Red Wings Top 10 Question Marks Heading Into the Off-Season

Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jeff Blashill. Former Red Wings head coach. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings NHL Entry Draft. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

What Should the Red Wings Do at Pick Eight?

The Red Wings, after they name a coach, have to figure out the game-plan for the draft. Which, since they are in rebuild mode, has be the top priority for Yzerman.

There are a lot of things that they could look to do at pick eight, but that’s always been what makes the draft so exciting. Right? The anticipation. Knowing that whatever the organization decides to do is going to be something that will define them. The fact that they have a 50/50 chance of hitting on the pick or having a bust. Now, it’s always more fun for us as Red Wings fans if they boom, but we don’t get to decide that.

The Red Wings prospect pipeline consists of some top notch players, and I expect them to take that into full-account as they look to make their selection. And yes, I understand that’s not a revolution or something that you don’t know, but felt as though it needed to be said.

Anyways, the Red Wings top prospects are: Sebastian Cossa, Simon Edvinsson, Jonatan Berggren, William Wallinder, Albert Johannson, Theodor Niederbach, Elmer Soderblom, and more.

The reason I listed out the names for you was so you can see that a majority of the prospects the Red Wings have are defenseman. More spesifically, left-handed defenseman. They don’t really have much forward depth outside of Berggren, Niederback, Soderblom, and Mazur.

Now, that is discouting Michael Rasmussen, Joe Veleno, Lucas Raymond, and Taro Hirose. So, it’s not like they don’t have some young, talented players on their roster. They just aren’t considered prospeccts anymore since they all played this season in the NHL. So, with all this being said, what will the Red Wings do when the draft comes? Well, here are some names that the Red Wings have been tied too.

Marco Kasper, C, Rogle(SHL)

Marco Kasper seems to be a name that pops up a lot in recent Red Wings mock drafts. Now, I’ll be rather honest with you guys, I haven’t watched any film on him. However, I do have scouts analysis on him attached below. So, If you want to read up on him as a player, feel free to take a look. In the mean time, I will say that I do like the fact that he seems to be a rather likeable player. Furthermore, I really like that he is a center as well.

Scouts Take

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic:

"“For the second time in three years, Austria will likely produce a first-round draft pick, with Kasper joining 2020’s Marco Rossi. He’s not a lock in the way Rossi was. He’s not going to go top-10, like Rossi did, either. But he’s an advanced 200-foot centre like Rossi was (is) and that has pushed him into the SHL at an early age. He actually played 10 games for Rögle last year and he’s already past that this year, despite having actually played fewer games at Sweden’s J20 level (a very rare progression path). He doesn’t look out of place either. After posting six points in six games in the Champions Hockey League with the pro club, he has fit in playing a regular shift in the SHL. I don’t see game-breaking skill, finishing or creativity, per se, but he’s a strong skater who plays with pro pace, plays on the interior, and makes plays all over the ice. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he became a contributing — maybe even impactful — NHL player in time.”"

Corey Pronman of The Athletic:

"“Kasper was easy to spot even in SHL games because of how powerful an athlete he is. He would often be the guy to wind it up in his own end to carry the puck due to his great speed and skill. Kasper has a strong 6-foot-1 frame, isn’t afraid to attack the hard areas, and can win some battles versus men as a 17-year-old. Kasper attacks with speed and skill, and while he can pull up to make a play or use his hard shot, his direct style of play will translate to the NHL. He projects as a quality top-two line center.”"

Jonathan Lekkerimaki, C, Djurgardens IF(SHL)

Jonathan Lekkerimaki would be a pretty good pick in my opinion if the Red Wings would be able to land him with pick eight. Now, when I say this I know some of you guys may not agree however, please just hear me out.

Lekkerimaki is known for his two-way play, but there is still more to his game. In fact, I’d argue the two-way play isn’t even the selling point on him.

I know there may be some controversy between that statement, but the truth is, his shot is something that impresses me a lot. I think from a goal scoring prespective, he may be the best in this class. If not the best, he will for sure be apart of the elite.

