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Top 10 Red Wings Prospects: Forwards

Jonatan Berggren and Elmer Soderblom are the current shining stars among the forward prospects in the Detroit Red Wings system

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Jonatan Berggren, Red Wings prospect
Jonatan Berggren led the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins in assists and points last season.

In Sebastian Cossa, the Detroit Red Wings feel that they have their goalie of the future in place. Starting with Simon Edvinsson, the well of defensive prospects in the Detroit pipeline runs very deep.

Forwards, though, are a different matter. The Red Wings simply don’t have a lengthy list of sure-fire prospects to be feeding into their front line.

Red Wings Moving Forward

Still, there is hope on the horizon. Jonatan Berggren was the scoring leader last season with Detroit’s top farm club, the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. Recently signed to an entry-level contract, Elmer Soderblom topped Frolunda of the SHL with 21 goals.

Let’s look at the top 10 forward prospects in the Red Wings organization:

1. Jonatan Berggren (No. 33, 2018)

Skating his first season in North American hockey, Berggren, 21, a left-shot right wing, led the Grffins with 43 assists and 64 points. That was good for 12th in league scoring and second among rookies. Berggren closed out the campaign riding an 11-game point streak. He’ll be given every chance to make the Red Wings during training camp.

2. Elmer Soderblom (No. 159, 2019)

Coming into the season with three goals in 38 SHL games, the massive 6-foot-8, 249-pound Soderblom, 20, emerged as a go-to performer for Frolunda. His athletcism is impressive and Soderblom is elusive as well as powerful on his skates. Soderblom has gained internet fame for his highlight-reel goals. The left-winger may need some time to adjust to the North American style of hockey, though.

3. Theodor Niederbach (No. 51, 2020)

Niederbach, 20, is certainly going to be a Red Wings prospect to watch during the 2022-23 season. He’s moving to Rogle from Frolunda and figures to be getting more prominent ice time. In limited opportunities among Frolunda’s bottom-six forwards he collected nine goals in 51 games. A versatile performer, Niederbach can play center or right wing.

4. Carter Mazur (No. 70, 2021)

Helping the Denver Pioneers to an NCAA title, left-winger Carter Mazur, 20, established a presence as a Brad Marchand type. He’s a pesky, prickly opponent whose performance seems to ramp up the bigger the game or the stage. He produced 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games as an NCAA freshman.

5. Pontus Andreason (Free agent, 2021)

Signed as a free agent by the Red Wings last month, Andreasson, 23, is an intriguing late bloomer. Playing his first season in the SHL’s top division, Andreasson ended up second among rookie scorers, collecting 18 goals and 38 points in 52 games with Lulea. He added 8-5-13 numbers in the playoffs as Lulea went to Game 7 of the SHL final.

6. Cross Hanas (No. 55, 2020)

Hanas, 20, from Highland Village, Texas, enjoyed a breakout campaign with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. The right-winger led the club with 60 assists and 86 points in 63 games. Hanas added 5-4-9 totals in 11 playoff games.

7. Liam Dower Nilsson (No. 134, 2021)

Following a dominant campaign with Frolunda’s junior club which saw him collect 50 points in 34 games, center Dower Nilsson, 19, will be looking to make the move to the senior squad on a permanent basis. He played 10 games in the SHL last season but didn’t collect a point. Scouts project Dower Nilsson playing a role as a bottom-six forward at the NHL level.

8. Red Savage (No. 114, 2021)

The son of former NHLer Brian Savage, center Red Savage, earned a place on USA Hockey’s world junior team last season. Another who projects to fill a checking role as a pro, Savage collected 16 points in 35 games as a freshman at Miami.

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9. Chase Pearson (No. 140, 2015)

Center Pearson, 24, earned his first NHL taste in 2021-22. He was pointless in three games with the Red Wings, skating on the fourth line. His numbers regressed with Grand Rapids. Pearson was good for 7-11-18 numbers in 50 games, with a career-worst -17 rating. His dad Scott Pearson played in the NHL.

10. Pasquale Zito (No. 166, 2021)

A guy who’s earned a reputation as willing to do whatever it takes to help the team, Pasquale Zito collected 42 points in 49 games this season, including 22 goals for the OHL finalist Windsor Spitfires. As a sixth-round pick the center is a longshot to be an NHLer but Zito’s grittiness and determination make him an interesting prospect.

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Gordon Cheswick

Berggren and Soderblom are MUSTS. DRW does not have a lot of forwards! Period! Mazer, Andreason, Hanas MUST provide this year’s ‘surprise’. Edvinsson and Johansson making the team would be ‘bananas’
I think ALL of Stevie’s focus has to be on a 1st or 2nd line center. Stevie – open up that salary cap – and sign Forsberg!
DRW May still need a RD, but – ? or resign Staal.
NO D-men in the first four rounds, Stevie!

TAV

Well after Berggren and Soderblom there is a big drop off and those two are not likely top 6 to boot so obviously this is the weakness in the prospect pool. I expect a couple to be added to this top 5 after the draft but it will still need attention. Yzerman knows though it will take a while for the D prospects part of his plan to fully mature and the forwards will come. Never know if a good hockey trade or FA signing can be made but we will have to wait to see on that. He will not spend cap he will need dearly in a few years to overpay now so patience is key.

MICHAEL C ZACK

Patience is fine if there is progress. See Al Availa for the opposite. I absolutely believe in the yzerplan. Chris find the baseball equivalent of Yzerman. Your Dad did it with Devellano. That is leadership.

Tom Rady

G0rdon I understand how you feel but you have to remember that money is not the total factor. Good players want to a chance to win. Steve can try with Forsberg but if another team offers the same money, or even a little less, he will pick a team that is already winning. The wings are not there yet. To me, thats the deciding factor not money.

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