Detroit — Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider have had a dramatic impact on the Red Wings as NHL rookies.
Can the Wings be fortunate enough to have another forward/defenseman duo arrive soon and make a similar impact?
They just might.
The way forward Jonatan Berggren and defenseman Simon Edvinsson are playing this season it’s possible they too could bring results.
Seider dominated in the Swedish Hockey League last season. Edvinsson is making a similar impression this winter, rating among the best prospects outside the NHL in the minds of many analysts.
Berggren, 21, is having a productive season for the Wings’ minor-league affiliate in Grand Rapids. He has shown progress throughout the season.
It’s too early to expect the talented duo will arrive simultaneously next fall to bolster the Wings’ roster as Raymond and Seider have.
Edvinsson, 18, has yet to play professionally in North America, as Seider did for one season in Grand Rapids before heading to Sweden for a year during a COVID-shortened NHL season.
Whenever Edvinsson and Berggren do arrive, they’ll bring depth to Detroit.
Here’s a look at how the Wings’ top 15 prospects, as evaluated by The Detroit News, are performing:
►1. Simon Edvinsson, defenseman, 2021, first-round, sixth overall.
►Stats: Frölunda HC (Swedish Hockey League) 26 games, one goal, 11 assists, 12 points.
►The skinny: The mind races when you consider the possibility of the 6-foot-4, 200-pound, smooth-skating Edvinsson pairing with Seider, or at least joining the Wings’ defensive corps next season. There were questions during Edvinsson’s draft year about his defensive ability, and his offensive potential, but he’s answered both areas with an exclamation point. He’s arguably been the best defenseman in Europe, a dangerous offensive defenseman who has the ability to out-skate any defensive mistakes. It would be surprising if Edvinsson isn’t on the Wings’ roster in October.
►2. Jonatan Berggren, left/right wing, 2018, second-round, 33rd overall.
►Stats: Grand Rapids (American Hockey League): 32 games, eight goals, 19 assists, 27 points.
►The skinny: Until Berggren was put on COVID protocol last week, he was playing some of his best hockey. Berggren has been one of the best young forwards in the AHL, and playing the type of “faster” hockey that coach Jeff Blashill wanted to see out of him during training camp. Berggren is undoubtedly the best forward prospect the Wings have, who is not in the NHL.
►3. Albert Johansson, defenseman, 2019, second-round, 60th overall.
►Stats: Färjestad BK (SHL): 34 games, three goals, 14 assists 17 points.
►The skinny: At 21, Johansson appears ready to come over to North America next season and likely spend time in Grand Rapids before earning an NHL opportunity. Johansson (6-foot, 170 pounds) isn’t big, but he knows what to do with the puck, is having a big season offensively and is sound defensively.
►4. Sebastian Cossa, goaltender, 2021, first-round, 15th overall.
►Stats: Edmonton (Western Hockey League): 27 games, 19-5-3, 2.45 GAA, .915 SVS.
►The skinny: Cossa hasn’t matched his through-the-roof statistics of a year ago, and his inability to secure the No. 1 job for Team Canada at the world juniors before they were cancelled was surprising. But Cossa remains one of the top goalies in the WHL, and the athleticism and confidence, along with 6-foot-6 size, make him a prime NHL prospect.
►5. Donovan Sebrango, defenseman, 2020, third-round, 63rd overall.
►Stats: Grand Rapids (AHL): 30 games, one goal, five assists, six points.
►The skinny: It’s difficult to imagine Sebrango not getting a shot at the NHL considering his progress the last two seasons. He’s only 20, and Sebrango isn’t ever going to be an offensive dynamo. But that’s more than fine considering how able he is in every other facet, and the edge he plays with. An old-school defenseman.
►6. Elmer Söderblom, center/right wing, 2019, sixth-round, 159th overall.
►Stats: Frölunda HC (SHL): 34 games 14 goals, six assists, 20 points.
►The skinny: At 6-foot-8, 238-pounds, you have an idea of what Soderblom can be, and he’s been displaying that in the SHL. Soderblom is a powerful force around the net, has always had good hands in close, and is skating is getting better. Possibly a different, even bigger, version of MIchael Rasmussen?
