26-Year-Old Left Wing – Detroit Red Wings
Tomas Tatar Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract extension with the Red Wings in July of 2014.
Tatar will undergo shoulder surgery with the expectation that he'll be ready for training camp this fall, Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News reports.
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Tomas Tatar: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Tatar put himself on the fantasy radar with 19 goals in 2013-14, but he completely blew down the door this past season. The 24-year-old pumped up his production to 29 goals -- nine of which came on the power play, and seven of which were game winners -- to go along with 27 assists in 82 games. That performance solidifies Tatar in the Wings' top-six ranks for both the upcoming campaign and many seasons to follow, giving the team a solid young nucleus of him, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Teemu Pulkkinen, and eventually, top prospects Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin. While he may only be 5-foot-10, Tatar's dynamic offensive abilities and presence aongside veteran centers in Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, or Brad Richards should allow the scoring opportunities to continue to trickle in at a steady clip. Tatar is the real deal and definitely has a 30-goal year in him -- a feat he could accomplish as early as this season.
Tatar scored 19 goals and 20 assists in a breakout effort for the Wings last season, taking part in 73 games. The 23-year-old displayed a knack for offense alongside Gustav Nyquist, and should be a force in Detroit for years to come. He has the potential to be a 50-plus point scorer and is a decent sleeper pick in drafts. Those who are a part of keeper pools should take note: much like many Red Wings before him, his development has been according to formula. A continuation of last year's stellar play is likely in the cards for him.
Fresh off winning the postseason MVP for the AHL champion Griffins, Tatar is likely hoping for bigger and better things in 2013-14. He scored an incredible 16 goals in the AHL playoffs in 24 games, and had seven points in 16 games with Detroit last season. He is probably the Red Wings' top prospect and will get a good, hard look in training camp this fall. In the next year or two, Tatar should be residing in Detroit as a top-six forward, but there is currently a glut of forwards in the organization.
Tatar delivered another 24-goal season at Grand Rapids (AHL) and there's reason to believe that he may be closing in on an opportunity in Detroit. Now 21, it's unclear if he'll develop enough of an all-around game to make that leap permanently out of training camp, but Tatar is one of the more experienced prospects in the Wings' system and the team's need for secondary scoring may pave his way to a top-six role before season's end.
Tatar lit the lamp in his NHL debut for the Wings on New Year's Eve last season, but failed to register another point while holding a depth role for the big club during a nine-game stint. Still just 20 years old, the Slovakian winger has the speed and hands to develop into a top-line sniper in the not-so-distant future. Tatar spent most of his season with Grand Rapids (AHL), racking up 57 points (24 G, 33 A) over 70 games and improving his plus/minus to a plus-14 mark last season. Depth in Detroit will likely keep him in the AHL for one more season, but he could become a part of the regular plans in 2012-13 with many of the aging veterans coming off the books.
Most scouting reports of Tatar are nothing short of glowing. His future appears to be that of a scoring-line sniper, as he's got a combination of top-end speed and excellent hands along with a knack for always being in position to make things happen with the puck. At 19, he's going to return to Grand Rapids (AHL) to continue refining his game – particularly, in the defensive end – but in long-term keeper leagues, there's definite star potential here. Coming up through the Red Wings' system, he may have to be worked in slowly like most of the team's young players (see: Abdelkader, Justin), but Tatar was very productive as the youngest player in the AHL last season (32 points in 58 games) and a 2011-2012 debut with the Wings isn't out of the question.
Tatar has impressed the Wings after being drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft. At 18, he's still a little ways away from cracking a deep lineup in Detroit, but Tatar is an elite talent and the Red Wings are going to develop him in North America at Plymouth (OHL) or possibly Grand Rapids (AHL) to begin his time in the organization. Assistant general manager Jim Nil compared to Tatar to Jiri Hudler, but with better speed. With that skill set, he could wind up landing as a sniping winger on one of the team's scoring lines down the road.