With the impressive play of Detroit Red Wings rookies Lucas Raymond, and Moritz Seider, fans are enjoying the sight of the “Yzerplan” working how so many hoped it would. Will that translate with other highly touted first round draft picks Simon Edvinsson and Sebastian Cossa?
The Octopus Thrower staff answered this and some other questions regarding the young players giving an awful lot of hope for the future.
Of Seider and Raymond, who’s been more impressive?
Chris: Both players have been terrific but, I give the edge to Seider. He is playing more minutes than any other rookie in the NHL. He recently won Rookie of the Month for October. He is in select company where he contributed eight assists in his first nine NHL games. Picking Seider is not a knock against Raymond, it just goes to show you what a force Seider has been while he has been on the ice.
Alex: Man, this one is tough. If we are going based on odds to win the Calder, you’ve gotta go with Lucas Raymond. But honestly, I’m more impressed with how Seider has looked so far. You just don’t see defenseman come into the league looking that poised and experienced right away.
It’s not just that he currently leads the team in assists or that he’s tied for second in rookie scoring, it is the way he’s done it. He’s so calm on the ice, never letting the situation or moment become too big. Seider looks like he’s been in the league for a few years now and he’s just 20 years old. It’s getting a bit hard to slow this hype train – especially after he was named rookie of the month for October.
Nate: I picked Seider to be the MVP for the Red Wings and Raymond to be the breakout star for the team back in our preseason predictions but even I didn’t expect what they’ve both been doing on the ice, especially Raymond. Seider is showing just what the Red Wings have missed since the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, being a lynchpin on the blue line that has provided stability and a boost from the back end not seen since the “perfect human.” Is he at the same level? Way too early. But he’s been very, very good.
Raymond is just on a whole different level than any of us could have imagined. I expected him to break camp, I was over the moon when they drafted him, but he’s utterly annihilated any expectation I had. He has been one of the biggest drivers of the offense (along with Tyler Bertuzzi), is wise beyond his years on the ice, and is averaging just over a point-per-game.
It’s razor thin close, but I’m going with Raymond.
Cossa was just named goalie of the month with Edmonton? Is it yet another steal by Yzerman?
Chris: I don’t think picking a goalie at #15 is a steal. Sebastian Cossa has been outstanding while playing in the WHL. Goaltenders take so long to mature into legitimate starters at the NHL level. It will be interesting to see how Cossa plays at the World Junior Championships at Christmas. In 11 games playing for Edmonton this year, Cossa has a GAA of 1.44 and a SV% of .948. If it was possible, Cossa’s stats are better than last year. So far, it looks like Yzerman made the right choice selecting Cossa at #15.
Alex: Cossa is a fantastic goalie and I have no doubt that he’s going to eventually be an NHL starter. However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s a steal just yet. Jesper Wallstedt is going to be linked to the Cossa pick for quite some time – the Swedish goaltender was the consensus #1 goalie for months heading into the draft, until rumors started swirling that Cossa could go first. Wallstedt was sitting there available for Yzerman, but he went with Cossa. For Cossa to be considered a steal, he needs to be better than Wallstedt. That’s a tall ask, considering he has a .913 save percentage through 10 games in the SHL so far. I think we are going to have to wait until he’s in the NHL to make any declarations about the pick.
Nate: The selection of Cossa over Wallstedt was a slight upset in the fact that Yzerman went to juniors over the “man’s league” of the SHL, but so far the selection has looked stellar with Cossa snagging October’s Goalie of the Month in the Western Hockey League. If his gaudy numbers continue, and he backstops his team to a Memorial Cup, or as Chris wrote earlier, a strong WJC performance, Yzerman may very well have another solid first round pick on his hands.
Edvinsson looks like everything we could have hoped for. If the Red Wings top prospect continues his progress, do you see him in the NHL next year?
Chris: Simon Edvinsson is a terrific pick at #6 for the Red Wings. He has had a great start playing for Frolunda (SHL). In 16 games, Edvinsson has contributed one goal, eight assists, and a +7 rating. For a defenseman who is only 18, these numbers are outstanding. I personally think that Edvinsson will need one year to adapt to the smaller ice surface in North America. I see Edvinsson starting the year in Grand Rapids (AHL), then following Albert Johansson and Jared McIsaac to the NHL. In two years, I see the Detroit defense pairs looking something closing resembling my list below:
Albert Johansson – Mortiz Seider
Simon Edvinsson – Filip Hronek
Jared McIsaac – Gustav Lindstrom
Alex: I’m not so sure we will see Edvinsson as soon as next year. Albert Johansson had a great season as a defenseman in the NHL last season, scoring 19 points (Eight goals and 11 assists) in 44 games – but Yzerman decided to let him improve in the SHL for another year.
Edvinsson was one of the more raw top-prospects in the draft, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he needs another year of development. Of course, he could pull a Moritz Seider and force his way to Detroit with an excellent season, or perform extremely well in the offseason (like Raymond) and earn a roster spot. But for now, I think Edvinsson is still a few years away from the NHL.
Nate: So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if Edvinsson’s numbers continue to hold steady, he continues to get that valuable experience logging real minutes with Frölunda, and has a similar training camp to Raymond and Seider’s, he’ll be up in Detroit a lot sooner than anyone expected.
What’s become clear with emergence of Raymond and Seider is the organization’s willingness to allow younger players to step in if they earn it. Edvinsson is competing in the SHL, the same league where Seider cut his teeth after stints in the DEL and AHL (albeit a short one). Raymond jumped in at 19 and look at him.
Edvinsson has showed the skill that had Yzerman drafting him sixth overall. If this continues, and Edvinsson has a strong showing on the world stage, it’s not far fetched to think he too, can be the latest Red Wing prospect to get a fast pass to the big club.