The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of defenseman Eemil Viro Wednesday. On Thursday evening, the Red Wings announced that forward Jonatan Berggren has been signed to an entry-level deal, signaling that the rebuild continues to chug forward.
Berggren Had an Excellent Season in Sweden
Berggren was a revelation in Sweden with 45 points (12-33) in 49 games. Though he battled injury in the past, his breakout season this year was another hit for Ken Holland’s final draft class as general manager. Dog him as many do, he’s looking like he may have hit on Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, and Berggren, all being his first three picks in the 2018 draft. This is what needed to happen. And this isn’t even taking into the account the haul Steve Yzerman may have in both 2019 and 2020. If Yzerman finds even more talent in the 2021 Draft, the Red Wings farm system could be envied throughout the league.
Another Step in the Right Direction
With the season being over and another year watching the playoffs from afar, the Red Wings need all the good news they can get. Devastated by injury, including some frightening ones to captain Dylan Larkin and another that shelved Tyler Bertuzzi for all but nine games, knowing that help is on the way is reassuring. Sure, Berggren will need time in Grand Rapids, but skating on North American ice and just being on the other side of the state is heartening.
Yzerman will be diligent in what he needs to do and will probably be slightly more aggressive this offseason than the last two. But the moves in the peripheral are the ones that hold the greatest potential. Depending on how Berggren develops in Grand Rapids and should he have another leap forward as he did in the SHL, there’s no telling the impact he could have in Detroit.
The excitement continues to grow as each drafted player is offered a deal to bring their talents closer to Hockeytown.
Imagine the excitement should they all hit.