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It's a make-or-break season for Oslund

Saturday, 07.17.2010 / 12:00 AM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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It\'s a make-or-break season for Oslund
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DETROIT – In more than one respect, the upcoming season is make-or-break for Red Wings’ prospect Nick Oslund.

He not only has one last chance to lead St. Cloud State to the NCAA’s Frozen Four, but he also has just one year left to prove his worth to the Wings before they must decide whether or not to sign him.

“We’re looking to get back to that same position,” Oslund said of his team’s loss in March’s West Regional final to fellow prospect Brendan Smith’s Wisconsin Badgers. “We have a good group of guys coming back, a huge core of our team from last year, so we’re looking to get back to that same spot and hopefully into the Frozen Four.”

For now, that’s Oslund’s main focus. He plans on worrying about his future with the Wings after he finishes his upcoming senior year.

“We kind of had that sour taste in our mouth at school about the Frozen Four, we thought we could have been there for sure,” said Oslund, in Detroit for this week’s development camp. “We lost to Wisconsin, that is a team we were back-and-forth with all year. So we know we were right there, and that’s been our focus at school, and I think that’s pretty much what I’ve been focused on as well.”

Oslund’s decision to finish his college career is reminiscent of former St. Cloud State player Ryan Malone, who spent four successful seasons in Minnesota before heading to the pros. NHL teams cannot sign NCAA players until they opt to leave college or graduate, and the Wings’ staff is content to let Oslund utilize his full five years of development.

The 6-foot-3, 215 pound forward plays a physical game, and his size has impressed Wings’ assistant general manager Jim Nill.

“He’s a big, strong power forward,” Nill said. “He’s another one of those guys we don’t have a lot of in our system, so it’s nice when you get those big, strong guys that can help play the other part of the game for us.”

However, four summers at the Wings’ annual development camp has made Oslund realize that his skating ability still needs work before he truly develops into an NHL-caliber player.

“Getting better at foot-speed,” Oslund said when asked what he’s been told he needs to work on. “Just work on my quickness, continue to be physical. Just keep doing what I’m doing, and like I said, just improve my quickness.”

He plans to improve that aspect of his game during the upcoming season. And by next August, Oslund hopes to tell the Wings’ staff his all-around play helped his team win an NCAA title.




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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59