| Detroit Free Press
Why the Detroit Red Wings love Filip Hronek: “For a little guy he plays hard”
Young defenseman Filip Hronek is doing a lot of good things for the Detroit Red Wings. Filmed Jan. 10, 2020 in Detroit.
The Detroit Red Wings look like they will have some impressive players on defense next fall.
One of the few good stories to come out of their miserable 2019-20 season was the play of Filip Hronek, the No. 53 pick from the 2016 draft who rose to average 24 minutes a game. When it became clear the pandemic would push the start of the 2020-21 NHL season into 2021, the Wings loaned Hronek to Mountfield HK in the Czech Republic’s top hockey league.
Hronek had two points Tuesday to give him 10 goals and 13 assists in 22 games in the Extraliga.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, fellow right-handed shot Moritz Seider picked up an assist to extend his scoring streak to four straight games. In 16 games with Rögle in the Swedish Hockey League, Seider has two goals and 10 assists.
Seider, 19, was Steve Yzerman’s top selection at sixth overall in 2019. The pandemic led the Wings to loan him to Rögle, where he’s averaging 20 minutes a game for the top-ranked team in the SHL.
Also on Tuesday, Joe Veleno scored his sixth goal of the season for Malmö.
The loan agreement with the SHL means neither Seider nor Veleno will be recalled for training camp in advance of the Jan. 13 start to the 2021 season. Hronek and Filip Zadina, who also was loaned to a team in the Extraliga, will both be recalled.
Hronek, 23, was drafted at 53rd overall by former general manager Ken Holland. Holland acquired the pick in the trade in which the Arizona Coyotes took on the last year of Pavel Datsyuk’s contract in exchange for flipping first-round picks (the Coyotes moved up to draft defenseman Jacob Chychrun at 16th; the Wings moved back to 20th and drafted defenseman Dennis Cholowski).
Hronek (6-foot, 183 pounds) was the Wings’ best defenseman last season, with nine goals and 22 assists in 65 games. His role expanded after Danny DeKeyser was lost to injury eight games in, and Hronek handled the extra load with a maturity beyond his age. Hronek plays with grit, too, going into corners and mixing it up with opponents.
Seider (6-4, 207) looks poised to make the Wings for the 2021-22 season based on how well he’s handled himself at the SHL level. He and Hronek figure to be major parts of the rebuild.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.