Fingerprints aside, Detroit Red Wings’ Simon Edvinsson knocking on the door

Detroit Free Press

The fingerprints Simon Edvinsson leaves on the ice are learning experiences, as are the fingerprints he leaves when he knocks on the door.

The Detroit Red Wings’ youngest defenseman stands to play one more game — likely Monday’s home finale against the Dallas Stars — in the final week of the season. That will put him at nine appearances, one short of burning the first year of his entry-level contract, and enable him to go into the summer with a better feel for what it is like to play in the NHL.

Edvinsson, drafted at No. 6 overall in 2021, was called up in mid-March to offset injuries. Eight games later, he has two goals — and a minus-5 rating.

He was minus-2 in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the result of being on the ice for the Penguins’ first, third and fifth goals, as well as teammate Pius Suter’s goal.

Be feisty: The advice from Detroit Red Wings’ David Perron that has helped budding star Lucas Raymond

It was the kind of performance typical of a 20-year-old adjusting to the highest level of hockey.

“His fingerprints were on some goals,” coach Derek Lalonde said after the game at Little Caesars Arena. “It’s some of that inconsistency a young D-man goes through. The first goal against, he turns it over, and then he compounds the mistake by attacking the rush. All of a sudden, it’s a two-on-one, ends up in the back of our net two seconds later.

“I just think eliminating those types of mistakes — because you can see the skill set, some of the things he’s done offensively. But, simplify your game, you are not going to get away with certain things against certain players, in this league. That was a good lesson for him.”

(It’s a lesson not just for first-year players: It was veteran Jake Walman who turned the puck over on the second goal, deep in his own zone.)

Edvinsson came to the Wings after spending most of his first year of North American hockey playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he posted 27 points in 51 games. He already has size on his side (he’s 6 feet 6 and 209 pounds) and, with having spent 2021-22 in his native Sweden’s top league, Edvinsson has experienced playing against men for two straight seasons.

“What we saw in the first couple games he’s played here after his call-up, he’s a little bit different of a player than we saw at training camp,” defense coach Bob Boughner said in late March. “His game is more assertive. He’s bringing that physicality to his game, he’s making smarter, easier decisions, quicker decisions with the puck. I think that comes from just getting down there and playing games and learning the North American game.

“You could see it in his game, that it’s a kid that has a ton of potential. His skating looks better, I think he’s more aggressive, and you can see him jumping up in the offense, he’s picking his spots a little better. So with more time and experience — it’s a long way to get to be an elite player in this league, but he’s off to a good start.”

Sneak peek: Predicting what the Detroit Red Wings’ defense corps will look like next season

Growth on the blue line: How Detroit Red Wings’ Moritz Seider has evolved from ‘chaotic’ to well-rounded

Edvinsson certainly has shown he is ready to be a full-timer when next season begins. When he isn’t learning in-game lessons, he is learning from reviewing those situations.

“He’s eager for it,” Lalonde said. “We laugh, he always comes in, ‘Is Boughs around?‘ It’s literally almost, we can predict when he opens the door, it’s almost the same exact time every morning. Even though they know they have a routine, Bob is going to come see him, but he still knocks on the door, and asks to see Boughs and his shift clips from the night before.”

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.

Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

Articles You May Like

Red Wings 2024 Draft Targets: 5 Defensemen
Beckett Sennecke Is a Fit for the Red Wings at Pick 15
Red Wings Should Pursue Trade For Patrik Laine
NHL Rumors: Golden Knights, Red Wings, Ducks, Senators, Coyotes
The Grind Line: Red Wings’ Top Priority of 2024 Offseason

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *