Hockey

Steve Yzerman and the Future of Prospects

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Steve Yzerman had a press conference last week talking about the future of his main prospects. The Red Wing’s future looks a lot brighter than this time last year. There are three prospects that Yzerman talks about in-depth and what all of this means. Then Yzerman talks about the rebuild and why they don’t necessarily have to get a first or second pick to get that Legendary superstar.

Let’s talk about these three prospects in detail.

Moritz Seider

Moritz Seider is a prospect that might have the best possibility of star capability.

Steve Yzerman says about Moritz Seider:

“If Moritz Seider isn’t in the top six, he won’t be watching from the press box. We have experience, depth, and are in a better position today than we were a year ago.”

This quote is simple to explain. If he doesn’t make the top six the Red Wings won’t have him marinating on the bench. He will be placed in Grand Rapids AHL and they could also loan him out. Most likely he will be a top-two Grand Rapids player playing 25 to 30 minutes.

The reason for this is because Seider needs to play. His talent is too go to be watching from the press box so the Grand Rapids idea can give him the potential to stay at a high ceiling. This is the best way to figure out how Seider will develop long-term. This will ultimately put him in a position to succeed the most.

The Detroit Red Wings are 110% devoted to Moritz Seider’s success. When Yzerman talks about depth, he means if he doesn’t make the team he doesn’t want him to be an extra option because they already have enough extra options. In case of injury, the Red Wings have tons of backup options that they don’t have to use a backup slot on someone that has a boatload of potential and see a lot out of in the next decade.

In retrospect, Seider should make the top six. If he does not make the top six then expect him to go to the AHL. His talent is too good to pass up on a loan.

Joe Veleno

Joe Veleno is the Detroit Red Wings 2018 30th pick from the Vegas Kights. This is a prospect that Yzerman wants to see earn his spot.

This is what Steve Yzerman had to say about Joe Veleno:

“I want Joe Veleno to earn his spot. I’m not going to sit here and say he is destined for Grand Rapids, but he is also not penciled into the roster. He has gotten much stronger and looked good in his short NHL stint.”

During Veleno’s short stint he played okay. He looked like he belonged and didn’t look out of place. Of course, he is going to get better and develop a little bit further. The way Veleno is at this moment, being a 21-year-old player playing for the first time in the NHL in his career he looks very promising.

Yzerman goes on to say:

“If Joe Veleno makes it clear that we are a better hockey team with him on it he will make the team. I want Veleno to give us no choice.”

Will Veleno make the team? Who knows.

He has been slowly progressing and makes for a great underdog story if he makes it. Joe Veleno goes from having exceptional status heading to the 2018 draft. Then he was thought of being a first or a second overall pick but then dropped down to 30th. Now he is a mainstay in the Red Wings prospect pipeline.

Heading into the long-term future this all can be valuable but there is no guarantee when this will happen. It could be this year or next year but he will be on the team hopefully sooner than later.

Lucas Raymond

Lucas Raymond looks like he will be held to the same standard as Joe Veleno.

Steve Yzerman says:

“The same standard for Joe Veleno implies to Lucas Raymond. Is he ready to go in September, October? Maybe but we got to wait and see.”

Lucas Raymond was taken fourth overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He did a decent job at the world juniors and the SHL level. He 0layed on the Sweden U20 team and scored five points in five games. Then in the SHL, he played 34 games scoring 18 points.

Those stats are not the best. Just remember Raymond is only 18 years old playing in a pro man’s hockey league in Sweden on one of the best teams. He won’t have the opportunities to have a point-a-game as he did a few years back.

The thing Raymond has is having smarts, agility, and having a great mind for the game. This gives him a better chance to make a spot on the Detroit Red Wings sooner than later. That’s why he was picked fourth overall.

Franchise Superstar Prospects

Steve Yzerman was asked about franchise superstar prospects and whether they are already in the organization or if they have to get one in free agency.

Yzerman responds:

“Raymond, Seider, Edvinsson, or Cossa are guys that can pop off but we won’t put expectations or pressure on anyone. David Pastrnak has made a sudden rise also.”

David Pastrnak is indeed a franchise superstar caliber player. He is a top-scoring machine but he was only a 20th pick in the 2014 draft. This is proof that a lower draft pick can give you that franchise star quality.

Yzerman says:

“Does Raymond, Seider, Edvinsson, or Cossa develop into a franchise superstar? Time will tell. You don’t have a true handle on some of these prospects and some might be a lot better than we really got to see.”

Rebuild

Can the current rebuild of the Detroit Red Wings fully work without a number one or number two draft pick?

Yzerman responds:

“Pietrangelo was a fourth overall pick and was St. Louis Blues’ highest draft pick that won the Stanley Cup in 2019. Lucas Raymond was a fourth overall pick as well. But again, I don’t know who our superstar will be.”

This is saying that the Red Wings can rebuild without a first or second overall pick. The bottom line is Yzerman doesn’t think you need a first or second. Besides Yzerman was also the fourth overall in his draft and he was a franchise superstar player.

Conclusion

It looks like Steve Yzerman likes what he is seeing out of the Detroit Red Wings. The team is much better than they were last year at this time. They have their prospects progressing well and they don’t need to go out and get a first or second overall pick in free agency to find their franchise superstar.

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