Detroit Red Wings battle royale: Marco Kasper vs. Nate Danielson

In this battle royale, we look at Detroit Red Wings prospects Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson to see who might reign supreme.
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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The rebuild has been a long process. I swear I dedicated as much time in seasons past to draft prospects who might be available for the Detroit Red Wings as I did the team itself.

Now, the fun part begins. We get to see what our cupboard actually has in it as general manager Steve Yzerman continues cooking in the kitchen. 

Sometimes, things expire before we get the chance to appreciate them fully, but it doesn’t make the next items in the cupboard less appealing.

To me, the items in the cupboard are drafted Detroit Red Wings prospects. 

Since joining in 2019, Yzerman has collected prospects like they’re stars in Mario Party Superstars. As we see them develop, the future becomes even more tantalizing for fans.

Center depth has been a huge question mark for the organization for a long time. Captain Dylan Larkin has proved he’s a top-6 center, but this team has shown that he can’t do it alone. 

Although free agents have filled spots within the roster each season, I’d be lying if I said I see any as long-term solutions for the Detroit Red Wings.

J.T. Compher may have the most promising outlook from the veteran crop of forwards, but he’s not a second line center on a Stanley Cup contending team. Sadly, I think we are further from contention than most fans hope, but it’s all part of the process. That slow, boring, agonizing process.

It leaves the annual question: who will play behind Larkin as the second line center?

We can always dream of finding a center that drops Larkin to the second line, but without any draft luck it seems unlikely. Overpaying and handing out unnecessary term isn’t a recipe for success it seems.

A couple of prospects will seek a job as a centerman on the Detroit Red Wings lineup next season. Although they may not be a second line center immediately, their futures may align as such.

Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson have compelling storylines, but who is the second line center of the future for the Detroit Red Wings?

In some ways, the players are very similar, yet completely different. 

Similarly, they are both 200 foot players, meaning they’re good on both ends of the ice. They rarely cheat for offense, and pride themselves on their defensive games as much as their offensive games.

Neither is particularly friendly to play against, but this is a bit where the 2 divert.

As for the hierarchy of Kasper versus Danielson, here’s a look at the ranking from McKeen’s Hockey (they provide in-depth assessments of prospects):

As for my personal rankings, I’m not sure who I’d place higher at this time. As I sift through my top-25 prospects, I find it challenging. It’s a great problem to have considering the state of the Detroit Red Wings center depth issues.

Given Kasper has an extra year with the organization and development over Danielson, this question makes me lean towards Danielson. If he’s younger and this question arises, tie usually goes to the younger guy in my mind. Yet, I struggle to confidently give an answer.

There’s just something about Kasper, though.