red wings Prospect Rankings

2020-21

1

Lucas

Raymond

LW

Age:   19

DOB:   28/03/2002

Height:   5’10”

Weight:   183 lbs

Shoots:   R

Drafted:   2020, 1st (4) – DET

ETA:   2022-23

Current Team:   Frölunda HC (SHL)

Bio:

Raymond has come as advertised in 2020-21. He’s been among the most productive U20 players in the SHL for a very good Frölunda team that has featured three Red Wings prospects at times this season. He was also arguably Sweden’s best player at the 2021 IIHF World Juniors in Edmonton.


Raymond has an elite hockey IQ, elite hands, and a great shot. His fantastic edgework and agility combined with his above-average skating make him a nightmare to contain in the offensive zone. Raymond can quarterback a power play and will bring much-needed playmaking ability to a Red Wings team lacking high-end skill.


The Swedish winger is a relentless puck hound and an excellent forechecker. His 200-foot game is very impressive — and has been for some time. Playing the entire season as an 18-year-old,  he has been one of
Frölunda’s most impactful players to date.


Unfortunately, Raymond suffered an elbow injury in mid-February that required minor surgery. There is hope he may return for the SHL playoffs, but his season may be over. 


Raymond should make his way over to North America in 2021-22 and it won’t be long before he’s in Detroit to stay.

2

Moritz

Seider

D

Age:   20

DOB:   06/04/2001

Height:   6’4″ 

Weight:   207 lbs

Shoots:   R

Drafted:   2019, 1st (6) – DET

ETA:   2021-22

Current Team:   Rögle BK (SHL)

Bio:

The big German defenseman was a surprise pick on Day 1 of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, but has since exceeded expectations of all who questioned Steve Yzerman’s first pick as Red Wings GM.


The Red Wings couldn’t have asked for a better season from Seider — he has absolutely dominated the SHL as a 19-year-old. After impressive seasons with Adler Mannheim (DEL) and Grand Rapids (AHL), Seider has taken his entire game to the next level with a historically good season for
Rögle.


Seider still projects as a top-pairing defenseman. The question now becomes: can he be a true #1? He has good speed, incredible composure with and without the puck, and has shown he’s more than capable of contributing offensively. His overwhelming physical game has been comical at times this season as he’s made a habit of manhandling grown men in his draft-plus-2 season. 


As the SHL season winds down, all eyes will be on Seider as he leads
Rögle into the playoffs. He’s expected to make the jump to the NHL in 2021-22.

3

Jonatan

Berggren

RW

Age:   20

DOB:   16/07/2000

Height:   5’11”

Weight:   183 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2018, 2nd (33) – DET

ETA:   2022-23

Current Team:   Skellefteå AIK (SHL)

Bio:

As unbelievable as Moritz Seider’s season has been, the most exciting development of the 2020-21 campaign has likely been the emergence of a healthy Jonatan Berggren.


The 2018 2nd rounder has finally put together a full season and has been a revelation for the Red Wings. Berggren has played at a near point-per-game pace all season with Skellefteå, and has been one of the most dangerous players in the SHL all season.


He’s become faster, stronger, and more confident with the puck. Combine all of that with his elite vision and playmaking ability, and you have the makings of a true top prospect. Berggren routinely executes jaw-dropping passes that catch defenders and spectators by surprise. He thinks the game at a high level and appears to be multiple steps ahead of the competition.


Berggren’s biggest challenge will be maintaining his elite perimeter play at the next level, but there doesn’t seem to be any indication he’ll be unable to make the transition to the smaller, North American ice.


The hope is that Berggren can compete for a spot next season, and he looks to be on track to be an NHL regular by 2022-23.

4

Albert

Johansson

D

Age:   20

DOB:   04/01/2001

Height:   6’0

Weight:   168 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2019, 2nd (60) – DET

ETA:   2022-23

Current Team:   Färjestad BK (SHL)

Bio:

To say Johansson has carried over his late 2019-20 success into 2020-21 would be an understatement. Like the other Red Wings prospects at the top of this list, the smooth-skating blueliner has taken major steps in his development this season. There’s tremendous upside with Johansson, and many believe he’s just scratching the surface. 


Johansson is perhaps the best skater in the entire Red Wings system and has proven to be a two-way defenseman capable of playing in all situations. He’s dynamic in the offensive zone as he uses jukes and head fakes to elude incoming wingers as they approach the blueline. In his own end, he punches above his weight class as he routinely steps up on forwards entering the zone.


As Johansson continues to add strength, you’d expect his best asset — his skating — to be even more of a weapon. If he can add a better shot to his repertoire, Johansson can also become a dual-threat on the power play.


