While the Detroit Red Wings wait for the start of the upcoming NHL season, a large number of their prospects are playing overseas in Europe. Most of these prospects have been playing in the Swedish Hockey League with varying success. Let’s take a look at what the Red Wings’ top prospects have done so far through the first month and a half.
Jonatan Berggren, Skellefteå AIK
The player with the most success by far is their 2018 second-round pick, Jonatan Berggren. The 20-year-old Swede has been shredding the SHL for Skellefteå AIK. He is currently third in the SHL in scoring with four goals and 15 assists in 17 games. With a lot of attention from Red Wings fans going toward players like Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, many have been surprised to see the success of the former 33rd overall pick.
His playmaking abilities have shone through this year. He has been able to beat defenders with his stick-handling abilities and make great passes to set up his teammates. He already has five more assists than he had in all of 2018-19.
One thing he’ll need to do more of is shoot. In 17 games, he has taken just 25 shots. However, his playmaking ability has more than made up for it. With how well he’s playing, he’s someone you should look to potentially play with the big club when the SHL season comes to a close.
Lucas Raymond, Frölunda HC
While he hasn’t been quite as good as Berggren, the Red Wings top prospect has been great in his first full season for Frölunda HC‘s SHL team. He is third on the league’s best team in points with five goals and five assists and is continually making highlight-reel plays.
He has shown off his fantastic shot and quick release this season, as well as his phenomenal stick skills. He started out just with goal-scoring but has started to add the assists, with two coming on November 12th in a 4-3 win against Färjestad. He is considered the Red Wings’ best forward prospect due to his ability to make things happen offensively, and he continues to show that at a professional level.
Moritz Seider, Rögle BK
We go from the top forward prospect to the top defenseman prospect with 2019 first-round pick Moritz Seider. He was slated to play in Germany in the DEL, but the delayed start forced him to move to Sweden to play. In eight games, the big German has seven points playing for Rögle BK in the SHL. The biggest worry about him was his offensive abilities, but he has shown significant improvement so far this season.
What was not a worry about Seider was his defensive abilities, and he has proven why that’s the case. He continues to win the majority of one-on-one battles he faces and be a positive influence on his team. His positioning is excellent and even when it looks like he is beaten, he is able to make an impact on the play.
He has been one of the best players on one of the best teams in the SHL. Rögle currently sits at second on the table and has the least amount of regulation losses in the league with just two. Red Wings fans certainly can get excited for Seider to make it to the NHL, but it could have to wait another year depending on a potential playoff run from Rögle.
Theodor Niederbach, Frölunda HC
Theodor Niederbach hasn’t shown much in the SHL so far with just five games in the top league and no points. However, his time in the J20 league has been spectacular for Frölunda. He has 13 goals and 22 assists in 19 games which is good for second in the league.
It has been a great bounce back for the 2020 51st-overall pick. After a serious leg injury two years ago caused him to miss an entire season, he’s on pace to destroy his career-high from a year ago and could see more time in the SHL. His hands have been his best asset as was expected, and his scoring touch has been phenomenal. We’ll see if this continues, but it has been an excellent start to the season for the Red Wings’ prospect.
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