4 untouchable prospects the Red Wings cannot trade at the deadline

The Detroit Red Wings are peaking at the right time, so there is no doubt that they will buy at the 2024 trade deadline.

Oct 5, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson (77) skates with
Oct 5, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson (77) skates with / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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Nate Danielson will be a future depth scorer at the absolute least

The ninth-overall pick in this past season’s draft already has the size you look for in the NHL at 6 '2, 187 lbs. And the fact he’s been rather productive in the WHL since 2021-22 shows us that once he’s eligible for the AHL, he should make a relatively smooth transition. 

His stats aren’t outrageous, but they have remained over a point-per-game pace. And since he wore a ‘C’ during his time with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, it also shows that he possesses vocalness and leadership qualities. That speaks volumes for such a young player, and it also implies he will be a respected voice in any locker room. 

Whether he increases his productivity to that of an effective top-six player or if he fares better on the middle-six or even a defensive line is irrelevant. Purpose is the best adjective to describe his game, whether he’s fighting for the puck along the boards or looking for a way to navigate through the neutral zone, so he will be a major contributor whether or not you see results on the stat sheet. 

Not everyone figuring to earn a spot in an NHL lineup after a couple of seasons in the AHL - where he should end up next season - will put up a glamorous game, and Danielson may be that kind of player. But regardless of his role at the next level, look for the 19-year-old to become a sound contributor regardless of which zone he spends a lot of time in. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference and Elite Prospects as of March 1st)