Detroit Red Wings: What’s the future look like for Jared McIsaac?

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Jared McIsaac in the second round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, using the 36th overall draft choice to grab him. He was one of the Red Wings’ top prospects at one point, being given a ton of praise for his potential at the NHL level.

However, the Detroit Red Wings have never been able to get much out of the defenseman, as he has battled several injuries along the way. He’s certainly had his fair share of bumps and bruises with shoulder injuries that plagued his play over the years.

But McIsaac has finally found his way to Grand Rapids and is trying to prove that he deserves a chance to get to Detroit. The biggest issue for McIsaac is that there are a lot of potential roadblocks for him to get to the NHL level.

McIsaac’s ceiling may have decreased from what it once was, but he’s still got an upside and will likely end up in the league someday. It may not even be in a Red Wings uniform, but McIsaac’s been working toward an NHL debut for quite some time.

Detroit Red Wings prospect Jared McIsaac’s outlook

The Red Wings prospect spent the last two seasons playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He played for them in 2020-21 but was loaned overseas to the Finnish Liga to play for HPK during the pandemic, though that was short-lived after a shoulder injury put the kibosh on that.

In 2021-22, McIsaac scored five goals and added 19 assists for 24 total points over 70 games played. He turned around in 2022-23, scoring three goals and adding 19 assists for 22 total points over 61 games played.

The offense has been consistent around that 22-24ish range in points. He was once touted as a two-way defender with some offensive upside, but at this point, the Red Wings are happy he is healthy.

Being able to see McIsaac healthy and producing is good, but it’s not a reason to think that he’s going to be able to jump in at the NHL level. For example, the Red Wings may have an abundance of left-handed shooting defensemen. It’s going to force players to play off-handed, most likely.

Taking that a step forward, McIsaac is behind Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson, both left-handed shooting defensemen with the Grand Rapids Griffins. While off-season changes could open up spots, we’re talking about a lot of off-season changes to open up that much room, which would be counterproductive.

While it sucks that McIsaac has not been able to crack the NHL roster with the Red Wings, it might become a situation where he gets moved by Steve Yzerman to shake things up in the minors amongst their prospects.

One of those moves where they flip-flop minor-league prospects who might need a new home or a change of scenery. Frankly, the Red Wings are heading down that road with McIsaac.

The current Red Wings roster and a group of prospects the Griffins have made it hard to believe he will get time in a Red Wings uniform any time soon. This off-season could get busy if Yzerman wants to shake some things up and try to make some improvements on the trade market.

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Keep an eye out for a trade that involves McIsaac because it seems very much like something the Red Wings are considering.