Detroit Red Wings’ top prospect, Simon Edvinsson, 19, defense
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman was tasked with replenishing the organization’s prospect pool upon taking over from Ken Holland. The cupboards were bare, especially regarding the defense corps and goaltending pipeline.
Since taking over, things have quickly changed. Although we have yet to see Yzerman’s full effect on the ice, players like Simon Edvinsson, who was drafted by Detroit at no. 6 overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft, along with Jonatan Berggren, who Yzerman inherited, are not that far away. Sebastian Cossa, listed earlier, another Yzerman selection, is a top goaltending prospect that projects to make an impact at the NHL level in a few years.
The Red Wings have recently reaped the benefit of Yzerman’s draft brilliance seeing Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider both emerge as stars last season. Both rookies finished as finalists for the Calder Trophy awarded to the league’s top rookie, with Seider coming away with the hardware.
Recently, Yzerman mentioned that he doesn’t set aside roster spots for rookies; they, like veterans, need to earn their roles.
"“I don’t sit here and plan on saying I’m gonna give Prospect A or Prospect B a spot on the roster,” Yzerman said. “I’m not going to do that.” In other words, no prospect is guaranteed a job next season, although Yzerman and the Red Wings are clearly excited about Simon Edvinsson’s potential to join the lineup. “He’s strong. He can skate really well. He does have a chance — I want to say a real good chance to play in the NHL next year,” Yzerman said. “It’s a bit of an educated guess based on okay, this is what Moritz Seider did in the Swedish League last year. Kind of compares him to that. Can he have a similar impact? He’s a different player than Moritz, really. Both are very good, young prospects, but there’s a little bit of a difference in the two of them, and we’ll see how he does. I’m optimistic.”"
Yzerman may have drafted Seider’s future defense partner in 2021. Simon Edvinsson is a 6-foot-4 left-handed defender that excelled last season with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League.
Edvinsson totaled 19 points, including two goals, over 44 games. This production will prompt the Red Wings organization to keep its top prospect in North America for the upcoming season.
Before Yzerman overhauled Detroit’s roster in free agency, Edvinsson appeared to have a path to make the Red Wings’ opening night roster. Still, with the additions of Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta, in particular, Edvinsson seems destined to begin the year in Grand Rapids.
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This isn’t the worst choice; ask Moritz Seider, who dangled his toe in the water with the Griffins for a season before anchoring Detroit’s backend as a rookie last season.