Red Wings’ Simon Edvinsson: The Future Is Now

The Hockey Writers

As of late, it’s been a common sight to see Simon Edvinsson among the players celebrating a Detroit Red Wings goal. In fact, he’s been on the ice for 57 percent of Detroit’s even-strength tallies since April 1.

Perhaps more importantly, the Red Wings have allowed only one five-on-five goal in that same timespan with Edvinsson defending. One goal against in four games’ worth of tough competition.

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Detroit’s top prospect has made his presence felt since his March 19 call-up. He has looked right at home in a top-four NHL role, and is here to stay.

Edvinsson’s Role in Detroit

Late in Detroit’s recent game against the Buffalo Sabres, Ben Chiarot got into a net-front scuffle with Jordan Greenway. Both players were penalized, and Moritz Seider was without a blue line partner. There also was a lead to protect. Insert Edvinsson. 

It was an easy choice for assistant coach Bob Boughner. Edvinsson had been playing a larger role as of late, and the 21-year-old got the job done, playing the final 1:02 and finishing the game with an impressive 19:23 TOI.

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Simon Edvinsson skating in a game for the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“He’s playing in the top four and you’re playing Tampa, you’re playing Buffalo, you’re playing the Rangers – that’s a whole different world top six that he’s up against,” Derek Lalonde noted recently (from ‘Red Wings’ youth is meeting the moment in playoff race’ – The Athletic – 4/7/24). “So he’s done a really good job, and hopefully we can keep building it.”

Edvinsson has certainly earned the trust of Detroit’s coaching staff, averaging close to 20:00 TOI since the start of April. He has also played with confidence and consistently makes smart decisions, like when to jump into the play, how to approach a zone exit, and timing his attempts to thwart zone entries.

“I feel like I’ve been growing every game. To go up here this time of the year, of course, it’s pressure. Every point matters. I feel like I’ve been adjusting my game towards that, to the games we’ve been playing, and getting more comfortable during the time I’ve been up here.”

–Simon Edvinsson to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika

Detroit’s reliance on Edvinsson allowed them to rest the ailing Jake Walman, who has been in and out of the lineup recently. It also let Detroit’s coaching staff test the young defenseman with meaningful minutes in order to further his development.

“This is why you want to put these guys in those really, really big situations,” Lalonde said. “Playing last year at this time is a lot different than playing this year at this time, where every play and every puck matters.”

And so far, Edvinsson is passing the test.

What’s Next For Edvinsson and the Red Wings

If the Red Wings make the playoffs, expect more of the same, with Edvinsson’s play determining if his role increases even further. He has earned it.

As for 2024-25 and beyond, Edvinsson is here to stay. His defensive partner on the second pair may change, though. Jeff Petry is more of a third-pairing defenseman at this point in his career. Two-way stalwarts Matt Roy, Brett Pesce, and Chris Tanev will be free agents this summer and would mesh well alongside Edvinsson.

Related: Red Wings News & Rumors: Playoffs, Contract Extensions, Prospects & More

We could also see Edvinsson on the man advantage next season if Shayne Gostisbehere isn’t retained. He had a pair of power play markers this year for the Grand Rapids Griffins utilizing his above-average vision from the quarterback position.

Whether skating at even strength, on the power play, or shorthanded, Edvinsson will be doing so in Detroit moving into the future. He’s an NHLer now.

Data courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.

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