Ken Holland formally announced that Henrik Zetterberg had been named the new captain of the Detroit Red Wings before the team’s Red and White Game at Compuware Ice Arena in Plymouth on Jan. 15.
“When you drafting players, it’s a little bit of a crapshoot,” said Holland, when asked if he knew Zetterberg was captain material when he was drafted. “He was a sixth or seventh rounder, so if we thought he was going to be this good, we probably would have picked him higher, so there’s an element of luck in the draft. But certainly, our scouting staff saw something that they liked, and they picked him when nobody else was going to pick him in that stage of the game.
“I think after we drafted him, he quickly became…he was the rookie of the year in the Swedish Elite League, he was then the most valuable player in the Swedish Elite League, in ’02 he was the only player that the Swedes took over to the Olympics in Salt Lake City that was not an NHL player. It became pretty apparent in a short time after we drafted him that we had a special player on our hands. And you know, he comes onto our team with Steve Yzerman, then obviously it goes to Nick Lidstrom…now it’s his opportunity to be the captain. He probably could have been a captain in another organization well back, but when you have Steve Yzerman and Nick Lidstrom, you wait your turn.”