Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic has played with his fair share of defensemen. He’s seen what works when it comes to playing at the next level.
And Grand Rapid’s Simon Edvinsson is already demonstrating some of those qualities.
“He plays with a lot of poise,” Nedeljkovic said. “Definitely a lot of confidence and a lot of swagger.”
Edvinsson had his share of good moments in the Griffins 4-2 victory over Texas Friday night, factoring in on the first goal and then assisting on the final Griffins goal. The 19-year-old now has 12 points (1-11) in 24 games this season and certainly has made himself known in just his first season at the AHL level.
“He’s not afraid to hold onto the puck and see what options he has, and he’s not afraid to make the play, either,” Nedeljkovic said. “He can skate himself out of trouble so I think he brings a lot.”
Though Edvinsson’s leap to the NHL is a matter of when not if, he’s still in the process of tightening up the things that will make his stay in the NHL last longer.
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Griffins head coach Ben Simon believes that Edvinsson is getting to where he needs to be. Like Nedeljkovic, Simon sees the swagger and poise as well.
“He’s a confident kid. He’s very composed with the puck,” Simon said. “Just making sure that (he’s) playing with that consistent intensity every shift.”
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Edvinsson was notable at both ends of the ice in Friday’s victory over Texas. During a two-on-one break, Edvinsson disrupted what would have been a grade-A chance. His fingerprints were all over first and fourth goals, too. The latter was a result of his shot from the point being redirected by teammate Joel L’Esperance.
“He’s coming along slowly but surely,” Simon said. “For him it’s putting together a complete game–playing a complete 60 minutes and making sure we don’t have any lapses.
“He’s gotten significantly better as the year has progressed–there’s no question about that. He’s heading in the right direction.”
Slowly but surely coming along, it seems only a matter of time before Edvinsson is patrolling the blue line in Detroit.
“I think he brings a lot,” Nedeljkovic said. “If he sticks with it, gets a little better and better every day, he’ll have a real shot at a long career at the next level.”