Happy September everybody! With the new month comes a building anticipation for Detroit Red Wings fans as the Traverse City Prospects Tournament is just two weeks away. Training camp begins the following week, and it all leads up to October 12, the official first day of the 2021-22 NHL season. If you’re trying to squeeze in any trips before the season starts, now is the time to do so (I know I did!)
Today’s news dump features newly-released u-23 player rankings, as well as rankings based on confidence in each team’s front office. Spoiler alert: things are looking up in Detroit.
Pronman Ranks Red Wings U-23 Players 9th
In his yearly prospect pool/u-23 player rankings, Corey Pronman of The Athletic ranked the Red Wings ninth in the league. Based on quality and depth, the well-regarded prospect analyst bases this series not solely on a team’s prospects, but their entire group of players that are under 23 years old. That means players such as Michael Rasmussen are included in the list despite him no longer being considered a “prospect”. The top five were as follows:
- 1.) (D) Moritz Seider – “The offense might never be elite, but it will be good to go with elite defending. Seider projects as a true top-pair defenseman with a chance to be a star No. 1 in the NHL.”
- 2.) (F) Lucas Raymond – “He has great edges and balance but struggles to pull away from checks. It may keep him from ever becoming a star, but I still project him as a top-line forward.”
- 3.) (G) Sebastian Cossa – “He loses track of some pucks and can be a bit busy in the net but usually anticipates the play very well. I love his selective aggressiveness with his positioning, and how he takes away angles with his size as well as how well he uses his stick to break up a lot of plays.”
- 4.) (D) Simon Edvinsson – “Defensively his size and skating allow him to close gaps and make a lot of stops and he’s not afraid to be physical. He’s not a dynamic playmaker, but Edvinsson can make the heads-up first pass and shows some power-play poise.”
- 5.) (C) Michael Rasmussen – “Rasmussen isn’t ever going to excite you and create a ton of highlights, but he looks like he will be a solid NHL player for a while. He’s 6-foot-6, he can make some plays and he works hard. He’s great at creating around the net.”
(From “NHL Pipeline Rankings: No. 9 Detroit Red Wings forming strong foundation behind Moritz Seider”, The Athletic, 9/1/21)
The move up to nine represents a nine-spot jump up the rankings as the Red Wings ranked 18th in Pronman’s 2020 rankings. While quality and quantity are both in place, Detroit’s ranking is held back by the lack of a top-tier, true stud prospect. Essentially, they’ve been held back by lottery luck, but you knew that already. All together, Pronman profiles 22 prospects in the article.
Red Wings Front Office Inspires Confidence
In a somewhat controversial ranking, fans from across the league ranked the Red Wings’ front office third in the league in The Athletic writer Dom Luszczyszyn’s annual front office rankings. Detroit ranked second in terms of home-team fan confidence; they ranked fourth in terms of league-wide confidence.
The six categories the rankings are based on are: roster building, cap management, drafting and developing, trading, free agency and vision. The category the Red Wings’ ranked lowest in was free agency, and the category they ranked the highest in was vision. The team ranked at the top was Yzerman’s old team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
There is some debate to be had over this ranking. The Red Wings are just now turning the corner from the “tear down” and “build up” phases of their rebuild. They rank ahead of perennial playoff teams like the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they also rank ahead of teams that are further along in their rebuild, such as the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings. This ranking has A LOT to do with what Yzerman did with the Lightning, and while things do seem to be pointing in the right direction in Detroit, there’s a solid argument to be made that fans are jumping the gun a bit.
Then again, expecting Detroit, of all teams/cities, to be skeptical of Yzerman is probably a bit foolish.
- Oddsmakers have the Red Wings set to reach 77.5 points during next season. This places them ahead of five teams: the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Ottawa Senators, the Anaheim Ducks, the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes. 77 points would be the team’s highest point total since the 2016-17 season when they finished with 79 points.
- The Red Wings announced the official jersey numbers for each of the team’s new players. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this group:
- Former Red Wings goaltending prospect Keith Petruzzelli signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL). The Marlies’ crease projects to be a bit crowded, so he may see some time in the ECHL this season as well. Surely fans of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, will greet him with open arms should he ever play a game at Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids….
- Tony Wolak took a look at forward Jakub Vrana’s new deal and shared why he thought the deal was a bit curious.
- Devin Little explained what forward Pius Suter can bring to the Red Wings’ lineup.
- Jeff Middleton made the case that Detroit’s top line could be dangerous as long as they stay healthy.
- The Grind Line offered their picks for who should wear the alternate captains’ “A’s” this season for the Red Wings.
- Be sure to catch the next episode of The Hockey Writers’ Grind Line! Watch our latest episode down below!
I am a Western Michigan University alum whose passion for hockey knows no limits. Dr. Pepper enthusiast. Catch me and my fellow Red Wings writers’ YouTube show “The Hockey Writers Grind Line” which drops every Saturday.