Over the past several years Steve Yzerman has re-stocked the prospect cupboards of the Detroit Red Wings. It’s to the point where it’s almost an embarrassment of riches. We are seeing the fruits of that already with the incredible play last season of Moritz Seider, and the arrival of Elmer Soderblom this season.
In honour of American Thanksgiving, I decided to compile a list of Red Wings prospects that I am most thankful for. These are all players who could do damage in the NHL and are showing great promise in whichever league they presently play in. Without further ado, here are my top three.
Starting off my list at number three is the Russian speedster, Dmitri Buchelnikov. He has incredible speed and hands with a wicked wrist shot that he has no issues using. If he ever makes the NHL, it will be as a goal scorer. So far this season he has four goals in two games in the Junior Hockey League (referred to as the MHL), six goals in 10 games in the Supreme Hockey League (VHL), and a lonely one goal in nine Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) games.
Buchelnikov just extended his contract with SKA-St. Petersberg until the end of the 2024-25 season. By then, if he is able to cross the pond and make the jump into the NHL, he will be an appetizing prospect to observe and see if his skill set can translate to the North American game. Until that day we can be thankful that he’s at least a (small) part of the Red Wings organization.
Not to be outdone by Seider, Simon Edvinsson is making his mark in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Grand Rapids Griffins. This two-way defenseman is big, smart, and incredibly mobile. If Seider is rough and rugged, Edvinsson is smooth and silky. Somewhere down the road, these two defensemen will play together, with their complementary skill sets making them an appealing pairing.
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Edvinsson’s eight points in nine AHL games are incredibly promising and give a glimpse of what he could do at the next level. He has the skating, frame, and puck-carrying skills to be an effective offensive threat in the NHL. His next step is playing his game consistently, and dominating the AHL. Once he can do that, look for him to make a jump into the NHL.
My number one Red Wings prospect that I am most thankful for is the Austrian sensation, Marco Kasper. Drafted eighth overall in the 2022 Entry Draft, he has the draft pedigree to be a top player in the NHL. He’s producing at a 0.63 points per game pace (PPG) right now with 10 points in 16 games.
Kasper is not known for his skill, yet he displays tremendous creativity here as he attempts a Michigan goal. There are few who score like this, at any level of professional hockey. To do it in the Swedish Hockey League with its quality of competition is definitely a great accomplishment. Combine that skill with his tenacious play and incredible work ethic and his ceiling is limitless.
Buchelnikov, Edvinsson, and Kasper are far from the only Red Wings prospects to be thankful for or excited about. As I said earlier, Yzerman has restocked the prospect cupboards, and here are a few of the others stored in the Red Wings organization.
It’s been a long time coming for 2018 33rd overall pick Jonatan Berggren, but he’s finally made it to the big leagues. He has spent three years in the SHL and one year in the AHL since being drafted. In his seven appearances for the Griffins, he has gathered seven points and has three points in four NHL games since being called up. It looks like he might be here to stay, too. Because of the injuries that have plagued the Red Wings, fans should be thankful that he was waiting in the wings to slot into the lineup.
William Wallinder has had an incredibly impressive season so far. He has one more point than Kasper (11, to Kasper’s 10) and continues to get great deployment on the powerplay while also averaging almost 22 minutes a night (21:48). He averaged 21:06 through his first ten games. Seider and Edvinsson might be the talk of the town, but Wallinder is making his case to at least get a look in the Red Wings’ defensive core come the 2023-24 season.
During this crazy time in the world, let’s be thankful for the little things. Little things like what exciting prospects are in the system of our favorite teams. My favorite Red Wings prospects are Buchelnikov, Edvinsson, and Kasper. Hit me up on Twitter at @CalebScouting to let me know which prospects you are most thankful for.
Caleb has loved watching hockey for as long as he could eat a bowl of ice cream. Over decades this love grew into participating in Fantasy Hockey, first in redraft leagues and eventually Dynasty leagues.
Caleb is presently Lead Scout for the Fantasy Hockey Life podcast. Additionally he writes bi-weekly and monthly articles for Dobber Prospects as well as covering Columbus Blue Jackets prospects for Dobber. At The Hockey Writers he covers the Detroit Red Wings.