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A Competitive Camp For The Detroit Forwards

I am nt mentioning the forwards who are expected to be a sure-lock to make the team.

- Pontus Andreasson: A Swedish undrafted free agent, Andreasson, 23, scored a career-high18 goals in the Swedish Hockey League last season and has made steady improvement in his career. Andreasson (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) will get a chance in the exhibition season, but appears destined to start in Grand Rapids.

- Jonatan Berggren: Berggren, 22, certainly showed in Grand Rapids (21 goals, 43 assists) he's close to being NHL ready. But with Yzerman's free-agent additions, and the deep forward corps, it's difficult to envision Berggren being on the opening night roster unless there's injuries.

- Adam Erne: Coming off a disappointing season, it appears Erne will be battling for playing time heading into opening night. Erne, 27, can be an unrestricted free agent next summer and his future in this organization is far from certain.

- Givani Smith: Smith, 24, is in the final year of his contract and his future in the organization is cloudy. It's difficult to envision Smith being more than a healthy scratch, at this point, given the crowded lineup. Smith hasn't been able to carve a regular role in the lineup.

- Elmer Soderblom: The 6-foot-6 Soderblom, 21, is likely going to need seasoning in Grand Rapids, but he'll be a player to keep an eye on in training camp. Soderblom scored 27 goals between two teams last season in Sweden, and his improvement since being drafted has been eye-opening.

- Joe Veleno: The former first-round pick isn't assured of a roster spot, and will have to impress in training camp to hold off the likes of Erne and Smith, among others, in the lineup. Veleno, 22, has shown flashes of being an NHL contributor, but there's going to be a lot of competition within the organization in the near future.

- Filip Zadina: This is an important season for Zadina, 22, who has yet to become the offensive force projected to be when drafted in 2018. Can playing for a new head coach and understanding the organization's patience with him is dwindling suddenly spark a Zadina turnaround? The Wings are hopeful.

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Comments

TreKronor's avatar

I would sure rather see Berggeren on the team rather than Erne. The Ernexperiment needs to stop.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/04/22 at 06:11 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Smith hasn’t been able to carve a regular role in the lineup.

And that’s the perfect way to describe Smith’s situation. He’s not offensively gifted enough to “carve” out a spot on the PP. And he’s such a “dull knife” defensively, he can’t be used on the PK. In general, Smith’s issue in both regards is his inability to hang onto or distribute he puck.

If he was a “banger” or a reasonably effective fighter, he’d still have a shot at being the 12th/13th forward. But he’s neither of those things.

Joe Veleno ... will have to impress in training camp to hold off the likes of Erne and Smith, among others, in the lineup.

Joe may end up in GR because he’s waiver exempt. Aside from that, if the Wings brass decides he isn’t better than Erne or Smith, he needs to be traded right now.

Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to both the Prospects Tournament and training camp. We’re reaching the point (actually it started last year) where guys can work their way onto the main roster. So let the games (and the excitement) begin.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/04/22 at 06:37 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’m feeling Veleno is a career AHLer at this point.

What I’m excited about is “The Mountain Who Scores Goals” Soderblom.  He’s currently our dark horse power forward of the future.  Hopefully he stays healthy and adjusts to the NHL well.  I get Mikko Rantanen vibes off him.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 08/04/22 at 07:20 PM ET

calquake's avatar

What I’m excited about is “The Mountain Who Scores Goals” Soderblom.  He’s currently our dark horse power forward of the future.  Hopefully he stays healthy and adjusts to the NHL well.  I get Mikko Rantanen vibes off him.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 08/04/22 at 07:20 PM ET

If Lurch is ready for “prime time” with the Wings, the rebuild will be accelerated. However, IMO, he needs a year in GR (call-ups notwithstanding) to acclimate. Having a capable power forward is a must for future success.

Posted by calquake on 08/05/22 at 01:09 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I would sure rather see Berggeren on the team rather than Erne

Disagree completely, if the choice is Berggeren vs. Erne, than we’re talking about a 4th line spot, or the 13th/14th forward, i.e. less than 10 minutes, checking role, no PP time, etc etc/ that’s not where Berggeren best develops IMO. Berggeren’s fate is sealed, he’s destined for GR with all the vets Yzerman brought in.

