Fresh Faces: Ian White

We’ll take a one-by-one look at some of the new additions in the locker room this season. Both free agents and young prospects with a chance of making the team will be profiled.

Our first edition will look at the biggest free agent signed by the Wings this offseason, Ian White of Steinbach, Manitoba. White has drawn some obvious comparisons to recently retired Brian Rafalski. The two do have a lot in common. Both undersized, generously listed at 5’10”. Both players overcoming adversity to make the league (White drafted 191st overall in 2002, Rafalski undrafted played four seasons in Europe before getting his shot in New Jersey.)

But the similarities end there. While White did get a shot on the power play last season in San Jose following an upper body injury to defensemen Dan Boyle, he lacks the vision and touch Rafalski perfected in his years quarterbacking the Devils and Red Wings man advantage. Rafalski preferred to use his stick and position to regain possession, where White looks to separate forward and puck with his body, which at times leads to odd man rushes.

But White will bring the Red Wings blue line some added grit. Although undersized, White will be an unwelcome site for forwards interested in screening Jimmy Howard. He plays with an edge, and can usually do so without taking an unnecessary penalty. He is only 27 years old, and many believe his best hockey is still ahead of him.

Ian White Brings Grit To Red Wings Blue LIne

White played with the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks last season. He was San Jose’s best defenseman in Game 2 of last years Conference Semifinal victory over the Red Wings.  Before that, he spent multiple seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had his best year in 2009-10, splitting time between Toronto and Calgary, as he recorded 13 goals and 25 assists.

There is a good deal of optimism surrounding White’s signing. “We’ve seen him a lot in the San Jose series,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He can play on the power play, he’s a competitor. He’s a guy that thinks the game. He’s got the skills.”

We’ll back back with the next Fresh Face this week, stay tuned!

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Posted on September 13, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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