Red Wings Prospect Rankings: Summer 2019

Much like Filip Zadina last year, top pick Moritz Seider quickly showed why the Detroit Red Wings selected him sixth-overall.

Armed with excellent mobility and flow for days, Seider’s skating and playmaking abilities were easily evident during Detroit’s development camp.

Now he’ll join the likes of Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, and Jared McIsaac on Detroit’s blue line of the future. But what about the rest of Detroit’s prospects?

In this edition of the 2019 Red Wings Summer Rebuild Series, we’ll review Detroit’s prospect pipeline and count down the top players to watch in the coming seasons. Be sure to stick around, as we’ll cover a number of Red Wings topics throughout the offseason:

Top 25 Red Wings Prospects

With 11 new prospects added to the system following the 2019 NHL Draft, let’s see how Detroit’s top 25 rankings sort out in terms of potential NHL contributions.

RankPlayerPos2018-19 Stats & Team
1Filip ZadinaRW59 GP – 16 G – 19 A – 35 PTS (Grand Rapids – AHL)
2Moritz SeiderD29 GP – 2 G – 4 A – 6 PTS (Mannheim – DEL)
3Joe VelenoC59 GP – 42 G – 62 A – 104 PTS (Drummondville – QMJHL)
4Jared McIsaacD53 GP – 16 G – 46 A – 62 PTS (Halifax – QMJHL)
5Jonatan BerggrenRW16 GP – 0 G – 3 A – 3 PTS (Skelleftea AIK – SHL)
6Evgeny SvechnikovLWDid Not Play – Injured
7Antti TuomistoD45 GP – 9 G – 26 A – 35 PTS (Assat U20 – Jr. A SM-liiga)
8Gustav LindstromD40 GP – 3 G – 3 A – 6 PTS (Frolunda HC – SHL)
9Filip LarssonG22 GP – 1.95 GAA – .932 SV% (Denver – NCAA)
10Robert MastrosimoneC54 GP – 31 G – 29 A – 60 PTS (Chicago – USHL)
11Albin GreweRW25 GP – 13 G – 21 A – 34 PTS (Djurgårdens IF J20 – SuperElit)
12Oliwer KaskiD59 GP – 19 G – 32 A – 51 PTS (Pelicans – Liiga)
13Albert JohanssonD40 GP – 5 G – 24 A – 29 PTS (Färjestad BK J20 – SuperElit)
14Taro HiroseLW36 GP – 14 G – 35 A – 50 PTS (Michigan State – NCAA)
15Joe HickettsD64 GP – 3 G – 24 A – 27 PTS (Grand Rapids – AHL)
16Jesper EliassonG33 GP – 2.43 GAA – .919 SV% (Vaxjo – SuperElit)
17Vili SaarijarviD70 GP – 2 G – 14 A – 16 PTS (Grand Rapids – AHL)
18Keith PetruzzelliG14 GP – 2.42 GAA – .904 SV% (Quinnipiac – NCAA)
19Ryan KuffnerRW31 GP – 22 G – 22 A – 44 PTS (Princeton – NCAA)
20Givani SmithLW64 GP – 6 G – 7 A – 13 PTS (Grand Rapids – AHL)
21Dominic TurgeonC72 GP – 6 G – 14 A – 20 PTS (Grand Rapids – AHL)
22Alec RegulaD66 GP – 11 G – 28 A – 39 PTS (London – OHL)
23Ethan PhillipsC50 GP – 16 G – 27 A – 43 PTS (Sioux Falls – USHL)
24Otto KivenmakiRW34 GP – 2 G – 14 A – 16 PTS (Assat Pori – Liiga)
25Chase PearsonC34 GP – 16 G – 13 A – 29 PTS (Maine – NCAA)

Note that Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, and Michael Rasmussen were not included in the rankings, as the trio spent the majority of their 2018-19 seasons in Detroit. If they were to be added in, the three would follow Joe Veleno in the following order: Hronek, Rasmussen, and then Cholowski.

