Red Wings Draft Marco Kasper 8th Overall

With the 8th pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red WIngs have selected Marco Kasper from Rogel BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL)

About Marco Kasper

With a combination of size, skill, and skating, Marco Kasper has everything pro scouts look for in a top-end NHL Draft pick. At 6-foot-1, he has an NHL-caliber frame, and as he continues to develop his body, he has learned to use his size to throw out big hits to get opponents off their game.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft: Live Tracker

When you look at his scoring totals from the 2021-22 season, you won’t see anything that jumps off the page, as he scored just 11 points in 46 games. However, this was against men on the stacked Rogel BK team in the SHL, where he made his debut as a 16-year-old. Given his age, that’s impressive, especially as he continued to earn trust from his coaches and eventually produced six points in 12 games in the European Champions Hockey League.

Marco Kasper Team Austria
2022 NHL Draft prospect Marco Kasper playing for Team Austria. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

Given this experience, his size, and his skating ability, expect Kasper to be a prime target in the NHL draft. Sure, he may not be a top-10 pick, but he will draw a lot of attention from scouts and could jump up the boards on draft day.

THW Prospect Profile Excerpt

“It’s hard not to look at Marco Kasper and think of fellow Austrian Marco Rossi, who was picked ninth overall back in 2020 by the Minnesota Wild. The pair grew up just under two hours away from each other and quickly became the face of Austrian hockey as they moved up the ranks. However, that’s about where the similarities end. At 17, Rossi moved to North America to join the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Ottawa 67’s, where he led the league in scoring in his second season with the team. Although he’s on the smaller side, he’s a high-offence player who will certainly end up on the Wild’s top line someday.

“Not Kasper, though. The first and most obvious difference is the size. Whereas Rossi stands just 5-foot-9, Kasper towers over him at 6-foot-1. He uses his size well, too, employing a long reach to break up passes and create interceptions as well as anchoring himself in front of the net to take away the goalie’s vision and pick up deflections. There’s a grit to his game as well, and he’s not afraid to lay out a big check-in open ice or try and get under his opponent’s skin, forcing them to make rushed decisions that can sometimes lead to a turnover.

Related: THW’s 2022 NHL Draft Guide

“Then there’s Kasper’s skating. While Rossi was also hailed for his speed and acceleration, scouts have been gushing over Kasper’s skill on his skates for over a year. Last season, he made his debut in the Swedish Hockey League with Rögle BK at just 16 years old, and although he only managed to put up one assist, he didn’t look out of place amongst some of the best hockey players in the world thanks to his skating prowess. This season, he’s been a mainstay in the league, playing 40 games and scoring six goals and nine points, which places him second among all U18 players, third among U19 players, and eighth among U20 players. He was also a huge part of Rögle’s Champions League team, scoring six points in 12 games.

“While Kasper doesn’t have the same offensive upside as his fellow Austrian — Rossi led the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) with 120 points in 56 games — he still plays a smart, heads-up game that can help drive plays and create chances, especially while in tight along the boards in the offensive zone. He uses his size to protect and control the puck while he looks for a passing lane, or can quickly pivot to shake off an opponent with some excellent edge work. He’s an in-close type of player, relying on quickness and strength to catch rebounds or feed passes to teammates in the slot.”

Full player profile can be found here

How This Affects the Red Wing’s Plans

Since Kasper is already proving himself against men, he’s in a great spot to develop his game for the next few seasons. He can continue playing for a great Rogel BK franchise, which will help him further develop his game and refine his offensive skillset.

This means that Detroit won’t really have to worry too much about his immediate future, as they can leave Kasper in Sweden and just let him do what he does best. Then, depending on how he is playing, they can either move him to their American Hockey League affiliate to get used to North American ice for a year, or if he looks ready, have him transition directly into a bottom-six role.

Either way, if Detroit handles this properly, they should have a starter in Kasper. That’s a great pick for a team in need of young talent to supplement their veteran lineup.