The Red Wings have to be ecstatic with Johansson’s season. He’s another SHLer who will be given a long look next season. Look for the Swede to ultimately spend another year with
Färjestad or transition to North America with an AHL assignment in 2021-22.

5

Joe

Veleno

C

Age:   21

DOB:   13/01/2000

Height:  6’1″

Weight:   194 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2018, 1st (30) – DET

ETA:   2021-22

Current Team:   Detroit Red Wings

Bio:

As he has done in the past, Veleno started slowly in 2020-21 with Malmö in the SHL. But as the season has progressed, so has Veleno’s play. He’s been nearly a half-point-per-game player, and has done this for one of the SHL’s bottom feeders.


The Quebec native has been used primarily on the wing this season as he’s continued to work hard on his two-way game. The Red Wings envision Veleno becoming a reliable centre who can play in any situation.


Veleno
doesn’t project to be an elite offensive force in the NHL. Still, with the right linemates, he could excel in a top 6 role. When Veleno gets his feet moving, he’s tough to slow down — especially when he has the puck on his stick. Veleno is a crafty playmaker with excellent vision and has shown the ability to slow the game down and use his puck skills to buy time while maneuvering around defenders. 


Veleno will be back in North America as soon as the SHL season comes to an end. He could make his NHL debut at some point in 2021-22, but will likely need another year in Grand Rapids before earning a full-time gig in Detroit.

6

Theodor

Niederbach

C

Age:   19

DOB:   25/02/2002

Height:   5’11”

Weight:   172 lbs

Shoots:   R

Drafted:   2020, 2nd (51) – DET

ETA:   2024-25

Current Team:   Frölunda HC (SHL)

Bio:

It’s been a whirlwind of a season for Niederbach, who was taken by the Red Wings in the 2nd round in 2020.


After tearing through the J20 ranks (35 points in 19 games) and impressing at the 2021 World Juniors, Niederbach is back with
Frölunda (SHL). The skilled centre was also loaned to MODO (HockeyAllsvenskan) earlier this season in an attempt to get him more ice time — which is hard to come by for a first year pro in the SHL. Nearly two full seasons removed from a major knee surgery that kept him out of action for 15 months, Niederbach appears to be healthy and motivated. 


The Swedish centre processes the game at a very high level. He’s an incredibly smart playmaker who, when given space, can pull off some highlight-reel plays. The puck isn’t on his stick long as he is often quick to identify his next move. Niederbach is a fine skater when he gets going, but he’ll need to work on his overall quickness and his play in the defensive zone if he’s to be a long-term answer down the middle.


The Red Wings will take their time with him as he continues to add strength and learn how to play against bigger and faster competition. There is some risk to Niederbach’s profile, but the potential here is exciting.

7

William

Wallinder

D

Age: 18

DOB:   28/07/2002

Height:   6’4″

Weight:   192 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2020, 2nd (32) – DET

ETA:   2024-25

Current Team:   MODO (HockeyAllsvenskan)

Bio:

The Red Wings have made it no secret they value big, mobile, skilled defenseman, so it wasn’t  surprising to see them pounce on William Wallinder in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft.


The big Swede may lack polish, but you don’t have to look far to recognize the big league tools he possesses. Wallinder is a truly gifted skater who should only get better as he fills out his 6’4” frame. He moves around like a 5’11” defender and has quick hands to match his good footwork. Wallinder’s combination of size and speed makes him one of the Red Wings’ more intriguing prospects, and at just 18-years-old, he oozes potential. 


Wallinder will have to work on his defensive game, improve his shot, and add strength, but the Wings were ecstatic to snag him in the 2nd round. One of the youngest players from his draft class, he will be a long-term project, but his immense upside should have Red Wings fans excited. If there’s one prospect who could quickly ascend to the top of this list, it’s Wallinder.


Wallinder is expected to join Rögle (SHL) for the 2021-22 season.

8

Antti

Tuomisto

D

Age:   20

DOB:   20/01/2001

Height:   6’5″

Weight:   205 lbs

Shoots:   R

Drafted:   2019, 2nd (35) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:   Univ. of Denver (NCAA)

Bio:

After earning MVP honors in Finland’s top junior league last season, Tuomisto has transitioned nicely into a top-pairing role for the University of Denver in 2021. 


Tuomisto is a cerebral, puck-moving defender who shows a lot of composure with the puck. He has very good hands and possesses a booming shot from the point. The Finn’s hockey IQ is among his biggest assets and he’s solid, albeit unspectacular, in his own zone. Tuomisto has a good stick and uses his long reach to stifle zone entries and force play to the perimeter.


