Just because regular season Detroit Red Wings hockey is in full swing, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still exciting prospects out there to cover! Things are currently looking pretty peachy in Detroit as the Red Wings are 6-4-0 through their last 10 games and players such as Filip Hronek are tearing up the ice. It’s always good to see things going well in the present, but what about looking at what is in store for the future? More specifically, what players are on the path to being a part of the Red Wings one day?
To take a slight look away from NHL action, I’ve rounded up some short but sweet updates regarding three of the top North American Red Wings prospects.
The moment many fans were waiting for finally came – Jonatan Berggren got called up to the Red Wings. Due to many injuries and absences, call-ups were necessary in order to fill the gaping holes in the roster. His name was floating at the top of the call-up pool and Elmer Söderblom’s injury made room for him to fill in.
RELATED: Red Wings’ Berggren Making Solid Case to Stay in the NHL.
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In his Red Wings debut, Berggren logged 14:18 of ice time and earned his first NHL point. Ever since he joined the team he has put up a strong case as to why he deserves to stay. In many of the last few games, he has looked like one of the best players out on the ice. As of Dec. 9, he has played in 13 games and has since tallied nine points. His first NHL goal was a beauty assisted by Hronek and Lucas Raymond on Nov. 15 against the Anaheim Ducks. Now with four goals and five assists, he’s officially a staple on the roster.
Berggren has genuinely been one of, if not the best looking Red Wings players out on the ice these last few games. His confidence and poise at the NHL level is incredible and he looks as if he was meant to be playing at this level all along. He has mostly been on the fourth line with Austin Czarnik and Joe Veleno while averaging roughly 11:30 of ice time per game. All that being said, I am extremely doubtful that he will be seeing American Hockey League (AHL) ice again anytime soon.
This Red Wings prospect not only has one of the coolest names in hockey but also some insane talent. In his second year with the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), he has already scored 14 goals through 27 games. Throughout 67 regular season games in 2021-22, he had a total of 18 goals and 41 assists and is on pace to go far beyond that this season. As of Dec. 9, he has a total of 36 points and is contributing a lot to his team’s success.
He got some offseason work in with the Red Wings at both the prospects tournament as well as development camp and those efforts have been paying off. Lombardi is leading the Firebirds in total points and is tied for most goals with Gavin Hayes, both having 14. He is also currently 19th, 11th, and 5th in the OHL for scoring, assists, and points, respectively.
Lombardi describes himself as a “fast-paced, playmaking centerman” and is certainly seeming to fit that profile. In fact, those characteristics are probably what helped catch the eye of the Red Wings’ scouting department leading into the 2022 NHL Draft where he was claimed in the fourth round (113th overall). He’s been nothing short of a great addition to the prospect pool for both his name and his game so far.
In his sophomore season as a Denver Pioneer, Carter Mazur has been on a roll. His freshman year ended on the highest note possible as he and his teammates hoisted the NCAA National Championship trophy in Boston, Massachusetts. Since that moment, he’s been even more determined to keep putting his best skate forward and being the strongest player possible.
Mazur leads the Pioneers with 12 goals and is tied for 3rd place in the NCAA for goal scoring alongside Grant Cruikshank (St. Cloud State) and David Silye (Minnesota State). For a while, he was sitting on top of the league scoring charts but has since been in a bit of a scoring drought. On top of that, he has five assists and a plus-8 rating. He’s a sneaky and aggressive player on the ice but also has a lot of skill and finesse in his play.
Not only is Mazur a great player with tons of potential, but he’s also just a likable guy. In an interview after the Red Wings 2022 development camp, he talked about how it has been a lifelong dream of his to be a Red Wing and just how much it means to have the opportunities that he does. Being able to get some training at a higher level through camp gave him ideas on what to improve on in his collegiate season with the Pioneers and it has been showing tremendously thus far.
The present-day Red Wings are looking pretty good for the most part, at least in comparison to last season, and the future of the team is still bright as can be. Prospects such as Lombardi and Mazur, and then Berggren who has already made the jump, are what makes being a follower of this team so exciting. Even when things aren’t going great with the Red Wings, there is always a prospect out there to be cheering for as they score a collegiate goal or tally an assist in another professional league. All good things take time and the Yzerplan and Red Wings’ rebuild are certainly not exceptions.