The Detroit Red Wings are certainly hoping that Marco Kasper will be part of plenty of more scoring plays like the one that led to his first point in the Swedish Hockey League.
The first pick of the Red Wings in the 2022 NHL entry draft at No. 8 overall, Kasper was just 16 when he and his family left their native Austria in 2020 so that he could play for Rogle BK Angelholm in the SHL. He’d play just 10 games with the senior club during the 2020-21 campaign, drawing one assist. It came on a goal by current Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider, who recently won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
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As Seider, who was 19 at the time, was speaking about Kasper’s impact on the club, he was sounding like a grizzled veteran discussing the incoming rookie talent.
“Nice play by Marco,” Seider said in a post-game TV interview following the goal. “For 16 years old, he’s playing unbelievable. He brings a lot of fun energy in the room.”
Kasper Wise Beyond His Years
Much like Seider, Kasper’s hockey IQ is high end and his overall maturity is clearly further advanced than most kids his age.
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“The compete, the character,” Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper was putting at the top of the list of the qualities that they admire in Marco Kasper. “I saw him in the (SHL) playoffs before I came to the (World) U-18s. It was an incredible atmosphere in Farjestad. He was one of the best players on the ice as a 17-year-old kid. He seemed to embrace that moment.
“As the games got bigger he got better. Talking to Rogle’s coach and general manager, they were very complimentary of how he responded in any situation. For a 17-year-old that started on the fourth line and next thing you know he’s on the power play and getting some minutes, he earned everything.
“Basically you talk about a kid like that, his personality. He wanted to get better and he did get better.”