's ceiling is much closer to 75-80 points.

Q3) League-Wide Breakout of the Year?
Taylor Hall is without a doubt going to be the league-wide berakout player. His rookie season oddly resembles Stamkos' rookie season. When comparing the two, Stamkos had 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points in 79 games with a minus-13 and 181 shots before improving to a 51 goals and 44 assists for 95 points with a minus-2 his sophomore season. Last year, Hall had 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points in 65 games with a minus-9 and 186 shots. The stats are shocking similar and so are the skill levels. Expect big things, and expect them this year.

Q4) Player likely to Breakdown on Detroit?
Tomas Holmstrom without a doubt. While he still will likely work the front of the net on powerplays, the beatings he has taking from goalies and defencemen over the year are catching up. His even strength role will likely decrease along with his point output and games played (injuries) as his hockey career begins to end.

Q5) Best Fantasy Prospect on Detroit?
Cory Emmerton will be great for the Wings... one day. While he can possibly make the team this year, the future holds great for Emmerton. He has a natural scoring touch and centering a line for a more-veteran Zetterberg in a few years would do wonders for the kid.

Q6) How do you see Detroit's Goalie Situation playing out this year?
Jimmy Howard is "unproven" to many after having a good rookie season and a rather poor sophmore season. Watching Wings hockey since I was a young one, I've never thought our goalies were "elite" by any means, but with the Wings playing style (allowing opponents minimal shots on goal), Howard will continue to be a great goalie for the team. I see him starting 65-70 games this year. If he does struggle through the season, look for the Wings to make a move on a goalie come trade deadline as they have a lot of cap-space to work with.

Q7) The Wings are a much younger team this year with a few big retirements. How do you think this will effect the older, veteran team we are used to seeing?
Every bunch of years, the Wings make a move from veteran to young. The Wings good farm system always seems to turn out some new studs, usually multiple, as a few veteran leaders retire. Expect to see a few young unknowns emerge as studs in the next few years. Until then, enjoy watching Lidstrom for at least another year and Zetterberg/Datsyuk for multiple years to come.

Thanks again to Joe, great stuff.

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