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 look at left wing Maxmilian Kilpinen
Position: Left Wing
How Acquired: 129th pick (4th round) in the 2022 NHL Draft
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-Pts) 27-14-11-25
Contract Status: Unsigned
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Örebro HK J20
Playing in Sweden, Kilpinen checked off two common boxes of Yzerman’s drafting strategy: playing overseas and being a forward. The former is a theme through four seasons; The latter, the theme of the 2022 draft. In all, Kilpinen was one of seven forwards taken in nine picks. Kilpinen is on the left wing and with Örebro HK J20 he had 25 points (14-11) in 27 games. Some outlets have also shown him as a center.
NHL Central Scouting listed Kilpinen as the 61st best European skater out of 157 total. He wasn’t even listed in the midterm rankings.
— SwehockeyGIFs (@swehockeygifs) January 15, 2022
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
It’s still early in Kilpinen’s development, but the film and numbers show potential for a scoring forward. The 18-year-old winger is at the start of his career and will still be likely playing in J20 Nationell next season.
Kilpinen is years out from a spot in Detroit until he moves up to a “men’s league.” This isn’t to create doubt–quite the opposite. Much has been written about how the pandemic clouded things a bit for both scouting and development. The cloud has lifted and now, it’s a chance for teams to find gems when they allow them time to grow.
There’s an awful lot of potential in Kilpinen. It’ll just be a little more time, as he develops more, to see exactly what the Red Wings have.