Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we feature defenseman Seth Barton
How Acquired: Selected 81st overall in the 2018 NHL Draft
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-P) 20-1-5-6 (with Grand Rapids); 5-0-1-1 (with Toledo)
Contract Status: Signed through 2022-23 at $832,500 AAV ($70,000 in minors)
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Injuries hindered Seth Barton’s time on the ice this season as well as a solid grading of where he stands in the system. The small sample size of 20 games did show favorable returns, however. A big bodied defenseman at 6’3 and 215 pounds, Barton was looking to add more muscle to his frame during last year’s offseason to prepare him for the 2021-22 season.
In the handful of games he did play, Barton was efficient and scored his first goal with the Griffins as 2021 was coming to an end. In a 5-4 victory over Milwaukee on December 31, Barton found the back of the net in just his first five games.
"Every time you get a chance to play, you have to make the most of it."
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 25, 2021
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
Barton’s arrival in Hockeytown is going to come with some competition in a crowded pipeline. Not only did Detroit beef up during free agency, but there are a number of players ahead of him knocking on the door. Simon Edvinsson, Jared McIsaac, William Wallinder, and Albert Johansson all have the inside track as of now. Detroit Hockey Now has Barton as the Red Wings’ tenth best defensive prospect in the system.
Though it could certainly be a point of frustration for Barton, it might actually be something that bolsters his game. His five games played that included the goal was bookended by long stretches of injury. A full season where Barton is able to play more minutes will go a long way in getting Detroit a real look.
General manager Steve Yzerman is known for favoring big defenseman and Barton certainly fits the bill. With more playing time and the chance to pair up with other younger defenseman in the system with Grand Rapids, he stands to only improve should the injury bug stay away.