The Prospect tournament has come and gone. With flash, flair, and some of the funniest names in hockey (T-Bone Codd, anyone?), The tournament gave Detroit Red Wings fans a closer look at the team’s prospects. Despite their 1-2 record, the team showed immense promise. From Lucas Raymond’s eye-catching goals to the unwavering presence of Donovan Sebrango on the blue line, there has been no shortage of excitement in every game.
All of this preseason hype has left many wondering where the heroes of the Prospect tournament will be playing. Seven names in particular made an outstanding impression during the tournament. How many are going to Grand Rapids – and how many are ready for the NHL?
This season’s training camp has a refreshing atmosphere. Comments from head coach Jeff Blashill and Captain Dylan Larkin suggest that everything is much more competitive. Many of the team’s younger prospects are vying for places on the list. Some make very convincing arguments. The biggest obstacle on the way to a full-blown youth movement, however, remains the size of the cadre.
The current squad make-up of the Red Wings leaves only a few open roles. The Red Wings plan to bring eight defenders this season which means they will be traveling with only 13 strikers. In addition, the team must consider deployment. Players with top six potential must play within the top six; Putting them on the fourth line and offering limited minutes would only block their development. Earlier this week, General Manager Steve Yzerman had the following to say about the squad:
“[The prospects] have to show that they can keep up and make a positive contribution to the team … I have no interest in having the children sit in the stands during the games. I want them to play meaningful minutes. To do that, they have to team up first. ”- Steve Yzerman, Red Wings Training Camp Press Conference
It is expected that if prospects fail to outperform NHL regulars during training camp and preseason, they will move to Grand Rapids or their respective league. In all likelihood we’ll see a few names as the season progresses, but there might only be a rookie or two at the opening night. Who of the top seven players in the Prospect tournament could make the leap? Let’s take a closer look:
Cotton was made by Scott Wheeler of. classified as a late bloomer The athlete. When the Red Wings won him 132nd in the 2020 NHL Draft, the 6’2 ”defender did well in the Prospect Tournament with Donovan Sebrango in the first defensive pairing.
Cotton will continue to evolve in 2021-22. How he performs during training camp and preseason will determine where he develops. Peter Anholt, general manager of Lethbridge Hurricanes, said that should Cotton return to the WHL, he will be tasked with developing his defense to match his offensive performance. The odds seem to suggest that Cotton will have one final season in the WHL – although that can change at any time.
Hockey’s most popular mystery man, Twitter, wasted no time during the Prospect tournament, scoring two goals in his first game. The election in the seventh round was one of the most electrifying in the prospectus tournament. His presence in the offensive zone was palpable on every shift. This excursion paired with Comments from Yzerman In terms of his performance, it suggests that Tyutyayev will have big things ahead of him in the coming season.
Tyutyayev was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia, the home of legendary Pavel Datsyuk. His meteoric rise as electoral winner in the seventh round draws parallels to Datsyuk – although it’s important to note that they’re two completely different types of players. Last season, Tyutyayev played 43 games for Yunost Minsk from the Belarus Hockey League, scoring 32 points. Tyutyayev has signed a deal with the Grand Rapids Griffins this off-season and appears poised to get the squad out of camp.
Another promising prospect, Sebrango is keen to continue this season of development with the Griffins. His situation is unique; Typically, a CHL player under the age of 20 who is not transferred to an NHL club must be assigned to their junior team. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed this permission for many players. The OHL paused last season. With no team to call his own, Sebrango joined the Griffins for 31 games. His time at Grand Rapids enabled him to do that Minimum authorization Playing full time in the AHL instead of returning to the OHL.
At 19, Sebrango will be one of the youngest players in the AHL. This year will be crucial for its development. With a full professional season, he has the chance to take another step towards the NHL. His strength during the Prospect tournament made him stand out among defenders; it will probably do him a huge favor in the AHL. For now, the best Sebrango can do in the coming weeks is to take advice from Niklas Kronwall and other executives to round off his game. He’ll be looking for a place on the squad sooner than later.
There is a lot to love about Jonatan Berggren. The Swedish striker led the SHL players for about a quarter of the season before ending the year with 45 points in 49 games. This season, the fiery striker has traveled west with Lucas Raymond to hold his own in the NHL. Unfortunately, an injury shortened his time at the Prospect Tournament. Berggren seems to have had it ever since recovered from the injury, but Blashill & Co. are likely to have concerns about his commitment.
Berggren’s appearance over the next few days will paint a better picture of his goal. At the moment he seems to be in third place behind Raymond and Joe Veleno on the depth table. In addition, Berggren still has to adapt to the smaller North American ice. If he can show he has what it takes, chances are he can argue for himself. In all likelihood, Berggren will put on the winged wheel after the March trading deadline.
The question of where Pearson will play depends entirely on how the Red Wings see his ceiling. Pearson is a third line center at best. If the team thinks he has the potential to hit that number, they’ll likely give him another season at Grand Rapids. If he manages to outdo newcomer Mitchell Stephens in the 4C role, chances are he’ll make it to Detroit. If you haven’t noticed a sample yet, the prospects have to play off the regular customers to secure their places in the roster.
Last season, the 24-year-old peaked at Grand Rapids, scoring 22 points in 28 games. Pearson is considered a utility player. It can be thrown into almost any situation and thrive. He has had high marks in the past for his faceoff percentage and time on penalties. Shawn Horcoff, Director of Player Development at Red Wings, has repeatedly commended Pearson for leadership and maturity. If he can bring it all together, he has the chance to make an NHL debut.
The 2018 first round pick made his NHL debut last season and scored his first career goal in the process. After five games for the Red Wings, Veleno spent the offseason building his strength to take the next big step in his development. His efforts have paid off; Yzerman noticed that Veleno is built like he’s in the NHL for almost eight years. Building his strength was the biggest hurdle he had to overcome this offseason. Now it’s up to him to show that it was worth it.
Veleno was a force of nature during the prospect tournament. Every time he held the puck, he slowed the game to his pace – a skill few players have. If he can show up in the preseason like he did at the tournament, he’ll almost certainly make it onto the list. This season everything revolves around the constancy of Veleno. Last season he scored 20 points in 46 games with the SHL’s Malmo Redhawks, a team that struggled to generate offensive action. He has to start generating offensive himself if he hopes to make it to the NHL. Veleno will most likely take a similar path as Filip Zadina. He’ll start the season at Grand Rapids and play hard enough until the Red Wings have no choice but to call him up.
The last of the Stellar Seven is the most likely candidate to get the list out of storage. Raymond stood out during the Prospect tournament, only playing two games before receiving a vote of confidence from the front office. His three points in that timeframe sent ripples across the Detroit hockey community. Highlight videos of his skating and goals were uploaded en masse. For many fans, this felt like the beginning of a new era.
Like Veleno, consistency is key for Raymond this season. During the training camp and the preseason he will have ample opportunity to prove his skills. Whether he’s doing exercises with Moritz Seider or competing against other NHL preseason squads, now is the time for Raymond to remind everyone why he belongs in the NHL. It’s important to know that this won’t be the last time you see Raymond in a winged bike this season, even if he doesn’t make it out of camp. Whether injuries or trades open a place, Raymond will be the first name on this down list to warrant a calling.
It’s only a matter of time.