Projecting the Red Wings Opening Night Roster: Before Free Agency

Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Future is Now for the Detroit Red Wings

Now let’s take a look at the non-NHL players currently under contract who have a shot to make the team this year, assuming no changes to the current contract situation. I would say that group of players is as follows: forwards Berggren, Veleno, and Söderblom; defensemen Edvinsson, Johansson, Sebrango, McIsaac. Obviously there are too many names for the amount of available blanks here, so I will fill out my team as follows:

Vrána, Larkin, Bertuzzi
Raymond, Suter, Berggren
Erne, Rasmussen, Veleno
Smith, Sundqvist, Söderblom

Oesterle, Seider
Edvinsson, Hronek
Johansson, Lindström

Husso, Nedeljkovic

I don’t know about you guys, but I am excited to see all four of these young Swedes crack the lineup and see what they can do. I have Edvinsson on the 2nd pair for now, but who doesn’t want to see an Edvinsson-Seider pairing? If all goes well, that could be an extremely imposing presence to lead the Wings back end for years to come.

One of the best parts about this exercise I think, is that it shows clearly where improvement is most needed. We all know we need some real top-4 defensemen; I think with Seider and Edvinsson we have 2, but we need 2 more. And up front, the top line is good, but there’s not enough scoring below that, particularly from the 2nd line.

I could see packaging one of these NHL-ready Swedes and a deeper prospect for a proven asset from a cash-strapped team (Shea Theodore, anyone?). The possibilities are endless.

light. Related Story. The Marco Kasper Selection Was the Right Choice

Future scenarios aside, there you have it. Based on the current players under contract, I think that would be the roster come October 14 vs. Montreal. We will undoubtedly have lots of movement and ins and outs not only in the next week, but the rest of the offseason as well. Comment below if you would assemble a different team, or what moves you’re hoping to see this offseason. We will revisit this projection throughout, and see how the team improves through this crucial offseason.