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Prospects Tournament

09/15/2022 at 8:02pm EDT

7 Red Wings prospects to watch at Traverse City tournament

from Ansar Khan of MLive


It was an unusually short summer for Detroit Red Wings prospects who played in the World Junior Championship in Edmonton last month.

Many will be back on the ice this week at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City.

The five-team event begins Friday at Centre I.C.E. Arena, when the Red Wings face Columbus at 3 p.m. Detroit’s prospects play Dallas on Saturday (6 p.m.) and wrap up the event against Toronto on Monday (11 a.m.). Games will be live-streamed on DetroitRedWings.com and the team’s social platforms (Facebook, YouTube).

Here are seven prospects to watch for the Red Wings:

Sebastian Cossa: The 6-6 goaltender selected 15th overall in 2021 hopes to show the Red Wings he is ready to turn pro and play in Grand Rapids this season. But the Red Wings signed Jussi Olkinuora, 31, the World Championship MVP for gold medal-winning Finland, and return Victor Brattstrom, 25, who appeared in 32 games for the Griffins. At 19, Cossa appears destined for another season in juniors, where he has excelled for WHL Edmonton, helping lead the Oil Kings to a Memorial Cup berth last season. Cossa played only one game at the World Juniors for gold medal-winning Canada, the opener, as Dylan Garand won the final six games.

Simon Edvinsson: This big (6-6), mobile, puck-moving defenseman drafted sixth overall in 2021 could be ready to break into the NHL this season after a strong year with Frolunda in the Swedish League (two goals, 17 assists in 44 games). Detroit’s top four seems set with Ben Chiarot-Moritz Seider and Olli Maatta-Filip Hronek. The decision for the Red Wings might be whether to use the left-shooting Edvinsson on the third pairing or start him in Grand Rapids where he would log a lot of minutes in all situations while getting accustomed to the smaller ice. Edvinsson, 19, led Sweden in ice time (22:27) at the World Juniors.

Cross Hanas: This playmaking right wing aims to show he is ready to turn pro and play in Grand Rapids after taking a big leap with WHL Portland last season (26 goals, 60 assists in 63 games). He had just five goals and 20 points in 33 games between Lincoln (USHL) and Portland in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. It doesn’t appear as if Hanas, a second-round pick in 2020 (55th overall), would have much to gain by being sent back to juniors for his overage year.

Albert Johansson: He is a bit under the radar, overshadowed by several other young defensemen and prospects in the organization. But the Red Wings believe Johansson can be a solid NHL defenseman one day. He’ll begin his AHL career in Grand Rapids this season after appearing in 141 games over the past four years with Farjestad BK in Sweden’s men’s league. He’s not big (6-0, 168) but skates well and is a good stickhandler.

Donovan Sebrango: Sebrango’s stock continued to rise at the World Juniors, where the stay-at-home defender, an alternate captain, was second in ice time (19:58) among defensemen for Canada and posted a plus-7 rating in seven games. At 20, he already has extensive AHL experience (96 games) and will start his third year with the Griffins. He could be in the conversation for an NHL job starting in 2023-24.

Elmer Soderblom: One of the more intriguing prospects due to his enormous size (6-8, 249) and offensive skills. He’s a winger who took a big leap last season with Frolunda in the Swedish League (21 goals, 33 points in 52 games) and will play in Grand Rapids this season. He’s not a physical force, he’s a finesse player with terrific hands who’s good around the net. The sixth-round pick in 2019 (159th overall) could end up being a steal.

Eemil Viro: Like Johansson, Viro has extensive experience playing against men, appearing in 134 games over three seasons with TPS Turku in Finland’s top league. He plays bigger than his size (6-0, 171), skates well and moves the puck. He played a top-four role on Finland’s silver medal-winning World Junior team. Selected 70th in the third round in 2020 -- seven spots after Sebrango – Viro will start his North American career in Grand Rapids this season.

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