Organizational Rankings 10. Detroit Red Wings

Ben Gehrels

2024-04-27

10 – Detroit Red Wings – Score: 82.7

Top 15 Prospects

RankPlayerPositionScore
1Axel Sandin PellikkaD7.8
2Simon EdvinssonD7.7
3Nate DanielsonC6.9
4Marco KasperC6.8
5Jonatan BerggrenW6.6
6Sebastian CossaG6.5
7Dmitri BuchelnikovLW5.4
8Trey AugustineG5.0
9Carter MazurLW4.6
10William WallinderD4.6
11Elmer SoderblomLW/RW4.2
12Shai BuiumD3.7
13Albert JohanssonD2.7
14Amadeus LombardiC2.5
15Redmond SavageC1.9

Individual Breakdown

Forwards:

Detroit has repeatedly perplexed pundits at the draft over the past 5+ years, passing on higher-octane players again and again in favour of prospects known more for their two-way ability. Nate Danielson and Marco Kasper are the two most recent examples. In 2022, they went with Kasper at 8th overall over Matthew Savoie, Joakim Kemell, Jiri Kulich, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Frank Nazer, Pavel Mintyukov, etc. And in 2023 they went with Danielson at 9th overall instead of Dalibor Dvorsky and Zach Benson, among others. While the jury is still out on these picks, and increasingly the “Yzerplan” in general, it is clear today that Detroit has no surefire offensive star forwards in their system. 

Jonathan Berggren might be the closest. He has been carrying the farm team this year (56 points in 53 AHL games) and getting called up for brief auditions with the Wings (6 in 12 this year). While he clearly has high-end talent, particularly as a distributor, he is 23 years old already and needs to prove he can stick at the NHL level. Our staff was not high on Carter Mazur (4.6 rating), but he is the closest thing to a sniper/finisher in the Wings’ system. He had a solid AHL rookie year after winning the NCAA championship with Denver in 2022-23. Kasper and Danielson also had solid years in the AHL and WHL respectively, but no one really blew the doors down offensively except for Berggren.

Defence:

The blue line is a clear strength for Detroit. Sandin Pellikka (7.8) leads the way, followed closely by the towering Simon Edvinsson (7.7), who is close to moving into post-hype territory after a couple solid-but-not-spectacular campaigns in the AHL. Sandin Pellikka had an excellent year in the SHL, continuing the strange pattern of Wings’ defensive prospects dominating the top Swedish league. He looks increasingly dynamic and plays a game similar to Ducks’ prospect Olen Zellweger that is built on impressive mobility and vision. He has composure with the puck and is a dangerous facilitator. 

William Wallinder and Anton Johnasson also both dominated the SHL in recent years, but both had muted totals as AHL rookies in 2023-24. They remain on solid NHL trajectories but may not carry a ton of fantasy relevance, especially Johansson (2.7).

Goalies:

Goal is another clear strength for Detroit, solely on the backs of the mountainous Cossa and the sharp, high-IQ Augustine. Wings fans must have been very relieved by Cossa’s AHL success this year, because he has had a tough few campaigns since the Wings took him 15th overall with Jesper Wallstedt (MIN) still on the board. He first returned to the WHL and had an okay year, but then he struggled mightily in limited AHL action and spent a year in the ECHL, a league that NHL-bound prospects do not often stay long in. He acquitted himself well there, however, and built on that success this year with Grand Rapids, re-establishing his trajectory as one of the top prospect goaltenders in the game. Augustine, snagged early in the second round last year, generally looked sharp for Michigan State as a rookie in 2023-24, though his ratios are not quite as sparkly as one would like. With Ville Husso (29) and Alex Lyon (31) still in their primes and signed through the end of 2024-25, the Wings’ future in net feels more secure than most NHL teams, especially given the wealth of talent they have on defence.

Team Breakdown:

While Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider have become absolute studs on the pro team, the Red Wings could have gone with Gabe Vilardi over Michael Rasmussen, Quinn Hughes over Filip Zadina, Brandt Clarke over Edvinsson, Danila Yurov over Kasper, and Zach Benson over Danielson in successive draft years. Those apparent missed opportunities have shaken the faith of many Detroit fans in the supreme leadership of Stevie Y, but nevertheless, this rebuild is still in decent shape. By taking “safer” options, one positive is that the top 8-10 prospects in Detroit’s system look like fairly good bets to make the show in the next 1-3 years. If they don’t end up with any (or many) total busts, this system will yield a ton of solid depth to supplement their high-end core comprised of Seider, Raymond, Dylan Larkin, and Alex DeBrincat.

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