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Grand Rapids Griffins

Top 10 Red Wings Prospects: Defensemen



Donovan Sebrango, Griffins
Donovan Sebrango working hard to hone his skill for Grand Rapids Griffins (Photo from Griffins)

Several top NHL teams boast a difference-maker on the blue line. The three teams remaining in the NHL playoffs each have one of league’s dominant defensemen.

The Tampa Bay Lightning own Victor Hedman and the New York Rangers possess Adam Fox. They are both past Norris Trophy winners. The Colorado Avalanche have Cale Makar. He may win the Norris Trophy this season.

The Red Wings believe they now have an impact defenseman in Moritz Seider. And they think next season they will add a second if Simon Edvinsson makes the team.

Here’s a look at the Red Wings’ Top 10 prospect defensemen:

1.  Defenseman Simon Edvinsson (No. 6, 2021)

The Red Wings may be as excited about Edvinsson as they are about Seider. Edvinsson has the potential to be a top pairing defenseman. He may not have the same impact that Seider had in his first season. But his arrival means the team has two first-round picks on the blue line. He’s a left-shot defenseman, meaning he could play alongside Moritz Seider. But whoever coaches the Red Wings will likely start them apart to give the defense some balance.

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2. Defenseman Albert Johansson (No. 60, 2019)

Can Johansson earn a place on the Red Wings roster this season? That’s what fans are asking. Johansson is more polished than most young defensemen. He has played three full seasons in the SHL. He has logged 141 games.  His efficient play helped Farjestad win the SHL playoff championship this past season.

3. Defenseman William Wallinder (No. 32, 2020)

The Red Wings expect Wallinder to take a major step in his development this upcoming season when he plays a more prominent role for a quality Rogle team. Wallinder had a 2020-21 season, generating 19 points. That’s the same number of points Edvinsson posted. William Wallinder was named the SHL’s Junior Player of the Year.

4. Defenseman Eemil Viro (No. 70, 2020)

A skating defenseman, Viro generated seven points and was +9 for TPS in Finland’s top league this past season. Viro had five points in 15 playoff games.

5. Defenseman Shai Buium (No. 36, 2021)

Buium’s strong skating and steady defensive play helped Denver win the NCAA championship.  Buium recorded 18 points in 39 games as a freshman. He will play an expanded role next season. Would guess he would turn pro after his sophomore season. He has a pro style game.

6. Jared McIsaac (No. 36, 2018)

Playing 70 games for Grand Rapids last season was important for McIsaac. He’s 22 and it was really his first full season of pro hockey. He’s been unlucky with injuries. But he finally received a chance to show what he can do, and he had a solid season offensively and defensively.

There’s still work to do, but he has shown his promise as a two-way defenseman.

7. Donovan Sebrango (No. 63, 2020)

He’s only 20. Yet he’s already played 96 American Hockey League games. He’s never going to dazzle anyone offensively, but he’s an aggressive defender. He plays a hard-nosed game. Effective player. Sebrango could make it in the NHL as a defensive defenseman.

8. Antti Toumisto (No, 35, 2019)

The 6-foot-5 Finn helped Denver win the NCAA championship. He played much of the season partnering with Shai Buium. He was +20. With a championship under his belt, he has decided to go back to Finland to play pro hockey. The hope is the added experience will move him closer to the NHL.

9. Wyatt Newpower (Signed as a free agent)

The Red Wings signed him after watching him play in Cleveland at the end of the 2020-21 season. He’s an old school, shot-blocking, hard-working defender with size. Newpower is a project, but the Red Wings have time for him. Newpower may have offensive up-side. Time will tell.

10. Seth Barton (No. 81, 2018)

His progress has been undermined by injury, but he’s still only 22. He has played only 24 American Hockey League games over two seasons. Barton is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. He played his college hockey at UMass-Lowell. This upcoming season is important for Barton.