Rookie defenseman Simon Edvinsson is the headliner among a list of 15 players the Detroit Red Wings were assigning to the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday.
The sixth player chosen in the 2021 NHL entry draft, Edvinsson was given every chance to crack the Detroit roster during training camp. Ultimately, the determination of the team’s braintrust was that he’d be better served launching his North American hockey journey with the AHL Griffins, Detroit’s top farm club.
#RedWings trim roster by 15.
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“It’s the tough balance of what kind of minutes and touches they would get in Grand Rapids vs what it would look like here in Detroit,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde admitted.
In Friday’s 4-2 NHL preseason verdict over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edvinsson was working in tandem with Filip Hronek in a top-four pairing. Previously, Edvinsson was seeing the majority of his game action alongside Gustav Lindstrom.
Edvinsson Still Seeking Out Consistency
“In these exhibition games, he’s been in on top four, he’s been in the five-six role,,” Lalonde said. “We just want to get him minutes. He’s been on the penalty kill, he’s been on the power play. It’s more about getting him minutes, not necessarily who his partner is.”
Almost time! #LGRW
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The team is acknowledging that they’ve seen plenty to get excited about from Edvinsson. However, there have also been enough rough edges in need of polishing. Certainly, a stint in Grand Rapids, where he’ll be logging ice time in all sitations, can only serve to encourage more rapid progress in the 19-year-old Swede’s game.
“In some games you can seen him do it in all areas – five-on-five, PP, PK,” Lalonde said. “And then there’s some games you can see the areas he’s developing in. Ultimately, when he’s ready to be an NHL everyday player you’ll see him playing in all three of those situations.”
Berggen Also Going To Grand Rapids
Forward Jonatan Berggren was another top prospect who is heading to Grand Rapids. In his case, it’ll be a second season starting with the Griffins. Last season, Berggren was putting up 21 goals and 64 points as an AHL rookie. Lalonde spoke highly of the progress Berggren was showing during camp.
“He’s a little more poised with the puck,” Lalonde said. “You can see I think with the amount we played him in the preseason, it’s slowing down around him a little bit. He can make plays in traffic, he can make little, tight plays.
“A couple of those plays were maybe turnovers earlier in camp and now I think he’s executing some of those plays. He’s done some good things, he fits right in. Again, he’s a guy that skates, good stick. He’s had a good showing in camp.”
Red Wings With 32 Left In Camp
Also heading to Grand Rapids are forwards Pontus Andreasson, Austin Czarnik, Cross Hanas, Matt Luff and Chase Pearson, defensemen Albert Johansson, Steven Kampfer, Jared McIsaac, Wyatt Newpower, Donovan Sebrango and Eemil Viro, and goaltender Victor Brattstrom. Additionally, Detroit released forward Dominik Shine from his professional tryout, returning him to Grand Rapids.
Earlier Sunday, the Red Wings were placing veteran forwards Givani Smith, Taro Hirose and Kyle Criscuolo and goalie Juho “Jussi” Olkinuora on waivers. If they clear, all will also be likely joining the Griffins. Until that happens, they technically still count as being part of the Detroit roster
Assuming those four all go to GR, the moves are leaving 28 players on the Red Wings roster. However, forward Robby Fabbri (knee), and defensemen Jake Walman (shoulder) and Mark Pysyk (Achilles) will all be going on IR to start the season. In reality then, Detroit must be making only two moves to get to 23 players.
Red Wings Roster
Goal (2): Ville Husso, Alex Nedeljkovic
Defense (11): Seth Barton, Jeremie Biakabutuka, Ben Chiarot, Robert Hagg, Filip Hronek, Gustav Lindstrom, Olli Maatta, Jordan Oesterle, Mark Pysyk, Moritz Seider, Jake Walman.
Forwards (15): Tyler Bertuzzi, Andrew Copp, Adam Erne, Robby Fabbri, Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Larkin, David Perron, Michael Rasmussen, Lucas Raymond, Elmer Soderblom, Oskar Sundqvist, Pius Suter, Joe Veleno, Jakub Vrana, Filip Zadina.