After a summer of spending, the Detroit Red Wings are looking like a potential playoff team for the 2022-23 season. Therefore, we could see general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman look to make some additions during the regular season to help make the team better in the present. Although there’s no harm in doing that, he must avoid trading certain prospects, no matter the case. Here’s a look at a handful of specific prospects who he needs to make untouchable.
Simon Edvinsson has the potential to be a part of the Red Wings’ core for many years to come, so he is certainly an untouchable prospect. Many believe that the 2021 sixth overall pick is already in the running for a spot on the NHL roster this upcoming season, and it’s easy to see why when looking at how well he did in 2021-22. In 44 games with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), he had two goals and 19 points. That is very good production from a teenager, and now he will be aiming to translate that over to the NHL.
Edvinsson is also an extremely rare prospect, as he offers a beautiful mixture of skill, size, and speed. That, in turn, should allow him to become a top-pairing defenseman as he continues to develop, and that is something the Red Wings naturally need. The idea of him teaming up with Moritz Seider on the first pairing for years to come is an extremely exciting one, so Yzerman will likely not listen to any offers involving Edvinsson.
Although defensemen are known for taking more time to develop, Edvinsson is likely already good enough to join Detroit this upcoming season. Yet, it still wouldn’t be a bad thing for him to spend some time in the American Hockey League (AHL) if needed. No matter the case, the 6-foot-6 defenseman’s future is immensely bright.
Although the Red Wings are heading into the 2022-23 season with a strong goaltending tandem of Ville Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic, Yzerman should not consider the possibility of trading prospect Sebastian Cossa under any circumstances. The 2021 first-round pick is viewed as a future number-one goaltender at the NHL level, and that is why he is someone they truly need to keep in their prospect pool.
Cossa just put together another strong season with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he had a 33-9-3 record, .913 save percentage (SV%), and 2.28 goals-against average (GAA). With numbers like these, it is clear that he provided excellent goaltending for the Oil Kings, and now he will be aiming to provide the same thing for the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2022-23. Making the switch to professional competition may come with some growing pains for Cossa, but that’s completely fine when remembering the Red Wings’ current goaltending situation.
Nedeljkovic is also eligible to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) next summer, so Cossa could make the jump to the NHL as soon as the 2023-24 season. Yet, even if Nedeljkovic ends up testing the open market, they don’t necessarily need to bring Cossa up immediately. Even if the 6-foot-6 netminder needs a few more years of development before making the NHL, he is a prospect who they must keep around. There’s too much potential there to give up on him yet.
With the eighth overall pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Red Wings selected Marco Kasper. Naturally, with the team taking the 6-foot-1 center so early in the draft, it’s hard to believe that Yzerman would consider the prospect of trading him. As a result, it’s fair to say that the 18-year-old is easily one of their untouchable prospects, and that is something that has no chance of changing any time soon.
As a 17-year-old this past season, Kasper played for Rogle BK of the SHL, where he scored seven goals and had 11 points in 46 games. Yes, this production wasn’t the greatest, but this was also his first full season playing against professional talent. With that, he showed signs of improvement during the playoffs when it mattered most, as he had a respectable six points in 13 games. That is certainly encouraging and likely a big reason why Yzerman elected to take him as the Red Wings’ first-round pick this year.
Kasper will now be hoping to build off his strong postseason performance and put together a memorable campaign for Rogle BK in 2022-23. The Austria native has already been praised for his excellent two-way play and many view him as eventually blossoming into a top-six center at the NHL level. Thus, he’s another prospect who needs to be a part of Detroit’s long-term plans.
Although not listed above, other prospects who the Red Wings should not consider trading are Jonatan Berggren, Albert Johansson, William Wallinder, and Elmer Soderblom.
Alas, it’s clear that the Red Wings have such a strong prospect pool, and that is one of the many reasons why most fans view them as a team on the rise. Even if Detroit shows signs of being a potential playoff team this year, Yzerman must avoid trading any of these prospects in an attempt to get better in the present. The future is bright, and it will be fun to see how these untouchable prospects perform once they are full-time NHLers.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.