Detroit Red Wings no. 4 prospect, Marco Kasper, 18, center
This ranking may come as a bit of a surprise to some, considering Marco Kasper is the most recent first-round draft selection of the Detroit Red Wings. Some outlets will certainly have Kasper in Detroit’s top three, if not first in their prospect rankings, but the jury is still out on where Kasper’s full potential settles.
Being the fourth-best prospect isn’t an insult; look at this group of youthful prospects the Detroit Red Wings have accumulated over the last few years.
Kasper was selected eighth overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2022 NHLEntry Level Draft. Like when Yzerman and company chose Moritz Seider, this choice was a bit of a surprise.
The Red Wings have a clear need at the center position. Hence, the decision to pick a young center wasn’t a shock, and all signs pointed to Matthew Savoie, who went ninth overall to Buffalo, or Conor Geekie, who was selected 11th by Arizona.
Kasper is considered to be an all-around center that is very reliable in all three zones.
The 18-year-old is a gritty center and loves to get under your skin. He hangs his hat on being difficult to play against. He’s an extremely hard worker that is relentless in hounding the puck. He’s proven to be calm under pressure, and while he’s anything but flashy, he always seems to make the right play.
Kasper spent this past season in the Swedish Hockey League skating with Rogle BK Angelholm, where he’d record seven goals and 11 points over 46 games. He’d later add three goals and six points over 13 postseason contests.
"“It’s a really structured league,” Kasper said. “Bigger ice, Olympic-sized ice, really good players in that league. It’s definitely hard to play there because of the structure and I’m really focusing on my defensive game.” “We play a fast-paced game, try to get out of our own zone fast, go and get the puck and work in the offensive zone as much as possible and create scoring chances from there,” Kasper said. “It’s been great playing there.”"
The young forward is expected to remain overseas for the 2022-23 season as he’s also made schooling one of his top priorities.
It may be a year or two before we see the talented workhorse on the ice in North America, but another year playing in the highly competitive Swedish League isn’t necessarily a bad thing.