Now 6’5” and 205 lbs, Tuomisto moves well for a big man. He won’t win many foot races, but sound defensive positioning should help avoid such situations. Still, he will need to improve his overall mobility to succeed at the next level.


Perhaps most importantly, Tuomisto has time on his side with three more years of college hockey. Already 20, time will tell whether Tuomisto needs all three years before turning pro, but The Red Wings are hopeful he can round out his game and become a reliable two-way defender in the NHL.

9

Robert

Mastrosimone

LW

Age:   20

DOB:   24/01/2001

Height:   5’10”

Weight:   170 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2019, 2nd (54) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:   Boston Univ. (NCAA)

Bio:

Mastrosimone’s BU Terriers didn’t suit up for an NCAA game until the second week of January this season. Still, the 2019 2nd round pick has picked up where he left off in 2020, sitting 5th on the team in points entering the playoffs.


Mastrosimone has a motor that just won’t quit. The New York native competes with an incredible pace that plays just about anywhere in a lineup. Mastrosimone is a playmaker first, but also possesses a lethal shot and a quick release. He has quick hands and can be very creative with the puck. Mastrosimone’s vision makes him particularly effective on the power play, where his ability to find passing lanes and open ice truly shines.


He will need to work on his footspeed and add strength in the coming years, but Mastrosimone could be a solid top 9 forward for the Wings as they return to contention.


Mastrosimone will likely spend two more seasons with Boston University in the NCAA before turning pro in 2023-24.

10

Michael

Rasmussen

C

Age:   22

DOB:   17/04/1999

Height:   6’6″

Weight:   220 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2017, 1st (9) – DET

ETA:   2021

Current Team:   Detroit Red Wings

Bio:

Rasmussen has been a polarizing figure among Red Wings fans. Selected 9th overall in a 2017 draft many would like to forget, Rasmussen was just a point-per-game player for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL during his draft year.


While the 6’6” centre possesses an ever-improving net-front game and a decent set of hands, he doesn’t have the high-end skill or upside you would expect from a top 10 draft pick.


Although his skating and zone entries have been noticeably better in 2021, he’s yet to show anything of substance once in the offensive zone. Rasmussen has looked very indecisive with the puck. This could be chalked up to confidence or a lack of offensive awareness.


Rasmussen has been a top 9 centre with the Red Wings in 2021, but his current profile is that of a 4th line checking winger. There’s no question Rasmussen is an NHL talent, but it remains to be seen where he will fit into the Red Wings’ lineup long-term. 

11

Jared

McIsaac

D

Age:   21

DOB:   27/03/2000

Height:   6’1″

Weight:   192 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2018, 2nd (36) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:   Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)

Bio:

McIsaac has been perhaps the most injury-prone of all Red Wings prospects as of late.


Selected in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft, the Nova Scotian projected to be a well-rounded two-way defenseman who could play in all situations. After a right shoulder injury sidelined him for most of the 2019-20 QMJHL season, McIsaac finished strong for the Moncton Wildcats and looked to be on track for his pro debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL).


Unfortunately, while being loaned to HPK (Liiga) earlier this season, he played all of 34 seconds before exiting with a left shoulder injury and returning to Canada.


While the injuries are becoming a concern, McIsaac does still project as an NHLer and is still only 20 years old. He’s a very good skater, moves the puck well, and loves to engage physically.


Red Wings fans are hoping to see a full season of McIsaac in 2021-22.

12

Dennis

Cholowski

D

Age:   23

DOB:   15/02/1998

Height:   6’0

Weight:   194 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2016, 1st (20) – DET

ETA:   2021

Current Team:   Detroit Red Wings

Bio:

Now 23, the offensive-minded Cholowski has been yo-yo’d between Detroit and Grand Rapids for the past three seasons. Despite his defensive warts, he’s never spent a full season with the Griffins and has actually played more games in the NHL than he has in the AHL.  


Cholowski’s impressive offensive game has been overshadowed by his troubles in the defensive zone. His focus on making fewer mistakes at both ends of the ice has suppressed the creativity he showed in his rookie season — when he scored 7 goals in 52 games. 


The BC native is an excellent skater and arguably the Red Wings’ best current option to quarterback a power play. When activated, Cholowski can act as a 4th forward at any time. He’s at his best when trusting his instincts and making quick plays with the puck. 


Cholowski has added strength and gotten off to a torrid start to the AHL season with 8 points in his first 11 games. Now back in Detroit, this may be his last chance to prove he fits on a post-expansion draft Red Wings squad. 

