September is fast approaching and that means we are only weeks away from the Red Wings Prospects Tournament. There is certainly a lot of interest around training camp and what the roster will look like on opening night. Steve Yzerman pulled the trigger on some offseason moves – Nick Leddy, Alex Nedeljkovic, Jordan Oesterle, etc. – to strengthen the list before the 2021-22 season. And, with one eye on the depth chart, it begs the question: What Red Wings prospects could make the jump to the big club this season?
Seider could have the best chance of any of the Red Wings’ prospects to make it into the roster from the start. At 6’4 and over 200 pounds, it is astonishing that Seider is still only 20 years old and can continue to grow in his imposing frame. He’s such a smart player, he knows how to get by on the ice and the biggest part of his game that will captivate fans is his physique. The Wings haven’t had that presence on the blue line since Niklas Kronwall left and Seider should be able to deliver that level of tenacity with more shocking punches that will blow fans out of their seats. I would expect Seider to play a Top 4 spot at the back this season after a 28-point performance in 41 games in the SHL last year.
Berggren was incredible in the SHL last season, finishing with 45 points in 49 games. He’s an intriguing option to break through the Wings’ opening roster because he can play any position on the wing. He has excellent puck control (it reminds me a bit of Henrik Zetterberg) and knows how to use his small frame in tight spaces to protect himself from opposing defenders. Berggren has a lot of attacking potential and will one day be a Top 6 mainstay for this team. The question will be whether he shines in September, will that be enough to convince Wings management to keep him at the big club? There are a lot of winger in this lineup – Jakub Vrana, Tyler Bertuzzi, Robby Fabbri, etc. – and Yzerman might think it’s best for his development to start the year in Grand Rapids. I won’t be at all surprised to see Berggren get a taste of the action in the NHL at some point this year.
We’ve all seen Veleno’s pic in an offseason practice looking like Rambo in his prime, but in case you missed it, here’s:
He’s doing all he can to earn a spot on the opening squad and will likely give the coaching staff and management plenty to think about after training camp and the tournament outlook. The thing with Veleno being on the opening night roster is that it probably wouldn’t be as a center. Yzerman brought in Pius Suter and Mitchell Stephens this summer and I have to think that from now on the midfield looks like Larkin, Suter, Michael Rasmussen and Stephens. Could Veleno beat Stephens for the fourth row? Sure. But, is it really beneficial for its development? If Veleno isn’t considered for a Top 9 spot in this roster, then I would just prefer to see him start the year in GR and be called up in the event of an injury. He had a brief cup of coffee for five games with the Wings last season, so he definitely has an indoor track after Frans Nielsen bought out last week, but again a Top 9 or GR spot has the more sense.
There’s a lot to like about Raymond’s game, from his tenacity on the forward chess to his quick release. He’s going to be a good young player for this Wings team for years to come, but I’m not really sure he’s a part of the opening night roster this year. It has nothing to do with his skill level and everything to do with a jam-packed depth chart considering he’s a winger and was mentioned earlier as Veleno’s best chance at getting to the Top 9 could be on the wing. I feel the same for Raymond. If he doesn’t want to get a legitimate Top 9 opportunity that would also see a few minutes on the power play, then I’d rather see him start the year at Grand Rapids. Of course, injuries do occur throughout the season, so it’s extremely likely that Raymond will get the call at some point – it may be later in the season. The fact that he’s coming back from a horrific arm injury that kept him away for a few months last year also indicates that the Wings may be willing to take their time with him and let him s ‘adapt a little to the North American game in GR. .
Let’s hear from you, the readers, which of these prospects has the best fit on the list or do you think another prospect is vying for a spot on the opening night list?
Which prospect has the best chance of being on the team?
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