The Red Wings roster is highlighted by three recent first-round picks: center Joe Veleno (30th overall, 2018), who made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in 2020-21 and scored his first NHL goal on May 7 at Columbus after spending a majority of the season with the Swedish Hockey League’s Malmo Redhawks, where he tallied 20 points (11-9-20) in 46 games; right wing Lucas Raymond (4th overall, 2020), who is beginning his first professional season in North America in 2021-22 after finishing second in the SHL among players aged 19-or-younger with 18 points (6-12-18) in 34 games with Frolunda, while tying for the team lead at the IIHF World Junior Championship with five points (2-3-5) in five games for Sweden; and goaltender Sebastian Cossa (15th overall, 2021), who authored one of the most dominant seasons in Western Hockey League history with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2020-21, posting a 17-1-1 record, 1.57 goals-against average, 0.941 save percentage and four shutouts in 19 games.
Other roster notables include left wing Jonatan Berggren (33rd overall, 2018), who tied for sixth in SHL scoring and became the 13th player in league history to rack up 40-or-more points in a season at age 20-or-younger and a trio of defensemen looking to begin their first full professional seasons after all getting abbreviated stints in the American Hockey League in 2020-21: Jared McIsaac (36th overall, 2018), Donovan Sebrango (63rd overall, 2020) and recent Red Wings free agent addition Wyatt Newpower, who skated in 24 games with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters.
Fifteen of the 23 players on the roster are former Red Wings draft picks, with the three first-round picks in addition to three second-round picks, two third-round selections, one fourth-round pick, three fifth-round choices, two six-round picks and a seventh-round pick. The drafted prospects range in age from two 18-year olds chosen at the most recent 2021 NHL Entry Draft (Cossa and sixth-rounder Pasquale Zito) to 24-year-old Chase Pearson, a 2015 fifth-round pick who returns to the tournament after finishing third on the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins with 22 points (8-14-22) in 28 games last season.
Over the tournament’s history, 697 players have moved on to play in at least one NHL game, including 18 who played for the Red Wings in 2020-21: Tyler Bertuzzi, Alex Biega (Buffalo), Dennis Cholowski, Robby Fabbri (St. Louis), Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Taro Hirose, Filip Hronek, Dylan Larkin, Gustav Lindstrom, Anthony Mantha, Patrik Nemeth (Dallas), Michael Rasmussen, Givani Smith, Marc Staal (NY Rangers), Evgeny Svechnikov, Joe Veleno and Filip Zadina.
Participating teams will play either three or four games, with the Red Wings taking on the Stars on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m., the Blues on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. and the Blue Jackets on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 6:00 p.m. Due to the unbalanced schedule for 2021, the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup will not be awarded this season. The tournament’s championship trophy was renamed in 2015 in honor of Wuest, known for his work on the website CapGeek.com as well as his exclusive coverage and statistical archiving of the NHL Prospect Tournament on RedWingsCentral.com, spanning back to the inaugural tournament in 1998 before succumbing to a two-year battle with cancer in 2015.
TICKETS: Tickets for all NHL Prospect Tournament games are available now online at www.centreice.com/drwtickets and will also be sold first-come, first-served at the arena entrance on the day of each event. Please visit www.centreice.org for the latest details, or to purchase tickets for the Red Wings main training camp (Sept. 23-28).
STREAMING: All games of the 2021 NHL Prospect Tournament will be carried live on DetroitRedWings.com. Additional channel streaming updates will be provided on Red Wings social media platforms. Every Red Wings game will feature game coverage commentary provided by Ken Kal, Art Regner, Daniella Bruce and Carley Johnston.