Mo’ Moritz, Less Problems

Much like Red Wings fans everywhere, Detroit’s top pick certainly didn’t expect to be taken so high in the 2019 draft.

And while skepticism followed in the days after, those questions were answered when development camp rolled around. Seider’s skating and puck skills were put on full display during drills, the three-on-three tournament, and the final scrimmage. Though he’s still a little raw, there’s a lot to like about the German defenseman.

Yzerman clearly likes Seider’s hockey sense and mobility. It’ll be a couple of years until the blueliner reaches the NHL, but that’s to be expected for most of the selections who are not named Jack Hughes or Kappo Kaako. However, Seider’s play does translate well to the NHL level – he’s got a large frame, has some bite to his defensive game, and can be an offensive threat, whether that’s transitioning the puck up ice or creating scoring opportunities in the offensive zone.

Besides, how often can you acquire a big, mobile, offensive, right-handed defenseman? 

Red Wings Prospects on the Move

Several Red Wings prospects will be advancing to a higher league for the 2019-20 season, including a couple of new faces in Hockeytown next season.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Joe Hicketts
Can Joe Hicketts crack the Red Wings lineup full-time next season? (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Paul Sancya)
  • Possibly to Detroit*: Joe Hicketts, Dominic Turgeon
  • To Grand Rapids: Joe Veleno, Ryan Kuffner, Oliwer Kaski, Chase Pearson, Gustav Lindstrom
  • To NCAA: Robert Mastrosimone & Ethan Phillips (Boston University), Ryan O’Reilly (Denver – 2020-21), Antti Tuomisto (TBD – 2020-21)
  • To SHL: Albin Grewe (Djurgårdens IF), Malte Setkov (Malmo)
  • To Allsvenskan: Alfons Malmstrom (AIK), Jesper Eliasson (Almtuna IS), Victor Brattstrom (Timra IK)
  • To NLA: Joren van Pottelberghe (HC Davos)
  • To BCHL: Cooper Moore (Chilliwack)

*Hicketts and Turgeon will require waivers if they’re sent down to Grand Rapids. There could be additional prospects competing for roster spots on the Red Wings as well.

Red Wings Roster Outlook: 2021-22

If the Red Wings’ rebuild kicked off during the 2016-17 season, then their five-year plan will wrap up with the 2021-22 season. To assess its progress, let’s take a look at how the roster could shape up for Opening Night 2021, with each player’s age in parenthesis.

Anthony Mantha (27)Dylan Larkin (25)Filip Zadina (21)
Andreas Athanasiou (27)Joe Veleno (21)Tyler Bertuzzi (26)
Evgeny Svechnikov (24)Michael Rasmussen (22)Jonatan Berggren (21)
Taro Hirose (25)Frans Nielsen (37)Christoffer Ehn (25)
Justin Abdelkader (34)Jacob de la Rose (26) 
Danny DeKeyser (31)Filip Hronek (23)Filip Larsson (23)
Dennis Cholowski (23)Moritz Seider (20)Kaden Fulcher (22)
Jared McIsaac (21)Oliwer Kaski (26) 
Gustav Lindstrom (22)  

Though there will be trades, free agents, draft picks, and expansion draft losses that will change this roster, the team above looks pretty deep, especially up front. There’s still a need for a game-changer or two, but there will be a couple of drafts between now and then to address that.

With the exception of Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser, all of Detroit’s albatross contracts will be off the books. Plus, the Red Wings’ top offensive prospects will be NHL-ready by then. Yzerman will have the freedom to pursue supplemental talent with an abundance of cap space as well.

Steve Yzerman, Christopher Ilitch
How will Steve Yzerman spend Christopher Ilitch’s money over the next couple seasons? (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

If anything, there’s a need for more depth in net. Filip Larsson may not be ready for the starting job and Kaden Fulcher might not develop into an NHL netminder. However, there will certainly be a few cost-effective free agent goalies that the Red Wings could sign to pair with Larsson.

What are your thoughts on the prospect depth of the Detroit Red Wings? Share your thoughts below.