Are Detroit Red Wings fans ready for Simon Edvinsson?

Drafting and developing is fun, but what’s even better? Watching Detroit Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson play hockey in the National Hockey League. Here’s why.
Detroit Red Wings v Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Edvinsson’s game seems to parallel this scene in many ways.

When the season began, and even back to last season, Edvinsson played with questionable consistency. Part of this inconsistency could stem from injuries, new leagues, unfamiliar environments, opportunity for physical conditioning.

For Edvinsson, he seems to be at his best when he’s tuninginto the game and anticipating the game. 

Defensemen have a challenging responsibility to buy time for their forwards. Any extra second their forward gets could mean the difference between a win or loss of a shift (and overall game). 

It’s difficult to be constantly tuned in, and can get exhausting. 

In Edvinsson’s case, maybe he feels the same way. However, he seems to be at his best when he’s communicating well with his teammates. 

Albert Johansson seemed to be a great partner for Edvinsson during the 2023-24 season, especially when they were communicating. 

There are times where it seems like Edvinsson is focusing on his own tater tots. Whether those tots are the crowd, something on a video board or scoreboard, or just kind of in space, at times Edvinsson can get off track.

Having someone like Johansson (or maybe even an Olli Määttä who seems pretty patient and focused) seems to be a great recipe for success. Edvinson is an amazing player when he feels comfortable, confident, and is on the same page as his teammates.

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth reiterating, Edvinsson might seem like extra effort (especially in terms of supposedly “low maintenance” Swedes). Players should be responsible for knowing how to best prepare themselves before games and in between shifts on the ice. As Edvinsson matures, he might improve in this way to, essentially, anticipate his own needs. Even if he doesn’t, he’s still worth investing in long-term.

While Jeff Petry played as well as he’s ever looked with Edvinsson at the end of the Detroit Red Wings season, he’s not a long-term solution for Edvinsson’s defensive partner.

To me, finding Edvinsson’s partner isn’t vital to his success in National Hockey League (NHL), but how successful he becomes. 

He is destined to be one of the best defensemen in the NHL. It’s up to him and the Detroit Red Wings to nurture this side of Edvinsson and give him every opportunity to succeed, but he needs stability and reliability, especially in his defensive partner. 

Maybe this consistent defensive partner is Moritz Seider. On paper, it seems like a decent match but who knows in real life if it can work. Also, that’s putting a lot of things (money, talent, and defensively-sound defensemen) on the top pair, which may leave the rest of the defensive pairs sparse. For these reasons, I think it’s likely that Edvinsson’s long-term partner is going to be someone other than Seider.

As the search for Edvinsson’s long-term defensive partner continues (if it’s not Johansson, but he gets my full support), Edvinsson has proven that he can play well with various partners. As we reviewed, Petry hasn’t looked better, and that’s a great sign.