Simon Edvinsson continues to excel with the Detroit Red Wings

It looks as though Detroit Red Wings top prospect is here to stay.

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The Detroit Red Wings coaching staff is very impressed with the play of rookie defenseman Simon Edvinsson since being recalled from Grand Rapids. Head coach Derek Lalonde has inserted the top prospect in as a top four defenseman often paired with Jeff Petry, and he's looked the part. Most of you are snickering and feeling bad for Edvinsson because he's forced to carry that second pairing, but Lalonde wants the young defender paired with a veteran.

Petry is a rough draw for anyone and continues to be the center of one of Lalonde's flaws: being loyal to Petry. Petry has performed horribly in March, entering the month as a plus-4 and currently maintaining a minus-9 rating on the season. Again, plus/minus doesn't hold much merit in today's game, but it can be telling when you see such a significant swing in either direction over such a short period of time.

Lalone is fixated on playing Petry, but why not lessen his workload and have him on the third pairing? I suppose the only issue with that is that he'd be paired with Shayne Gostisbehere, and the two really struggle with defensive zone coverage, so maybe I've answered my question. That pairing would be a recipe for disaster.

With Jake Walman back in Detroit's lineup, he skated with Gostisbehere in Tampa Bay as Lalonde elected to leave Ben Chiarot with Moritz Seider; the two have played well together. By doing this, the Red Wings are guaranteed to have one of Seider, Edvinsson, or Walman deployed at all times. The balance may help offset their partners' defensive deficiencies.

Veteran defenseman Olli Määttä found himself the odd man out on Monday in Tampa Bay with Walman's return. Also, Justin Holl has now become the eighth defender and a prime candidate to be bought out this summer. General manager Steve Yzerman has swung and missed a couple of times in free agency, but maybe none bigger than signing Holl. He's played sparingly in year one of his three-year deal, which averages $3.4 million per season.

Simon Edvinsson has given the Detroit Red Wings a significant boost.

Edvinsson, 21, has played nine games this season and 18 total over his young NHL career. This season, he's averaged over 18 minutes per night and has recorded one assist. The 6-foot-6, lanky Swedish defender has posted an even rating to go with seven blocked shots and 15 hits. His reach, ability to keep plays alive, skating ability, and willingness to play a bit physically when needed have stood out in this latest call-up.

Edvinsson was a plus-5 in 52 games with the Griffins, posting eight goals and 29 points. At times, the young defender looked almost bored with the AHL competition, and if anything, the Red Wings waited a month or two too long before recalling their top defense prospect.

Recently, Lalonde talked about his impact on the Red Wings. "He breaks pucks out, manages his game, has the long stick, keeping plays alive — he's been really, really good," coach Derek Lalonde said after the morning skate at Amalie Arena. "What's exciting for us is his consistency. "Even his earlier call-up and his time last year, some mistakes would find him," Lalonde said. "He's limiting those. He's been a big boost for us."

Edvinsson weighed in on his game. "I feel like I've been more consistent in my game," Edvinsson said. I feel like the defensive part has been good, and there's improvement in building the offense—I feel that's going to come with time. You read the game differently from the first time you are up. Of course, mistakes are going to come, but you try to cancel as many of them as possible. I've felt pretty good, actually. I feel like I'm in a good spot."