UPDATE: 8:15 – The Dennis Cholowski pick is official. The broadcast show used Licorice the octopus to reveal the pick and I personally think it was cool. – J.J.
After a day of keeping a tight lid on things, Steve Yzerman’s effort to keep the Seattle Kraken’s pick from the Detroit Red Wings under wraps fell just a few hours short of the expansion draft actually kicking off. According to reports, Seattle will take defenseman Dennis Cholowski with their Detroit pick.
That’s the Seattle selection from Detroit.
Apparently the Kraken were unable to reach him for much of the day.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) July 21, 2021
Cholowski, who turns 24 in February, was taken by then-GM Ken Holland in the 2016 NHL Draft at 20th overall. The pick was never popular among fans, because Ken Holland traded back from pick 16 with Arizona, which ultimately flipped Pavel Datsyuk’s dead money to a team with cap space. That move was in anticipation of Detroit getting a seat at the negotiating table with Steven Stamkos, who eventually re-signed with Tampa, who was under now-GM Steve Yzerman.
Ever since making the jump from college to the pros, Cholowski had difficulty finding a spot on the Detroit Red Wings main roster. He spent plenty of time in Grand Rapids, where he had success as a middle-to-top pair guy in the AHL. While this is certainly closing the book on another questionable pick by Ken Holland (Detroit could have had Jakob Chychrun with the 16th pick in 2016), it’s sad to see such a young prospect go without having shown his full potential. Cholowski is a good skater, but prone to make mistakes that ultimately has kept him off the ice at Little Caesars Arena.
The move is good news for Cholowski — now he’ll be closer to home, and he’ll get a fresh start with a brand-new team who could give him a real shot to be a full-time NHL player.
The NHL expansion draft will kick off tonight in Seattle at 8pm, so keep us bookmarked for any Red Wings related news.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in.