The Detroit Red Wings are in the process of rebuilding their defensive corps. Moritz Seider won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year for the 2021-22 NHL season. He finished the season with 7 goals and 43 assists in 82 games. There were a number of Detroit Red Wings prospects that featured at the 2022 World Junior tournament.
This was a far cry from where the 21-year-old was in June of 2019. Seider’s reaction to being drafted 6th overall went viral at the time. The hockey world quickly took notice of the big defenseman from Zell, Germany. The Red Wings were wise to set the expectations for Seider low during his first season with the team. These expectations were beginning to differ when the 21-year-old played for Rögle BK due to the 2019-20 season for the AHL being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frölunda HC of the SHL is beginning to look like a feeder system for the Red Wings. Prior to coming to North America Lucas Raymond played 3 seasons for Frölunda. Raymond scored 6 goals and added 12 assists in 34 games played for Frölunda during their 2020-21 season. This was the second season stint for Frölunda for the Göteborg, Sweden native. Raymond was an early candidate for the Calder Trophy in his first season with the Red Wings.
Simon Edvinsson is another player in the Red Wings’ system to play for Frölunda. Edvinsson was drafted 6th overall in the 2021 NHL entry draft by the Red Wings. Heading into the 2022-23 NHL season, it is wise to set the expectations for Edvinsson low. Edvinsson has said that he expects to make the Red Wings roster going into the 2022-23 NHL season. This will be the first season for Derek Lalonde as head coach of the Red Wings. Ansar Khan of MLive said that the top priority of Lalonde in his first season is fixing the team defense of the Red Wings.
Edvinsson had a disappointing second iteration of the World Junior tournament for Sweden after being injured in a pre-tournament game. The fact that he came down with food poisoning during the tournament. At 19 years old it would not be unheard of for Edvinsson to make the Red Wings’ team but it is a rarity. His ability to handle the puck smoothly with such a large frame is a rarity that any NHL team could use.
This year’s World Junior tournament was rescheduled from December 2021 to August 2022. Red Wings fans need not fear about Edvinsson playing at the World Juniors instead of getting ready for training camp. “I talked to Detroit about it, we had a conversation, and everything went good,” Edvinsson said. “I’m focused on this tournament now and after that, I’ll go back to Detroit… I’m hungry for (training camp), but right now we need to win this.” He signed his entry-level contract in April.
After Team Sweden defeated Team Switzerland to open the 2022 World Junior tournament Sweden’s head coach Tomas Montén said “Congrats to Detroit.” He must know what kind of player the Red Wings have drafted out of Onsala, Sweden. This sentiment was echoed by USA head coach Nate Leaman who said that Edvinsson “can break you down all by himself.” The question is whether or not to pair Edvinsson with Seider once he makes it to the NHL. Defenseman William Wallinder had a goal and 3 assists in 9 games for Sweden as they struggled to get to the semifinals of the tournament.
Sebrango and Cossa win Gold Medal at 2022 World Juniors
Red Wings prospects defenseman Donavan Sebrango and goaltender Sebastian Cossa won a gold medal at the World Juniors after Canada defeated beat Finland 3-2. He earned an “A” on his sweater as an alternate captain for Team Canada at the World Juniors. Sebrango had a +7 in 7 games played for team Canada as the oldest player to win a junior title. Cossa played well in a limited showing for team Canada, allowing 2 goals on 24 shots for a .917 save percentage.
The coaches who are watching Edvinsson at the World Juniors are not the only members of the hockey world who are espousing the virtues of Edvinsson. Forward Theodor Niederbach, who is also a draft pick of the Red Wings, says that Edvinsson is “almost a complete D-man.”
Edvinsson will have to show this ability to be a complete D-man if he wants to make the Red Wings roster. The 19-year-old disappointed at the World Juniors after the tournament was delayed and the unfortunate timing of coming down with food poisoning. He has the size at 6’6” but the fast pace of the NHL will take time to adjust to.
The Detroit Red Wings prospects had varying degrees of success at the World Juniors. What comes next is training camp for the team. Players such as Edvinsson, who has all the tools to compete at the NHL level, need to bounce back from a poor showing at the tournament. Cossa will need to find the form that saw the Red Wings give up a sizeable amount of draft capital to take him with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft before he is ready to don the winged wheel.
main image credits: