By Ansar Khan | firstname.lastname@example.org
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on June 13, 2014 at 10:01 PM, updated June 13, 2014 at 10:07 PM
DETROIT – Tomas Nosek was a late-blooming Czech forward who slipped through the cracks at the 2011 NHL entry draft.
The Detroit Red Wings had their sights set on him three years ago, and their European scouts continued to monitor his progress.
Pleased with his development in the Czech league, the Red Wings are on the verge of signing the free-agent Nosek to a two-year entry-level contract.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound center/left wing (left-handed shooter) will compete for a roster spot in training camp. If he doesn't earn it, he'll play for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He turns 22 on Sept. 1.
Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said 6-8 NHL teams were pursuing Nosek, who had 19 goals and 44 points in 52 games for HC Pardubice in the Czech league.
Red Wings European scouts Vladimir Havluj and Ari Vouri are high on Nosek. Jiri Fischer, Detroit's director of player development, said, "I'm really excited about him."
Nosek played on the 2012 Czech World Junior team that Fischer helped coach as an assistant.
"He's a very smart two-way center who can play the wing," Fischer said. "He's very responsible defensively, makes good plays. He's more of a playmaker than a natural finisher. He just gets better every year."
Fischer said Nosek was Pardubice's best player.
"He'll have to get stronger, work on his skating," Fischer said. "He is a hard worker."
Nosek's agent, Ales Volek, also represents Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco. Volek liked how Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill helped develop Jurco, which aided the Red Wings in their efforts to land Nosek.
The Red Wings are hoping Nosek can attend development camp next month in Traverse City to get acclimated to the organization.
Kukla's Korner also reporting this.