Detroit Red Wings: Updates on 8 Top Forwards Drafted Since 2018

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A sign hangs in front of the office of Detroit Red Wings Steve Yzerman: Help wanted.

In hockey classified sections across the globe, Yzerman has job listings posted for skilled labor.

The Red Wings, with a corps of young defensemen developing in the system, need playmakers. Last season, the Red Wings scored 127 goals, one more than league-low Anaheim.

Yzerman is currently reviewing the resumes of eight forwards drafted in the first three rounds of the past three drafts.

Two applicants – Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno – have already been hired and remain in line for on-ice promotions next season.

Here is a look at how the eight top forward prospects fared last season and where they project to play next season:

Red Wings 2020 Draft

Lucas Raymond

Drafted: First Round (No. 4 overall).

Position: Left Wing/Right Wing.

Height: 5-10.

Weight: 161.

2020-21 Season: A top prospect who can create scoring chances with his skating ability and deft passing skills. Competing with Frolunda (SHL) for a third straight season, the 19-year-old scored six goals and added 12 assists against top competition.

2021-22 Forecast: His size remains a concern, but with the recent success the organization has enjoyed developing European prospects overseas, Raymond likely will return to Frolunda for a fourth season. Unless he plays bigger than his size and makes the NHL out of training camp, he would benefit from another year to mature.

Theodor Niederbach

Drafted: Second Round (No. 51).

Position: Center.

Height: 5-10.

Weight: 172.

2020-21 Season: Two seasons removed from a serious knee injury, the 19-year-old playmaker dressed for MODO (Swe-1) and registered three goals among nine points and an even plus-minus rating.

2021-22 Forecast: Known for his high on-ice IQ and ability (and willingness) to play a 200-foot game, Niederbach’s next step could be locating a roster spot for an SHL organization.

Cross Hanas

Drafted: Second Round (No. 55).

Position: Left Wing.

Height: 6-1.

Weight: 165.

2020-21 Season: After deciding to leave the Winterhawks (WHL) after six games, the gritty 19-year-old joined Lincoln (USHL) and recorded three goals, 13 assists and 99 penalty minutes in 27 matches.

2021-22 Forecast: Hanas’ highlight goals made him a viral star among junior players. Grit doesn’t always transform into quality defense, though, and, as indicated by his minus-11 rating with Lincoln, he needs to work on his defense.

2019 Draft

Robert Mastrosimone

Drafted: Second Round (No. 54).

Position: Left Wing.

Height: 5-10.

Weight: 170.

2020-21 Season: The 20-year-old winger wrapped up his sophomore season at Boston University (H-East), collecting three goals and five assists in 15 games. He has missed just one game in two seasons.

2021-22 Forecast: Competing as an upperclassman, another season with the Terriers will allow him to refine Mastrosimone stickhandling skills and edgy forechecking presence.

Albin Grewe

Drafted: Third Round (No. 66).

Position: Center/Right Wing.

Height: 5-11.

Weight: 176.

2020-21 Season: After dressing for Djurgardens (SHL) the past three seasons, the 20-year-old agitator arrived in North America and appeared in 11 AHL games with the Griffins, registering two assists.

2021-22 Forecast: The hard skating Grewe likely will start next season overseas, possibly in Switzerland, followed by another late-season arrival in Grand Rapids.

2018 Draft

Filip Zadina

Drafted: First Round (No. 6).

Position: Forward.

Height: 6-0.

Weight: 194.

2020-21 Season: Beginning to live up to his lofty billing, the 21-year-old sniper was more assertive, opportunistic in 49 NHL games, scoring six goals and dishing out 13 assists. Zadina opened the season by scoring eight goals in 17 games with Trinec (Czech).

2021-22 Forecast: Top-6 minutes. Power play. Overtime duty. Shootout specialist. Name it.

Joe Veleno

Drafted: First Round (No. 30).

Position: Center.

Height: 6-1.

Weight: 198.

2020-21 Season: His five-game NHL audition came after appearing in 46 games with Malmo (SHL), collecting 11 goals among 20 points and a minus-9 rating. His season ended with four games with the Griffins, scoring a goal and adding two assists. Also, he appeared in six games for Canada at the 2020 World Junior U-20 Championships and registered a goal and five assists in six matches.

2021-22 Forecast: Veleno will make a bid to make the Red Wings during training camp, but, depending on the number of free-agent veteran forwards who decide to join the Red Wings during the offseason, an early-season stint with the Griffins is a likely scenario.

Jonatan Berggren

Drafted: Second Round (No. 33).

Position: Center.

Height: 5-8.

Weight: 170.

2020-21 Season: Hampered by injuries the past few seasons, the slick-skating 20-year-old appeared in 49 games with Skelleftea (SHL) and broke out with 12 goals, 33 assists and a plus-11 rating. He also recorded five points in seven games for Sweden at the 2020 World Junior U-20 Championships.

2021-22 Forecast: After playing the past four seasons with Skelleftea, it could be time for Berggren to bring his bedeviling moves to North America. He could be a good fit to start the season with the Griffins.

The Red Wings’ help wanted signs are posted.

For any skilled forward available, a healthy sign-on bonus awaits …

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