Red Wings’ Prospect Simon Edvinsson is One Step Closer to Detroit

The Hockey Writers

Now that the Detroit Red Wings’ 2021-22 season has come to a close, everyone’s eyes will be on the future. Who will come to Detroit and who will go? What prospects will get to make the leap to the NHL? The questions one can ask are endless but there is one burning question that was finally answered: when will we get to see Simon Edvinsson behind the winged wheel?

Simon Edvinsson Detroit Red Wings
Simon Edvinsson (The Hockey Writers)

Simon Edvinsson, the Red Wings’ top defensive prospect, signed a three-year entry-level contract (ELC) on April 24 upon the conclusion of his season in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). His current team, Frolunda HC, lost in the SHL Semifinals to Lulea who advanced to face Farjestad in the Championship series. His contract with the Red Wings starts with the upcoming 2022-23 season and the excitement around this news has been overwhelming.

So, knowing that Edvinsson will be coming to Detroit in the fall, what can we expect to see from the young blueliner?

Edvinsson’s Journey to Detroit

Prior to signing his ELC, Edvinsson had spent the whole 2021-22 season in the SHL with Frolunda HC. Before making the jump to the big leagues, he represented Sweden in World Juniors tournaments and played for a handful of junior teams such as Hovås HC U16 and J18, Leksands IF U16 and J18, IF Mölndal Hockey U16 and J18, until finally ending up in the Frolunda HC organization. He played for Frolunda HC’s U16 team starting in the 2018-19 season and quickly moved up the ranks through J18 and J20 teams until he made his SHL debut during the 2020-21 season.

Edvinsson is a remarkably strong defenseman with smooth stick handling skills and the ability to lay clean yet effective hits. One of the most impressive facets of his game is his skating ability. As a 6-foot-5, 200-pound defenseman, it isn’t exactly the most common thing to have as strong of a skating ability as he does. His size is something that stood out to scouts as well since big defensemen are in high demand as of late.

“Long-term, I like him. The kid is 6-5. He defends extremely well, especially on the rush using his reach. I think he’s skilled with the puck, but he could be a better passer. Most often, he plays well.”

– Jimmy Hamrin (from ‘2021 Elite Prospects NHL Draft Guide,’ Eliite Hockey Prospects, 2021)

Being such a big body on the ice enables Edvinsson to get in the way of the opponent either with his body or with his stick, which effectively breaks up passes and results in turnovers. The more that he plays, the more his game sense has developed and his two-way game has become more poised and well-thought-out rather than rushed and forced. He isn’t a player who stands out in the goals column of a stats sheet but he did have a handful of assists and was the leader of his team in plus/minus with a plus-13 rating at the end of the season.

The Future of the Blue Line in Detroit

As you may know, Edvinsson is a tremendous asset to have for the Red Wings’ blue line. Not only is he an all-around strong player on his own, but he is ready to make his debut alongside current prodigy Moritz Seider. One of the primary motivators carrying everyone through this 2021-22 season has been the image of Edvinsson and Seider side-by-side on the blue line; a young duo that has off-the-charts potential. 

Moritz Seider Detroit Red Wings
Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Both Edvinsson and Seider are big bodies on the ice at 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4 respectively, as these defensemen are there to make an impact (quite literally). As seen throughout his rookie season, Seider has perfected the art of the reverse hit and has sent well-known veteran players such as Chris Kreider flying off their feet. Across the pond in Sweden, Edvinsson has been sweeping opponents off their feet and providing his team with a defense strong enough to shut down highly skilled SHL teams. Seider has a remarkably strong two-way game which is an area of Edvinsson’s game that still needs some improvement, but being alongside Seider will hopefully bolster his weaker areas and round him out to be a star rookie in the NHL as soon as next season.

Related: Red Wings Prospects Seider & Edvinsson Make for Future Elite Top Pair

Seider had a remarkable rookie season as the favorite for the Calder Trophy as well as piling up Red Wings rookie records throughout the 82 games he has played. Most recently, he became the first Red Wings defenseman to record a 50-point season since the legendary Nicklas Lidstom in 2011. Having a linemate who is not only similar in age but also in skill will be a tremendous turning point for Seider as well as the entirety of the Red Wings’ defense. Defense was their weakest area of play in the 2021-22 season and general manager Steve Yzerman will be looking to continue adding assets that will hopefully improve the defensive lines in 2022-23. Edvinsson would be a good note to lead off with.

Looking Ahead to the Future of the Red Wings

The signing of Edvinsson is the first of many major and exciting changes for the Red Wings during what seems to be the most crucial point in their rebuild. Just a handful of days after Edvinsson signed his ELC, they announced that they would not be renewing the contracts of head coach Jeff Blashill, assistant coach Doug Houda, and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko. The firing of Blashill in particular is something that has seemed inevitable for the entire second half of the 2021-22 season and opens the doors to endless possibilities for who will be the next Red Wings head coach.

Adding a player as valuable as Edvinsson and letting go of the entire coaching staff shows that this team is ready for changes of massive proportions. Yzerman is most likely going to have a busy off-season as he works his magic on the rebuild. As such, we will all have to sit on the edge of our seats anticipating his next move. Edvinsson is the first of many players that have the potential to receive a contract from the Red Wings in the coming months and is definitely a strong first move for Yzerman to make.

Steve Yzerman on Simon Edvinsson’s chance to make the roster next year:
“I think he’s in consideration for it, yes. He had a very good year. … He’s big, he’s strong, he can skate very well.”
Says he’s “optimistic, and we’ll see.”

When Red Wings training camp gets underway in the fall of 2022, what other prospects will be there alongside Edvinsson? His fellow Swedes Jonatan Berggren, Elmer Soderblom, and William Wallinder are three names to keep an eye on during the offseason as they both have had unreal seasons in their respective leagues. Berggren was recently named the American Hockey League Rookie of the Month as he finished out the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins with 64 points (21 goals and 43 assists). All in all, a lot of offseason action will be anticipated for the Red Wings and the future is starting to look bright as well as very Swedish.

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