13

Elmer

Söderblom

LW

Age:   19

DOB:   05/07/2001

Height:   6’8″

Weight:   238 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2019, 6th (159) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current team:   Frölunda HC (SHL)

Bio:

Söderblom took the Swedish J20 circuit by storm in 2019-20, putting up an impressive 29 goals and 55 points in 36 games with Frölunda J20. With his performance at the 2021 World Juniors, and subsequent play in the SHL this season, he has gotten many to take notice. 


The behemoth winger, taken in the 6th round in 2019, has shown he doesn’t just have great hands “for his size” — he has great hands, period. His playmaking ability, patience with the puck, and incredible reach make him a very unique talent. His skating can look awkward at times, but he’s sneaky quick as his long strides cover more ice than one would expect.


Despite his 6-8, 238 lb frame,
Söderblom is not a physical player. He does, however, use his size effectively by boxing out the opposition and leaning into defenders to protect the puck. 


6th round picks are always long-shots, and
Söderblom is no different. But with every passing game, he’s looking more and more like a legitimate prospect.

14

Eemil

Viro

D

Age:   19

DOB:   03/04/2002

Height:   6’0

Weight:   165 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2020, 3rd (70) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:   TPS (Liiga)

Bio:

Viro, taken in the 3rd round in 2020, has had an excellent draft-plus-1 season with TPS (Liiga). The fleet-footed Finn has played in all situations for a strong team and continued to show his advanced defensive game and composed play with the puck.


Viro doesn’t have high-end skill, but there is value in his mix of speed, physicality, and puck-moving ability. The defenseman’s effortless stride allows him to calmly navigate his own zone as he surveys the ice. He’s a very smart player that has shown the ability to activate and create offense. If he can continue to display this creativity over long stretches, the Red Wings may have found another mid-round steal.


Viro was drafted at 6’0 and 165 lbs, so he’ll be working hard to add strength to his slight frame. If he can add enough strength to take his game to the next level, there’s a chance we could see Viro in North America in the not too distant future.

15

Keith

Petruzzelli

G

Age:   22

DOB:   09/02/1999

Height:   6’5″

Weight:   185 lbs

Catches:   Left 

Drafted:   2017, 3rd (88) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:   Quinnipiac Univ. (NCAA)

Bio:

Petruzzelli has been nothing short of spectacular this season — his final collegiate campaign. The towering netminder has shown steady progression in his development each year with Quinnipiac and has now established himself as the clear-cut top goalie prospect in the Red Wings system. 


Petruzzelli is an athletic goaltender who’s very efficient in his movements. He also moves quicker than you would expect for someone his size, and he has clearly added strength when you compare his game today to where it was just a few years ago. There’s also a calmness to his game that you just can’t teach.


It’s taken Petruzzelli the full four years at Quinnipiac, but he’ll now be given an opportunity to take his game to the next level as he steps into the world of professional hockey. A top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker award, Petruzzelli has a clear path to the NHL ahead of him if he opts to sign with the Red Wings.


Detroit will have until August 15th to come to terms on a contract with Petruzzelli or he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. 

16

Givani

Smith

RW/LW

Age:   23

DOB:   27/02/1998

Height:   6’2″

Weight:   205 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2016, 2nd (46) – DET

ETA:   2021

Current Team:   Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)

Bio:

Now three years removed from junior hockey, Smith has proven to be a capable NHLer. Unfortunately, Detroit’s current logjam of bottom 6 forwards has left him on the outside looking in this season. The 2016 2nd round pick doesn’t have much more to prove at the AHL level, and could be a prime target for Seattle in the 2021 expansion draft if left unprotected.


On a rebuilding club like the 2021 Detroit Red Wings, Smith has shown he can play up and down the lineup — but his real value lies in his compete level and his physical play. The Toronto native projects to be a 4th line checking winger who has the ability to chip in offensively. Smith does have some decent hands and finishing ability, but more importantly, he can provide some much-needed grit to a Red Wings lineup that is projected to feature a number of smaller, skilled players.


With a few current Red Wings forwards likely to be dealt by the 2021 trade deadline, Smith should get another look this season before competing for a full-time job in 2021-22.

17

Donovan

Sebrango

D

Age:   19

DOB:   12/01/2002

Height:   6’1″

Weight:   190 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2020, 3rd (63) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:   Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)

Bio:

Sebrango has had quite the eventful 2020-21 season. The Red Wings’ first 3rd round pick in 2020, Sebrango narrowly missed the cut in December at Team Canada’s World Juniors selection camp — a team composed exclusively of 1st rounders.


Sebrango also appeared briefly in the Slovakian league, piling up 50 penalty minutes in 5 games for HK Levice. The smooth-skating defender is now with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) as he waits for his Kitchener Rangers to resume play in the OHL. The 19-year-old also inked an entry-level contract with the Red Wings — the first player from Detroit’s 2020 class to do so.


