With the Detroit Red Wings wrapping up cuts to get to their 23-man roster heading into opening night on Oct. 12, numerous players have either been sent down to Grand Rapids to play in the American Hockey League (AHL) or returned to their junior teams for the season. Here are five Red Wings to keep an eye on who did not make the cut for the final roster.
Forward Jonatan Berggren – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
After having a solid rookie season last year, Jonatan Berggren being sent down to Grand Rapids has been met with some surprise by many. Last season he played in 67 games for the Red Wings while putting up 15 goals and 13 assists. After having a solid preseason this year that saw him total four points in five games, he has ended up being sent down to the AHL at least for the start of the season.
This move can be attributed to the numerous additions this offseason via free agency that Steve Yzerman made to the forward group and will help Berggren see more ice time than he would in a role with the Red Wings. The biggest question is how he will react and handle being sent down. If he can take it in stride and play to his full ability, there is a good chance that he will be at the top of the call-up list if and when the injury bug comes around to the Red Wings lineup.
Goalie Sebastian Cossa – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
No one expected Sebastian Cossa to make the Red Wings roster out of camp this season, but this season will be a big one for the development of the former first-round pick from the 2021 Draft. In Grand Rapids, he will likely have a veteran mentor in Michael Hutchinson who signed a professional tryout (PTO) with the Griffins after being released from his PTO with the Red Wings.
Latest News & Highlights
If Cossa is able to build off a strong finish last season with Toledo in the ECHL, there will be plenty of excitement this season for both Griffins and Red Wings fans, along with the organization itself. The hope when being taken 15th overall in the 2021 Draft was that he would become the team’s goaltender of the future and this season will be one to keep a watchful eye on to see if he can get back on course to be that for the team.
Forward Nate Danielson – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
One of the biggest pleasant surprises this preseason was the play of 2023 first-round pick Nate Danielson, who was impressive with his all-around game, and his offensive game sticking out as a surprise to many. Even with Danielson impressing and opening the eyes of many Red Wings fans and team management, the only option the team had for him was to either have him on the opening night roster or to send him back to juniors.
With roadblocks to playing top-six minutes for Danielson in the lineup, it makes the most sense that the team sent him back to the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He will be returning to the Wheat Kings for his third full season of junior hockey after a strong showing in the preseason for the Red Wings. If he is able to build off his showing, along with a strong year last season, Danielson should be a player to keep an eye on this season in the WHL and for Red Wings fans as well.
Defenseman Simon Edvinsson – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Simon Edvinsson, like Berggren, was a player that fans believed could have a solid chance to make the opening night roster but was also met with a log jam, this time on the backend of the Red Wings lineup. Another player who had a solid preseason, he showed off his smooth skating and offensive prowess throughout the five games he appeared in leading to three total points.
With solid play and health with the Griffins after having shoulder surgery in May, he could easily force Yzerman’s hand at some point this season to give the 6-foot-6 defenseman another look at the NHL roster.
Defenseman William Wallinder- Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
The former second-round pick in the 2020 Draft, William Wallinder, is another young defenseman in the Red Wings organization who had a solid showing in the preseason albeit only tallying one point in three games. He displayed his defensive game while also getting involved in the offensive zone numerous times during those three games.
With 2023-24 being his first full professional season, a watchful eye will be on Wallinder’s development and continued adjustment to the North American style of hockey after spending most of the 2022-23 season with Rogle BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) before playing in one game for the Griffins at the end of the season.
The 2023-24 season will be an exciting and watchful one for fans of the team. Along with these players, there are also other young players that will be watched with a careful eye in hopes that the future of the organization is in Grand Rapids and elsewhere in the pipeline. The future could be very exciting and bright for the Red Wings.