Red Wings select Simon Edvinsson at No. 6, trade up to take goalie Sebastian Cossa

Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings went back to Sweden with their first pick Friday, selecting defenseman Simon Edvinsson.

The 6-foot-5, 207 pound Edvinsson played 24 games for Frolunda and Vasteras in Sweden, and has been compared to Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman because of his size and mobility.

The Red Wings then traded their picks at No. 23, 48 and 138 overall to Dallas and selected goalie Sebastian Cossa with the 15th pick overall.

Cossa was generally considered the second-best goaltender in the draft behind Swede Jesper Wallstedt.

Cossa (6-foot-6, 212 pounds), was 17-1-1 with a 1.57 goals-against average and .941 save percentage with Edmonton in the WHL last season.

Scouts generally love the way Cossa uses his size to give shooters little to aim for in goal.

Edvinsson likely needs another year or two in Sweden before coming over to North America. Scouts feel Edvinsson is further ahead defensively than offensively, but like many of his intangibles, playing with some edge and using his size.

Edvinsson was thrilled to be joining the Wings.

“I’m a great fan of them, I’ve heard all of the stories,” Edvinsson said during a Zoom call with the media afterward, in the wee hours in Sweden. “I’m just celebrating with my family and my agent and my friends also.

“I slept a little bit during this afternoon, but now I’m just on adrenaline and it’s helped me stayed up.”

Edvinsson played against defenseman Moritz Seider, a former Wings draft pick who’ll likely play in the NHL next season for the Wings.

The two could form a mammoth defensive tandem, as Seider is of similar size.

“I played against Seider, and he’s a really good defenseman,” Edvinsson said. “He’s really hard to play against.”

Edvinsson played with Lucas Raymond, last year’s No. 1 pick of the Red Wings, with Frolunda this season but neither player talked about the possibility of being Wings teammates.

But now they are.

“No, but now we might be talking about it,” Edvinsson said. “I’m so excited and happy to be here (with Wings) and part of the Detroit family. So excited and grateful.”

Edvinsson followed the Wings as a youth, watching the many Swedes who starred for the Wings’ organization.

“I’ve been following (them),” Edvinsson said. “It’s just so good I can’t even talk right now I’m so happy.”

Edvinsson was ranked in the top five of many draft projections this season.

“Simon has tremendous upside,” Frolunda general manager Fredrik Sjostrom told The Detroit News last month. “When you have that size and reach and skate as well as he does, you’re going to go early in the draft. In today’s game, you need speed and ability. He’ll definitely be a top-pair defenseman in the NHL.”

Raymond and Edvinsson train together in Gothenburg, their mothers are both fitness trainers, and Edvinsson talked about how exciting it would be to be drafted by the Wings.

Live updates: NHL Entry Draft

As for his teammate Edvinsson, Raymond said he’s a “skilled defenseman, a good skater who is mobile with good vision.”

Sjostrom doesn’t like to compare Edvinsson to Hedman and former Red Wing Nicklas Lidstrom, but says there are elements of Edvinsson’s game which compare favorably to Lidstrom.

“I was fortunate to play against Lidstrom,” Sjostrom said. “He was one of the best defensive defenseman not because he was physical but because he was smart. He positioned himself well, had a good stick and kept a tight gap with the forwards.

“Simon doesn’t get enough credit for his defensive game. He’s a very good defender and moves really well for his size. He just needs time to grow into his body, to build strength the right way. He has lots of potential to be a good two-way defenseman.”

The NHL Entry Draft continues Saturday (11 a.m./NHL Network) and the Wings will be busy.

They pick 38th (second round), 70th (third round), 102 and 128 in the fourth round, 134th in the fifth round and 166th in the sixth round.

Detroit News editor Mark Falkner contributed.

Twitter: @tkulfan

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