The Detroit Red Wings lost 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues in a chippy, physical game at the NHL Prospects Tournament Saturday night. Here are five takeaways from that contest.
Everybody Loves Raymond
The Red Wings’ prize forward prospect, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 draft, scored twice to give him three goals in two games. He was dynamic in his first game of the tournament and he showed more magic in this game. Raymond played the entire two minutes of two Red Wings’ power plays. What he showed against St. Louis was an ability to stickhandle in traffic and release his shot quickly.
This is rookie tournament competition, not the NHL. But just seeing how far he has come in the past year gives rise to the thought that he has a realistic chance at making the Red Wings.
Berggren’s Injury Hurt
The line of Jonatan Berggren, Joe Veleno and Raymond was vibrant in their first four periods together, and then Berggren left the game with an undisclosed injury. Coach Ben Simon had no update. If he is out for an extended period, it would certainly hamper his chances of making the Red Wings.
Berggren is the most experienced of those three players, having played 113 games, counting playoffs, in the Swedish League.
Cossa Not at His Best
Sebastian Cossa, drafted in the first round in July, showed rust in his first game in a Red Wings’ jersey. He undoubtedly would love to have a do-over on two, maybe even three, of the goals he surrendered.
But it’s hardly cause for concern. Cossa is known for his confidence, cockiness and mental toughness. He was probably over that game five minutes after it was completed.
Sebrango a Sleeper?
Defenseman Donovan Sebrango, a third round pick in 2020, just keeps forcing the Red Wings to view him as being part of their rebuild. Last season, the Red Wings gave him a tryout contract in Grand Rapids because the Ontario Hockey League wasn’t playing because of Covid-19. He rose to the level of American League competition and became a valuable player on the Griffins.
At the NHL Prospects Tournament, he’s been solid and dependable in his first two games. And when the Blues were pushing the Red Wing around, it was Sebrango who stood up for his teammates by fighting Brayden Guy.
“He’s a hard-nosed defenseman,” Veleno said. “. . . He impressed me with the fight.”
Veleno Beefs Up
It’s noticeable that Veleno has added weight in the form of muscle. And he’s playing bigger and feistier because of that.
“When you are stronger, physically bigger, physically heavier,” Red Wings rookie team coach Ben Simon said. “You have more of a confidence. You are going into corners and coming out with pucks, not that he was afraid before, by any means. When you heavier and stronger, the probability of winning more puck battles becomes more prevalent.”