An original six franchise, the Detroit Red Wings are on track to return to its glory days under the guidance of franchise great, Steve Yzerman.
In the past six drafts, the Red Wings have loaded up on draft picks to the tune of eight first-round, 12 second-round picks, and 11 third-round picks. As a result, the pipeline is flush with promising prospects.
As promising as the future is for Detroit, the team is already competitive as we hit the first quarter mark of the season and at the time this was written, Detroit sits fourth in the Atlantic Division. The team’s average age is a young 26.07 years
The team is comprised of recent graduates from the prospect rankings and young stars in Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, and Dylan Larkin making the team competitive right now. As the talent matures and the roster is infused with the prospects coming down the pipe, the Wings will transition to a contender in the near future.
1. Simon Edvinsson, LD – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Drafted: 2021 round one, sixth overall by Detroit Red Wings
After Mo Seider won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year, many were thinking the Wings could have back-to-back Calder defensemen in Edvinsson. The big mobile Swede has come to North America, but the Wings are showing patience with his development allowing him to adjust to North American hockey at the AHL level. He has hit the ground running with nine points through his first 15 games.
Still eligible for another tour at the World Junior with Sweden Edvinsson may make his NHL debut before the season’s end. He has the upside to evolve into the Red Wings top defenseman even surpassing Seider. With these two studs on the blueline, the Wings defense is in excellent hands.
2. Marco Kasper, C – Rogle BK (SHL)
Drafted: 2022 round one, eighth overall by Detroit Red Wings
In his D+1 year and second full season in the SHL, the Austrian pivot has already matched his previous seasons’ point totals in a third of the games played. Kasper already has international experience at the World juniors and the World Championship as an 18-year-old.
Kasper is a complete player, has good size, is a good skater, with good offensive and defensive instincts. He may lack elite individual skill but Kasper is on a fast track to a top-six role and likely second-line center.
3. Jonatan Berggren, W/C – Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Drafted: 2018 round two, 33rd overall by Detroit Red Wings
The Swedish winger made the move to North America after his breakout season in the SHL in 2020-21. As an AHL rookie, he scored 21 goals and racked up 64 points in 70 games in an impressive season that saw his stock climb.
Berggren was assigned to the AHL to start the current campaign and he continued his strong play with seven points in as many games. His play earned him an NHL recall and his production has transitioned nicely with seven points in his first 11 NHL games.
4. Sebastian Cossa, G – Toledo Walleye (ECHL)
Drafted: 2021 round one, 15th overall by Detroit Red Wings
Goalies seldom get selected in the first round of the NHL draft these days, but the Wings selected Cossa with the 15th overall pick in 2021. Cossa was dominant in the WHL during his career with the Edmonton Oil Kings with career stats of a 71-16-7 record with 14 shutouts.
After closing out his WHL career with a Championship he begins his pro career and is adjusting in the ECHL. It is not uncommon for goalies to start their pro career in the “Coast” where they can play more games. Yzerman has proven to be patient with developing prospects so expect Cossa to take a few years of development before he is defending the Red Wings goal
5. Elmer Soderblom, LW/RW – Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Drafted: 2019 round six, 159th overall by Detroit Red Wings
One of the most underrated prospects in a while. The behemoth winger stands 6-8 but is more sizzle than steak. Soderblom lacks draft pedigree but is an accomplished player with a U-18 Gold Medal, Hlinka Gretzky Silver Medal, and a Champions Hockey League Championship. Soderblom flashed his hands at the 2021 WJC scoring some highlight-reel goals for Sweden. He enjoyed a breakout season in the SHL last year scoring 33 points.
He made the move to North America this year and was expected to debut in the AHL but has started and stayed in the NHL scoring two goals. If Soderblom developed a mean streak, he would be scary good.
6. Albert Johansson, LD – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Drafted: 2019 round two, 60th overall by Detroit Red Wings
Two things the Red Wings have plenty of in the system are Swedes and defensemen. Johansson has been evolving for three years as a teenager in the SHL and quite frankly outgrew the league. Johansson has come to North America and is making the transition in the AHL.
His offensive game has not translated at this point, and he will never be a top offensive defenseman in the NHL, but his mobility, ability to play with pace, and defensive game make give him a promising NHL prospect.
7. William Wallinder, LD – Rogle BK (SHL)
Drafted: 2020 round two, 32nd overall by Detroit Red Wings
Another Swedish defender. Wallinder brings size and skating ability that makes him an intriguing package. Wallinder made his SHL debut last year as a 19-year-old in his D+2 year. In his sophomore season in the SHL his offensive game is beginning to flourish with four goals and 15 points through 22 games.
His development has been slow, but steady and may require another year of SHL development followed by some AHL seasoning before he is a legit contender for an NHL job. It is looking like that outcome is simply a matter of time.
8. Carter Mazur, LW – University of Denver (NCAA)
Drafted: 2021 round three, 70th overall by Detroit Red Wings
Mazur is a fast-rising prospect. He had a strong freshman season in the NCAA with 38 points in 41 games on a championship roster. His play at the summer rescheduled WJC with USA was excellent as well as he scored five goals in five games as one of the tournament’s standout performers. His sophomore season in the NCAA has him scoring 12 goals in his first 15 games, but only five assists.
Mazur takes pucks and play to the other team’s goal, often resulting in a goal or a penalty. He plays an agitating and physical game as well which helps make him a dynamic player.
9. Shai Buium, LD – University of Denver (NCAA)
Drafted: 2021 round two, 36th overall by Detroit Red Wings
The other half of the Red Wings dynamic duo from the Denver Pioneers. Buium played top minutes as a freshman scoring 18 points.
He has the size to be an impact at the NHL level. He has strong offensive instincts, can make breakout passes, join, or lead a rush, and has the vision and shot to run a power play. His skating is the only average component of his game as his mobility is a little heavy at times, but that is correctable.
Buium could be ready to begin his pro career as soon as this spring when the college season ends.
10. Donovan Sebrango, LD – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Drafted: 2020 round three, 63rd overall by Detroit Red Wings
Still only 20 years old, the Kingston native is now a three-year veteran of the AHL. This may be a by-product of the pandemic, but his development has fast forward to a point where he already has over 100 career games played in the AHL and played in the WJC in the summer for Canada as a key player for their Gold Medal Championship.
His offensive upside may never develop in the NHL, but he is a steady and physical defender that can play big minutes.
Theodor Niederbach – Trending in the wrong direction since being drafted in 2020. Limited ice time in the SHL has resulted in limited production.
Jared McIsaac – only entering his second season in the AHL, the 22-year-old continues to develop. Injuries have slowed down his development and his offensive game may never materialize at the NHL level.
Cross Hanas – Steady development during his WHL career and has been producing in AHL as a rookie. He is trending up.
Dmitri Buchelnikov – An undersized offensive winger who scored 75 points in 56 MHL games in his draft year. Trying to stick in KHL in his D+1 with SKA St. Petersburg.
Robert Mastrosimone – Played for three years at Boston University and transferred to Arizona State for his senior year. Improved production but is a solid candidate to become a free agent in the summer given the Wings depth.
Dylan James – 2022 second-round pick from the USHL is a freshman at the University of North Dakota and playing a prominent role and producing.
Redmond Savage – Produced a point per game with the US National team in his draft year. Now a sophomore at Miami University, he also played for USA at the WJC.
Kirill Tyutyaev – A sleeper prospect who missed almost the entire 2021-22 season to injury. Has been a standout in rookie tournaments. Worth keeping an eye on.