Hockey is inching its way back into the fans consciousness and the first step is the Detroit Red Wings prospect tournament that begins this Thursday in Traverse City, Mich. While much of it will give clues for what awaits in training camp and eventually the preseason, questions still abound.
Here are five questions, and some random thoughts, as the prospect tournament looms.
Will Sebastian Cossa Stand Out in the Tournament?
Outside of Detroit, the 15th overall pick of the 2021 draft has been impressive. But how will he fare when the eyes of the front office are watching intently? Goalies can take more time to develop and it’s important for Red Wings fans to remember that as Detroit climbs out of the rebuild. There are cautionary tales in Tim Chevelade and in some respects, Chris Osgood. The former was just hounded by fans and expectations until he left town while the latter had to overcome his own pressures. Osgood’s resulted in two Stanley Cups.
It’s too early for any kind of comparisons for Cossa. But it sure feels like this is the first real test for the youngster. The prospect tournament is just the warmup, but Cossa has an opportunity to build momentum into the preseason slate.
Can Amadeus Lombardi Continue Turning Heads?
The rookie camp following the 2022 NHL Draft gave Red Wings executives and fans a chance to see just what Detroit had in the pipeline. Lombardi was one prospect who certainly popped out out of camp.
Draper, on drafting Amadeus Lombardi: "I actually almost went off script and did the 'Rock Me Amadeus' when I was gonna introduce him." lmao pic.twitter.com/BEV33kyZp6
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) July 8, 2022
Aside from having a ready-made goal song, Lombardi was crisp during the rookie camp. Though it’s more realistic that he’ll spend another season honing his skills, he’s an intriguing watch as a number of rookie forwards jostle for position.
Will Simon Edvinsson Be Dominant?
Injury cut his World Juniors appearance short, but if there’s any player who seems a shoe-in to make Detroit’s opening roster, it’s Edvinsson. He’s a presence on the blue line and could be the second rookie defenseman in two years to patrol the backside of the lineup along with Moritz Seider.
First things first, will Edvinsson look like a man among boys? If he’s fully healthy, it certainly feels like that will be the case.
Could Other Defensemen Start to Stake Their Claim?
Absolutely. Flying under the radar are Donovan Sebrango, Eemil Viro, and Albert Johansson. The Red Wings roster is jammed with players, but it shouldn’t deter the the aforementioned defensemen above. Viro and Sebrango were both solid in the World Juniors while Johansson has quietly gotten better with every season he’s played.
Does it mean they’ll have spots later on? It’s likelier they are all in Grand Rapids to start. But of the three, Johansson certainly might have the leg up in the competition. A strong rookie tournament for him could only increase his chances when training camp kicks off.
What about Elmer Soderblom?
Rookie camp is just the first step in what could be a giant leap for the towering forward. His 21-goal, 33 point performance in 52 games with Frolunda seems the appetizer for what could be a very telling season. Be it with Grand Rapids or Detroit, Soderblom’s appearance on North American ice has been eagerly anticipated. A dominant rookie tournament will only amplify the attention on Soderblom.