Red Wings Weekly Review: Prospects Rankings, Hronek & Larkin

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The Athletic’s Corey Pronman released his ranking of the Detroit Red Wings prospect pool this week which certainly saw an improvement from his rankings last season. It’s hardly a surprise to see Detroit rocket up the rankings, but high picks bring things up significantly.

Pronman has Moritz Seider checking in at number one, which is hardly a shock. Lucas Raymond, Sebastian Cossa, and Simon Edvinsson check in at two, three and four respectively. The fact that Cossa is third, who was taken after Edvinsson, shows that the pick satisfied a number of needs–beyond just the crease. First, it gave Detroit a bonafide goaltending prospect while also justifying Yzerman’s decision to trade up to get him.

The skinny from Pronman:

Cossa projects as a quality NHL starting goaltender with the potential to become an upper-echelon goalie.

Upper echelon is the hope. The Red Wings have targeted a strategy that will make them unbelievably strong on the back end of the ice with Cossa, Seider, and Edvinsson if it all hits as expected. Beyond that are other hopefuls in Albert Johnasson, Shai Buium, and Eemil Viro among others. The exciting part of the pipeline is the potential for what Yzerman has selected–which I haven’t even touched on for forwards.

Though some prospects will graduate this season, the Red Wings boast what is a fantastic future of players. The high end of expectations being met speaks to what could be a stocked group that rivals anything Detroit has seen in nearly three decades.

Even if a few hit (which is the most reasonable expectation), things are certainly brighter.

Red Wings Re-sign Hronek

The three-year deal that Detroit inked Filip Hronek to ensures the blue line having a steady presence for years to come. With Seider on his way, and clearly more talent out there in Nick Leddy and Troy Stecher, the Red Wings are suddenly a whole lot better on the defensive side of things.

Hronek was a workhorse for Detroit last season and now should get some much needed help with the aforementioned in the fold. Seider will most likely be eased in before logging big minutes, and obviously it was expected that Hronek would be re-upped.

But now that it’s official, it’s certainly more fun to posit a more formidable blue line that could not only score more points, but allow the Red Wings to open up more offensively.

Analyzing Larkin Trade Thoughts from Editor in Leaf

After Chris wrote his article wondering if teams could come calling for Dylan Larkin, FanSided Maple Leafs blog Editor in Leaf countered with some deals of its own. Though EIL’s James Tanner shrugged of a suggestion for a deal involving Willam Nylander, he does write this:

The Detroit Red Wings are not going to be competitive before that deal runs out, so it would be smart to move him now with two full years on his deal to get maximum value.

The Leafs could offer a first round pick and Detroit’s choice of Nick Robertson or Rodion Amirov.  Despite being a great player, Larkin hasn’t exactly set the league on fire in the last two seasons, so this is  a price point that might work for both teams.

A couple thoughts on this: First (and in Tanner’s defense, he mentions this later), Larkin has played on a team begging for more talent. He’s not going to set the league on fire in any sense without a supporting cast that eases the burden off of him. Beyond that, I agree that Detroit could get maximum value for Larkin now rather than waiting.

Offering a first round pick and either Nick Robertson or Rodion Amirov is very intriguing. It’s something I would absolutely listen to and consider–even though we’re talking about a hometown kid and the captain of the team.

I don’t see Detroit being competitive this season, but it sure seems like next season could be the first where the Red Wings take a giant step forward toward a playoff run. Yzerman will have a lot of cap space available, and may make some trades/signings that will help put more talent around the growing young core.

Robertson and a first would certainly help as well–though that first would be a lower pick. But it would allow for Detroit to have yet another pick in what is a loaded draft.

As I wrote with Anthony Mantha before he was traded, Larkin is and has been one of my favorite Red Wings on the roster for the past five seasons. I really don’t want to see him go–let alone to a hated rival.

But long term planning certainly exceeds emotion, and if Detroit was offered a deal as such, it’s hard to believe Yzerman wouldn’t be listening and intrigued.

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