Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

De Haas battles in Penticton

Wings' defensive prospect is excited about bright future

Friday, 09.28.2012 / 1:42 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


De Haas battles in Penticton
Defenseman James de Haas is playing the BCHL this season with the Penticton Vees. (Photo by Garrett James Photography)

Red Wings prospect James de Haas was asked about the nobility particle in his family name this week.

“Nobody ever gets it right,” said de Haas, in a phone interview with DetroitRedWings.com.

So what is ‘de’ story?

Like de Gaulle or da Vinci, the de Haas family prefers to recognize the lower-case letter. However, whether right or wrong, it isn’t a battle that de Haas cares to wage, at least not now.

This month, de Haas began a different crusade – one that potentially has greater consequence to his hockey future – when he packed his things and moved to Penticton, British Columbia.

De Haas, who was the Red Wings’ sixth-round selection in last June’s NHL draft, stayed close to home last season, spent the year with the OJHL’s Toronto Lakeshore. Though he led the Patriots defensemen in scoring, with 10 goals and 19 assists in 45 games, de Haas was ready for a change of hockey scenery.

To maintain his U.S. college eligibility, de Haas chose to stay in Junior A, but in a league that could provide better competition, which would help him prepare for the rigors of the collegiate game.

Jumping to the British Columbia Hockey League was an easy decision, de Haas said, even though it’s the first time he’s lived away from his family’s home in Mississauga, Ontario.

“From what I heard from scouts, coaches, people that I know who played there, it’s just a better league to play in as far as development goes,” said de Haas, who will attend Clarkson University next fall. “This is my last year before I go into school and I figured that it would be better to be in a place where I would development more and get the experience of living away from home.”

Considered to be a solid puck-moving defenseman, the 6-foot-4 de Haas has already produced two assists and a game-winning goal in overtime in six games for the Vees (5-1-0).

“I think my strengths are making the first pass out of the D-zone and I like to join in the rush a little bit,” de Haas said. “I think working the power play is another one of my strengths.”

While it’s only the first month of the BCHL season, the 19-year-old feels that he has already seen measurable improvement from a year ago.

“So far, I’ve improved on my battling down low and my D-zone coverage,” de Haas said. “It’s been something that I’ve really been focused on since I’ve been out here.

“You have to battle hard if you want to play here and the coaches have made that apparent. They’ve said that they don’t care about your track record; they don’t care where you’ve committed or where you were drafted. If you’re not going to battle and play hard down low than you’re not going to get the opportunities to play on the power play and stuff like that.”

If de Haas is to become the lockdown defender that he’s projected to be by many pro scouts, then his physical strength must continue its current course.

“One of the things that I’m always working on is my leg strength,” he said. “When you get higher and higher with each level you go it’s really important. Even since I’ve been out here I’ve tried to workout as much as I can after my team workouts. If I have a free 45-minutes or an hour I try to get a little workout in or go on the ice and maybe do some foot-work (drills). I’m always working on improving my strength.”

With the physical aspects of his game on the rise, attending the Wings’ development camp in Traverse City provided a glimpse to future expectations.

“I got to see some of my competition for the next few years, all the older guys,” said de Haas, of the week-long camp last July. “It showed me what level that I need to be at when I get a few years older. It was definitely good to get that experience under my belt and what I learned there on-ice and off will certainly help me.”

In hindsight, Clarkson certainly could have benefited from a player of de Haas’s caliber this season after the Golden Knights learned they will start the ECAC campaign without sophomore defenseman Kevin Tansey, who was savagely assaulted in Ottawa this summer.

While de Haas is excited to begin college life in Upstate New York, he’s equally eager to getting his college playing career underway.

“In speaking with the coaches, I really liked what they had to say,” de Haas said. “I just thought it was a good opportunity there, so I decided to take it and until this day I’m really happy about it.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89