►7. Theodor Niederbach, center, 2020, second-round, 51st overall.
►Stats: Frölunda HC (SHL): 34 games, three goals, four assists, seven points.
►The skinny: The lack of production is a bit of a concern, but Niederbach is playing against men this season, and his 5-foot-11, 172-pound frame may not necessarily be completely ready for the rigors of pro hockey. Scouts love his poise, he knows where to pass and be on the ice, and as long as Niederbach can add some muscle, he is a legitimate NHL prospect.
►8. William Wallinder, defenseman, 2020, second-round, 32nd overall.
►Stats: Rögle BK (SHL): 28 games, four goals, eight assists, 12 points.
►The skinny: A 6-foot-4, 190 pounder who has rebounded from a fairly drab last season to re-establish himself as a solid prospect. Wallinder was the first player chosen in the second-round in 2020, and was a first-round pick in many analysts’ opinions. He was considered raw then, still needs work, but the way Wallinder can skate and move the puck has to intrigue the Wings.
►9. Shai Buium, defenseman, 2021, second-round, 36th overall.
►Stats: University of Denver: 20 games, one goal, eight assists, nine points.
►The skinny: Buium is an exciting prospect. Everyone loves his offensive game, his ability on the rush and ability to find open forwards. But his defensive game has also been impressive at Denver. He’s plus-12, which for an 18-year-old freshman, is eye-opening. Buium has a high ceiling.
►10. Jared McIsaac, defenseman, 2018, second-round, 36th overall.
►Stats: Grand Rapids (AHL): 34 games, three goals, nine assists, 12 points.
►The skinny: With McIsaac, 21, it’s been all about staying healthy. He’s had bad luck with injuries. But McIsaac, for the most part, has stayed healthy this season and is showing glimpses of his potential. With the huge wave of young defensemen in the organization, McIsaac is going to need to establish himself fairly quickly.
►11. Carter Mazur, left wing, 2021, third-round, 70th overall.
►Stats: University of Denver: 22 games, 11 goals, 13 assists, 24 points.
►The skinny: The Jackson native has been a pleasant surprise in his freshman season at Denver. Mazur’s offense has come along quickly at the college level, and he also earned a spot on Team USA for the world juniors. It’s early, but keep an eye on this selection going forward. The Wings may have plucked a good player in the middle of last year’s draft.
►12. Cross Hanas, left wing, 2020, second-round, 55th overall.
►Stats: Portland (WHL): 33 games, 12 goals, 26 assits, 38 points.
►The skinny: After underwhelming last season, Hanas has made big strides this winter and been among the best forwards in the WHL. He plays a strong two-way game, and is playing with more edge in his game. Hanas has re-established himself this season.
►13. Antti Tuomisto, defenseman, 2019, second-round, 35th overall.
►Stats: University of Denver, 21 games, one goal, six assists.
►The skinny: Now 21, you wonder if Tuomisto is going to get a chance in the Wings’ organization, simply because the Wings have so many other good prospects on defense. Tuomisto has a great shot , and is progressing defensively. But the mobility remains a concern and what is Tuomisto’s ceiling on the defensive end?
►14. Eemil Viro, defenseman, 2020, third-round, 70th overall.
►Stats: TPS (Liiga, Finland): 29 games, one goal, three assists:
►The skinny: Being only 6-foot, 165 pounds, size remains a concern. But Viro is a heady defenseman who doesn’t get beaten, and is beginning to project as a Gustav Lindstrom-type of dependable level player. Signed to an entry-level contract, Viro could be in Grand Rapids next season.
►15. Kirill Tyutyayev, left wing, 2019, seventh-round, 190th overall.
►Stats: Grand Rapids (AHL): 9 games, 0 goals, 3 assists:
►The skinny: Let’s not forget how well Tyutayev played in Traverse City, and the positive impression he made with his offensive ability and creativity. An upper-body injury has cost Tyutayev the majority of this season, but the way he played in the Prospects Tournament, specifically, was an eye-opener and makes him an intriguing porspect.