DETROIT – Defenseman Joe Hicketts, 23, played 11 games with the Detroit Red Wings this past season.
You may recall him from the beginning of the season, and then right at the end of the season when, well, the Red Wings were polishing their golf clubs between periods.
There is no ignoring that Hicketts is considered pretty small for a defenseman in the NHL at 5-foot-8, which is likely why he did not get drafted despite a very strong four seasons with the Victoria Royals of the WHL -- he had 61 points in 59 games played his final season of juniors. He's spent the past three seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins and has been called up to the Red Wings a few times.
In those 11 games with the Red Wings last year (a small sample) his Corsi For rating percentage overall was 39.5. That's pretty bad. In fact, it was one of the worst ratings on the Red Wings last year. Sooo ... he played 64 games (27 points) with the Griffins instead.
But Steve Yzerman has decided to keep him in the system for the time being, announcing a two-year contract. He would have been a restricted free agent looking for a job.
Good for him. He plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Still, I don't really see a spot for him on the Red Wings at this point, but who really knows what the defense will look like by, say, December. It could look like this come October:
|Danny DeKeyser||Mike Green|
|Jonathan Ericsson||Filip Hronek|
|Trevor Daley||Madison Bowey/Patrik Nemeth|
Hicketts is a longshot for making this roster with Oliwer Kaski, Dennis Cholowski, Moritz Seider, Gustav Lindstrom, Vili Saarijärvi, Brian Lashoff (yep, still in the system) all competing for a spot. Maybe Lashoff isn't really competing. And about Seider: Is he even playing in North America this season? We'll find out more once Training Camp starts.
Red Wings tickets on sale this week
Reminder: Single-game tickets for all 2019-20 regular season home games at Little Caesars Arena will go on sale this Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m.
Fans can purchase individual game tickets at the Little Caesars Arena XFINITY Box Office (313-471-7575) or online at DetroitRedWings.com.