Simon Edvinsson proved that he belongs during his return to the Red Wings

Simon Edvinsson performed at a high level on Tuesday night in his return to the Detroit Red Wings.
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Simon Edvinsson didn't play a flawless game in his return to the Detroit Red Wings, but the team's top defensive prospect performed at an extremely high level and proved that he should remain with the club for the duration of the season.

If it were up to me, Edvinsson's days with the Grand Rapids Griffins would be over. Of course, it isn't up to me, and Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman's plan for Detroit's top defense prospect is difficult to predict.

Edvinsson, 21, has enjoyed a stellar 2023-24 season with the Griffins, recording eight goals and 29 points while maintaining a plus-5 rating playing as the top defender. If there is one thing that can be said about Yzerman, he won't feel the pressure from the media or fans to make a specific move. Still, he surely had heard the mutterings regarding Edvinsson and why he hadn't joined Detroit's struggling backend earlier in the season. Yzerman has a plan, and we know he will stick with it, even if it comes across as stubborn.

Simon Edvinsson proved he deserves to stay with the Detroit Red Wings.

Edvinsson played his third game of the season with Detroit on Tuesday night. The Red Wings came from behind to win 4-3 over the Columbus Blue Jackets, with Jake Walman sidelined with a lower-body injury. Edvinsson played the top four minutes and handled the pressure admirably. Although the young defender made a couple of errors, as expected, Edvinsson looked every bit the part of not only an NHL defender but a top-four player on Detroit's backend right now. He was primarily paired with Jeff Petry, and he played just under 19 minutes, recording two blocked shots and a hit, but was a minus-1.

The young Swedish defender displayed a fluid skating ability; he's someone who, with a large but lanky 6-foot-6 stride, has the ability to skate out of trouble. He can skate the puck out of the defensive zone nicely when an outlet pass is unavailable, and he proved Tuesday night the ability to help with zone entries with his creative yet confident skill set. With Edvinsson's game comes a bit of risk/reward. Think of Jake Walman. The confidence spews when the puck is on his stick in the offensive zone, but he can tend to find himself caught occasionally, leading to odd-man rushes the other way. Edvinsson plays a similar game, but if he can harness his aggressiveness, he will be a top-pairing defender before you know it. In three games with the Red Wings this season, Edvinsson has recorded an assist, a couple of penalty minutes, two blocks, four hits, and a minus-1.

In his return to Detroit, Edvinsson's play caught the eye of his head coach. "He (Edvinsson) was really good. For him to come in like that, play in the top four, he did a really good job,” Lalonde added. You can see that poise, which makes him so special, can get him in trouble, too.  And he did that a couple of times. Coming back into our zone, ended up turning it over. Even in the third, I’m like, ‘(Johnny) Gaudreau’s gonna pick your pocket.’ Everyone saw it and felt the same way. And he almost did. If it wasn’t for him being 6-foot-7 or whatever he is. He probably would have.”