Sebrango has a lot going for him. He’s an excellent skater and has an edge to his game. He can log big minutes while playing in all situations. Sebrango won’t wow you with any one standout tool, but his all-around game and hockey IQ will give him a legitimate shot at reaching the NHL.


Assuming the OHL resumes play, Sebrango will return to Kitchener in April and look to make the best of a shortened season.

18

Gustav

Lindstrom

D

Age:   22

DOB:   20/10/1998

Height:   6’2″

Weight:   187 lbs

Shoots:   R

Drafted:   2017, 2nd (38) – DET

ETA:   2021-22

Current Team:   Detroit Red Wings

Bio:

Lindstrom is a stay-at-home blueliner that looks the part of a 6th or 7th defenseman in the NHL. The 2017 2nd round pick appeared in 16 games for the Red Wings in 2019-20, but spent the majority of the season in Grand Rapids.


Lindstrom is now back with the Griffins after being loaned to Almtuna IS (Allsvenskan) for 20 games earlier this season. The Swede plays a low-event, defense-only brand of hockey. There is a physical element to Lindstrom’s game but the absence of a standout tool makes it difficult to project him as an integral piece of the Red Wings’ future. Lindstrom rarely calls his own number and often lacks creativity with the puck. He does move the puck well but typically opts for the simpler of his options.


It would be a surprise to see the 22-year-old in Detroit at any point this season, but he could continue to get looks in 2021-22 as the Red Wings rebuild and await the arrival of their top prospects.

19

Otto

Kivenmäki

C

Age:   21

DOB:   24/03/2000

Height:   5’9″

Weight:   172 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2018, 7th (191) – DET

ETA:   2023-24

Current Team:  Lahti Pelicans (Liiga)

Bio:

Otto was next on a number of teams’ draft boards when Detroit selected the Finnish centre in the 7th round of the 2018 draft. Weighing in at just 137 lbs, Detroit took a swing on an incredibly skilled — and small — forward.


Kivenmäki is now listed as 5-9, 172 lbs, and has been impressive, when healthy, with Ässät (Liiga).  The diminutive forward has dealt with a couple of injuries over the past 12 months. After suffering a very scary season-ending head injury in February, 2020, Kivenmäki made a miraculous offseason recovery. Unfortunately, an injured groin has kept him out of action for nearly two months this season. Kivenmäki did have 6 goals and 18 points in 29 games prior to his most recent setback.


Kivenmäki has good puck skills and is an excellent passer. Like any other small forward, he will need to continue to get stronger, but after gaining 35 lbs in two years, you have to wonder if there’s anything left to add to his frame. There is no denying Kivenmäki’s skill, but the question will be whether he is skilled enough to overcome his size and land a scoring role with the Red Wings.

20

Cross

Hanas

LW

Age:   19

DOB:  05/01/2002

Height:   6’1″

Weight:   165 lbs

Shoots:   L

Drafted:   2020, 2nd (55) – DET

ETA:   2024-25

Current Team:  Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Bio:

Hanas was the Red Wings’ third and final 2nd round pick in the 2020 draft. A very skilled puck handler and playmaker, Hanas is another young Wings prospect with a high hockey IQ.


Hanas gained some notoriety during the 2019-20 season for scoring two “lacrosse goals” for the Portland Winterhawks, showing off his elite hands and confidence in the offensive zone. In his draft season, he totaled 22 goals and 49 points in 60 games. 


In 2021, Hanas caught on with the Lincoln Stars (USHL) during the WHL shutdown. After a slow start — and a boatload of penalty minutes —  the Texan has had a solid second half for the last-place Stars.


Hanas has a promising offensive toolkit but will need to improve his skating to see his game translate to the next level. While not easy to do, the Red Wings believe in Hanas’ drive and commitment to put in the work.

For midseason eligibility:

  • Not considered an NHL regular*
  • Skaters — 23-years-old or younger by Red Wings Pipeline’s next preseason rankings (September)
  • Goalies — 25-years-old or younger  by Red Wings Pipeline’s next preseason rankings (September)


For preseason eligibility:

  • Not considered an NHL regular*
  • Skaters — 23-years-old or younger by Red Wings Pipeline’s next midseason rankings (January)
  • Goalies — 25-years-old or younger  by Red Wings Pipeline’s next midseason rankings (January)


*This is subjective. For a player to be considered an NHL regular, he must be very clearly done with all other levels of pro hockey. If there is the possibility a player could be sent down to the minor leagues for further development he will still be considered a prospect.