I’m feeling Veleno is a career AHLer at this point.

Veleno is not going to develop into a top 6 forward, but he’ll be an NHL’er, the question for him is whether he peaks as a 3C or a 4C.  He to is destined for GR, and should be fed massive amounts of PK time.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 08/05/22 at 10:29 AM ET

Avatar

I would sure rather see Berggeren on the team rather than Erne

Murray basically posted what I wanted to say, but indeed there will not be a choice between Erne and Bergrren.
Bergren will have to be Zadina or Kubalik to have a chance to make the team as 4th line is not for him.
And no matter how great Bergren looks in camp, I have no doubt Kubalik and Zadina will be given first crack at the third line wingers.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/05/22 at 11:16 AM ET

Avatar

To beat Zadina and Kubalik, not to be.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/05/22 at 11:17 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

To beat Zadina and Kubalik, not to be.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/05/22 at 11:17 AM ET

New coach and all, he might be able to sneak on the bus back from TC in Zadina’s jersey, probably would have a bit more trouble in Kubalik’s.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 08/05/22 at 12:07 PM ET

Avatar

I’m curious to see if Sundqvist can get past
the nagging or residual lower body injuries
with a Summer of rest and rehab, and therefore get a little
quicker. You can tell from the interview SY just did with
Daniella Bruce (up and coming talent in her own right)
that he really likes Sundqvist’s smarts and versatility.
Having a player like that on the 4th line is one more reflection
of a deeper roster.

Posted by lefty.30 on 08/05/22 at 07:22 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

OK right now the bottom 4 are Rassmus, Erne, Zadina, Smith.  Zadina isn’t even signed yet.  Can’t see Ras and Zadina not making team.  Leaving 1 spot either from GR or Erne/Smith.  My money would be on Velerno/ Ras/ Zadina, youth.  If they are ON the team, Coach may be able to work these guys into other lines and I could see a 4 line scenario every night 15 min ice time.  It could be good not to wear out guys in the early going.  Erne and Smith would only play for injuries, and fill ins, beefy teams.  The healthy scratches or PBboys will have to sit or be placed on waivers.  Velerno and Raymond only can be sent down.  All the boys will have to know when Fabbri returns, its report card time someone goes down to GR or Waiver wire.
Now the real competition will be on DEFENSE there is 4 guys who look to be solid and 3 spots up for grabs and someone or two maybe on the waiver wire.  I count 5 names for 3 spots without even considering GR.  So a healthy team into the season looks like 20 dressed and 3 in street clothes but with Fabbri out, it may save a guy until he return.  I would hope they block the injury loophole in the next players agreement, I think a lot of those overcap teams are cheating, in Detroit we don’t cheat!

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 08/05/22 at 11:02 PM ET

Gshaw722's avatar

OK right now the bottom 4 are Rassmus, Erne, Zadina, Smith.

I’m not sold on Suter as 3C.  Just because he wasn’t good enough for 2C doesn’t mean he is a better fit than Ras on the 3rd.  And he is definitely not a 4C.  I’m still thinking trade here.

Posted by Gshaw722 on 08/06/22 at 01:17 PM ET

Avatar

I could see Suter both as the primary playmaker
on a more offensive third line with Kubalik and Zadina,
or as more of a two-way checker on a line with perhaps
Rasmussen mostly on the wing, but also playing some center.
Suter is not a star on his own, but he’s a solid, skilled enough player
and can actually play center. Until we know Veleno or Rasmussen
can be a plus third-line center on a good team (and with Kasper a ways off)
Suter is still useful. Will he be moved or re-signed to another two year deal?
I could see either. If a playmaking winger like Berggren proves he belongs
by the end of the season, maybe who’ll want in the third line center role with change some.

Posted by lefty.30 on 08/06/22 at 06:08 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Lefty

Totally agree with you on Suter

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 08/06/22 at 08:24 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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