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 has grown tremendously

Aside from being able to team up with various defensive partners (with varying skill levels, styles, and ages), Edvinsson has proven he’s improved exponentially this season.

Under the direction of Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Dan Watson, and defensive coach Brian Lashoff, Edvinsson has displayed a growth in confidence. Edvinsson’s dedication to improving his hands and skills was apparent, but at times he seemed to hold back.

There are times that I wish Edvinsson would push more, as to me he’s one of the most talented players in the American Hockey League (AHL) and could be one of the best defensemen in the NHL. 

It’s great that he can make routine, smart, and simple plays for his team. Doing those things consistently will help his team win. Yet, I would love to see him take charge a bit more on the ice.

His passing can be sublime with full, ice-length passes and his puck carrying ability is incredible to watch at times. 

I think most of the time, defensemen are asked to play a safer game as it’s predictable to their forwards and goaltenders and it works well in any given system. Also, I believe that many defensemen who possess a similar skillset to Edvinsson might not use the best decision-making for whatever reason or they might not have the level of skill that Edvinsson has.

Edvinsson’s toolkit is an easy one to project. Number one defenseman with power play and penalty kill upside, top units of both. He’ll munch minutes and do so with the most asthetically-pleasing skating you’ll ever see. 

It might seem like a big ask and be a bit premature, but based on my viewings of Edvinsson, he can control the game. He’s not reacting, mitigating chances, or treading water. 

Similar to Seider, Edvinsson skates well, can play physical

While these things make him sound similar to Seider, I think there are quite big differences between these players.

Edvinsson’s the better skater (not just visually, he’s just better built for skating), and I give overall skill level to Edvinsson over Seider. There are somethings that Edvinsson does that very few, if any, can do. His size, skating, and hands are very rare in the NHL.

Compete, consistency, and physicality go to Seider. Part of this might be that Seider can’t rest on his skill alone to succeed like Edvinsson can. 

It should be noted, Edvinsson has vastly improved in compete, consistency, and physicality. 

He reached a new level in his final game of the season. When he played in game 4 against the Milwaukee Admirals, Edvinsson finished more checks than I can count (not just because I can’t count that high, but that he finished a lot of checks). 

I could tell every shift if Edvinsson was on the ice or not, he had that much of an impact on the game. This improved play could be a result of the playoff pressures, or maybe he hated seeing the way his teammates were treated throughout the series and had enough of it.

Edvinsson competed his bum off and it was every shift that I saw of Edvinsson. Earlier in the playoffs, Edvinsson made great plays and had some confidence as well. His beast switch seems to be activated when his team is getting picked on, though, and I can respect that fully.

As for next season, this offseason is a big question mark. 

He couldn’t play in game 5 (the final game for the Grand Rapids Griffins) due to injury and missed all but the 1 above-mentioned game that series.

If the injury prevents him from training this summer or he’s not ready for training camp, I wouldn’t be surprised if he warms up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a bit in 2024-25. 

If he’s healthy, then he will have to steal someone’s job. 

Something the Detroit Red Wings could potentially try is having Edvinsson (and/or Johansson) play right side. Typically they play left side defense, but both have played on the right side without too many difficulties. 

It might provide flexibility for the Detroit Red Wings lineup and not having too many rookies on the left side. 

Another thing the Detroit Red Wings might do is rotate the defense. Similar to this season how guys tagged in and out all season, but after the halfway mark the team seemed to have a favorite 6 (or 7) they played.

As a fan of Johansson and Edvinsson, I wouldn’t be too keen on the idea of rotating them. Although they can learn a bit from watching games, I think they just need to play. Get them consistent minutes, roles, and defensive partners (injuries-permitting) and let them adjust to the NHL as quickly and well as possible.

Johansson and Edvinsson kind of go hand in hand for me. Both players are ready to take the next step, I just hope that head coach Derek Lalonde is patient and understanding with a couple of rookie defensemen. They’ll more than pay their dividends if Lalonde gives them a real chance (whether on the same pair or not).

I know Detroit Red Wings fans are ready for Edvinsson, but I know the rest of the NHL and its fans are not. Should be a fun 2024-25 season, and I can’t wait!

Next. May 31. No friendly ghost in Detroit Red Wings Marco Kasper. dark