The first thing Mike Babcock would like to see from rookie defenseman Adam Almquist might make some players happy to hear if it was asked of them.
“He has to fall in love with the gym—and eating,” Babcock said of the 5’11”, 174 pound 22 year-old. “The challenge is there for him. He has a lot of talent and he can move the puck.”
Almquist joined the Red Wings in Winnipeg to replace the injured Brendan Smith, who tweaked a shoulder in Edmonton on Saturday night.
Almquist is a puck-moving blueliner whose offensive skills impressed Babcock enough that Almquist was one of the last roster cuts in training camp.
“He doesn’t get in trouble and makes smart decisions,” leader of the defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “He’s very skilled with great hands and vision. He’s going to be good for us on the power play.”
Almquist, a Swede, was drafted in the 7th round by Detroit in the 2009 entry draft.
In Monday’s game at Winnipeg, I thought Almquist looked comfortable and more than once exhibited that trait that is so hard to teach to young players making the transition to the NHL: patience with the puck.