With the 2023 World Junior Championship (WJC) right around the corner, the excitement to watch top prospects from across the world is growing rapidly. This time around, the Red Wings will only have one prospect in attendance, and that would be Red Savage.
However, that does not mean that there were not any other prospects that were close or at least in conversations regarding the WJC. Let’s take a look at Savage as well as the other Red Wings prospects involved with this year’s tournament.
Red Savage Makes the Cut
There were so many great players fighting for a spot on the Team USA roster but not all of them could make it. However, Red Wings prospect Red Savage stood out above the rest and made the 25-man roster. He’s a flashy centerman who excels at setting up scoring plays but also has a wrist shot worth talking about. Leading into this year’s tournament, he was a popular choice to make the roster because of his sound performance in the last WJC.
In his sophomore season at the University of Miami (Ohio), Savage has four goals and six assists so far. He is coming off of a strong freshman year as he was named NCHC Rookie of the Week a whopping four times and also Miami Hockey’s Rookie of the Year. The Redhawks have a 6-10-2 record and an in-conference record of 2-7-1 so getting some time away from collegiate action definitely won’t be a bad thing for him right now.
This will be his third time competing in the WJC with his most recent appearance being in Summer 2022. In five games with team USA, he tallied a total of three points, two goals and an assist. For the upcoming tournament, Luke Hughes (University of Michigan) will be the captain with Savage and Sean Behrens (University of Denver) named alternate captains.
Team USA won their first exhibition game against Finland, 5-2, and then beat Sweden, 5-1, a few days later. Savage is ready to get back on the ice for international competition after Team USA fell flat in the 2022 WJC after losing to Czechia in the quarterfinals. That being said, hopefully this tournament run has a happier ending in store for Team USA.
Other Red Wings in the Mix
Andrew Oke (Saginaw Spirit) is an undrafted and unsigned goaltender who attended both the Red Wings prospect tournament and training camp this past summer. While he is not a signed prospect, he is still worth keeping an eye on throughout the tournament as he has been of some interest to the franchise. He will be representing Team USA alongside Trey Augustine and Kaidan Mbereko in the upcoming tournament and this will be his second WJC appearance.
Related: 2023 Guide to the World Junior Championship
Unfortunately, Shai Buium didn’t quite make the cut for the 2023 WJC roster. He is in his sophomore season with the University of Denver Pioneers of the NCAA. With one goal, seven assists, and a plus-6 rating through 18 games, it appears that he is having a solid year so far. The competition was tough given the other defensemen that were trying out for Team USA, so he ended up falling short.
Action begins in Canada on Dec. 26 as Team USA faces Latvia at 4 PM Eastern Time. After that, they will take on the rest of Group B (Slovakia, Switzerland, and Finland) before potentially advancing to the quarterfinal round of the tournament. While this year’s tournament might not have as many Red Wings prospects as years past, there are still loads of undrafted players to watch such as Adam Fantilli. While it is unlikely that he ends up in Detroit when the 2023 NHL Draft rolls around, it’s always fun to watch a potential first-overall pick play. But hey, Savage definitely is not a boring player to watch and it’ll be exciting to see what he can do as an alternate captain for Team USA.