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Keeping A Rookie Or Two

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The Red Wings expect 6-foot-6 defenseman Simon Edvinsson to make his presence felt in training camp. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t make the team.

This is how his fellow Red Wings draft pick Theodor Niederbach describes Edvinsson: “He’s a great D. He has size, skill and speed. He can play O-zone, D-zone, anywhere. I would say he’s almost a complete D-man.”

Is it probable there will be multiple rookies make the team? That word is probably too strong. But it is possible that Jonatan Berggren shines bright enough to break camp with the Red Wings. The Red Wings certainly appreciated the growth he made at Grand Rapids this season.

Berggren Will Get a Look

He is more of a playmaking winger than a scorer. But Raymond was also considered a better playmaker than scorer before he got to the NHL.

The Red Wings are also very excited about Elmer Soderblom’s potential.

“He likes to score goals,” Edvinsson says about Soderblom “He’s a good goal-scorer, a great protector of the puck. He’s a great skater. In general he’s had tremendous development last year. When you see him here for the first time you’re going to recognize him. He’s a really great player.”...

But if there are no injuries or trades, an experienced player or two could lose his job. Some fans might see Filip Zadina on this list, but he’s only 22. You can still see some potential. Doesn’t seem like the Red Wings are ready to give up on Zadina.

Here are some vulnerable players:


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


OlderThanChelios's avatar

Left wing Givani Smith

If the Red Wings put him through waivers, they would have to expect him to be claimed. His physical prowess can be intimidating.

I don’t know what the hell Allen is smoking. Smith wasn’t anywhere near “intimidating,” not even in the AHL. In every Griffins game I watched that he was in, no one ever backed down from him the way they did when faced with Luke Witkowski.

But the Red Wings had hope that he would blossom into a third line force, a tough, hard-hitting, effective checker who could contribute 10 or 12 goals.

And therein lies the problem. Smith isn’t tough. He isn’t hard-hitting, at all. And he’s not an effective checker. If he was, he’d have been on the PK.

Honestly, he’s been the most over-hyped Wings draft pick since Tomas Jurco was hailed as a “magician” with the stick. At 28, Jurco played last year in the KHL. Smith may end up being a career AHL player.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/02/22 at 12:13 AM ET


I completely agree with the above.  Also, the NHL has changed in the last 15-20 years to where your prime is younger than it used to be.  The hard truth is that if some of these guys haven’t impressed or shown consistency by 24 then they probably aren’t going to.  I loved the Joe Veleno draft pick but the truth is he’s probably not going to pan out. Smith is the best he will be and he’s not good.  Ras is also probably near his peak.  I wouldn’t mind trading all three.  Sure players like Mo or Raymond are special in the way they played at 19 and 20 but none of Veleno, Smith, Ras will ever hit their projected draft status and if they had the capibikities of being first or second line players we would have seen that by now even if it was in small samples.

Posted by SevensForTed on 08/02/22 at 08:43 AM ET


Sevens nailed it.

Posted by pnwwing on 08/02/22 at 09:09 AM ET


It would be a surprise if he doesn’t make the team.

Would it? I imagine they plan on having him play in GR to get used to playing pro hockey on the NA ice surface.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a full-time member of the team by end of season, but I would personally be surprised (pleasantly) if he made the team out of camp.

Posted by GMoney on 08/02/22 at 10:09 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I loved the Joe Veleno draft pick but the truth is he’s probably not going to pan out.

Posted by SevensForTed on 08/02/22 at 08:43 AM ET

Joe has been a disappointment so far. But he had great chemistry with Berggren and Raymond during the prospects tournament and training camp last year, so I still have some hope for him. Maybe Lalonde or some of the other coaches can rekindle in him the kind of confidence he had a year ago.

Maybe a few months in GR playing with Berggren and Hirose on his wings would help. He plays hard and he has some skill, but he’s definitely running out of time.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/02/22 at 11:22 AM 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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