Lekkerimaki has a right-handed shot, but the shot that he has reminds me a lot of a player along the lines of Vladimir Tarasenko. He has an electric wrist and snap shot that just pops off his stick and is able to beat the goalie high or low and can place it pretty well.

Lekkerimaki, who plays for Djurgarden(Sweeden), has always seemed to do pretty well from a production standpoint. This season, he played in 26 games and had 20 goals and 15 assists for a total of 35 points. Which is pretty good especially given the fact that he was also able to finish with a +18.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki, in his time in the SHL this season, didn’t exactly dominate like we have seen him do previously. However, that doesn’t deter from his talent and potnetial.

Scouts Take

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic:

"“Lekkerimäki has flashed tantalizing goal-scoring acumen in Sweden’s top junior league early on this season, often on a line with Noah Östlund and Liam Öhgren, two other first-round candidates in the 2022 class. All three have been a ton of fun to watch but Lekkerimaki has more often dazzled. Even though the other two have received the greater SHL opportunities to date, Lekkerimäki’s late-July birthday and ability to put the puck in the net with consistency from mid-range make him the more exciting of the trio to project forward. He has progressed rapidly, quickly becoming a dynamo inside the offensive zone and on the power play. He’s got A-level hands, a deceptive release, and a slyness to his game that allows him to get to spots to score with and without the puck. With the right development and patience, he’s got clear upside as a top-six creator off the flank.”"

Corey Pronman of The Athletic:

"“Lekkrimaki is a skilled winger who has various offensive elements in his game, but the clear strength of his game is his shot. He is a goal-scoring threat from the faceoff dots with a hard, accurate wrist shot and one-timer that projects to be a weapon in the NHL. He has good speed, hands and vision to generate clean entries and make plays but those aspects don’t pop like his shot. Like a lot of shooters, he leans too much on his best asset and play too much on the perimeter which isn’t ideal for a player who lacks size. Lekkerimaki projects as a quality top-six winger.”"

Joakim Kemell, RW, JYP(Liiga)

The Detroit Red Wings have a desperate need to improve upon their goal scoring. Furthermore, they simply need to improve their forward talent. Not really having much production from any players other than the Red Wings first line, that’s a problem. Red Wings could use all the help they could get.

Now, I will say that I’d prefer a center more than a wing, but I just want to make sure we are getting a talented player and Kemell seems to have all the tools.

Scouts Take

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic:

"“The first thing I said about Kemell in my preseason ranking, when I slotted him 17th, was that “I’d sooner rank Kemell higher here than any lower than this.” Then he exploded into the Liiga regular season, jumping out to lead the goal-scoring race with 10 goals in his first 13 games of the year (after scoring in his lone Liiga game at the tail end of last season) and earned this ranking. “He hasn’t rode a high individual shooting percentage to that success either (he ranks near the top of the league in shot generation with more than five per game), though he has carried an unsustainably high PDO and his possession numbers aren’t great. Kemell’s a slick, play-creating winger who excels in possession, carves teams up through coverage to take play from the flanks to the interior, and possesses quick hands. Those tools enable him to take advantage of his dangerous wrister, which he can get off quickly from a variety of stances and at a variety of tempos. “Off of the puck, he also plays with a lot of energy and doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game, which has endeared him to coaches. This should continue as he advances levels. I’d like to see him slow down and utilize his linemates a little better than he does as he’s actually a heady playmaker, but part of what makes him so exciting is his insistence on creating his own looks.”"

Corey Pronman of The Athletic:

"“Kemell is a well-rounded winger who has almost every NHL attribute you want other than the size at 5-foot-11. He brings skill and speed to his shifts, showing the ability to carry the puck up ice and create chances for himself and his teammates. Kemell can pass the puck very well, but his shot is his main weapon. You can set him up from mid-range and he can finish. He lacks size, but he plays hard, showing no fear of engaging physically to win back pucks or to take a hit to make a play. He projects as a very good top-six winger who will score a lot of goals in the NHL.”"

The Red Wings have a big need to improve their center position, and well, simply improve their team. Now, they do have a large prospect pool filled with so many talented players but they aren’t quite ready yet. So, in the meantime they need to continue drafting pieces to help push players along and continue adding some depth to their roster.