Detroit Red Wings prize defenseman prospect Simon Edvinsson will play his first NHL game Saturday (1 p.m.) against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Red Wings called up Edvinsson, 20, and veteran forward Austin Czarnik this morning as emergency replacements. Defenseman Ben Chiarot is out for a while. Defenseman Gus Lindstrom is also dealing with an injury. He couldn’t finish practice today.
“We had a run to go on with Grand Rapids down there and I was just focused on that,” Edvinsson said, “to make the playoffs there. To get the call up was just awesome.”
👋, Simon! pic.twitter.com/oMEso7s1ec
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 17, 2023
The Griffins told Edvinsson of the promotion last night after a road game in Cleveland. He participated in Detroit’s practice today. The 6-foot-6 Edvinsson has five goals and 27 points in 51 games for the Griffins this season.
“They called me up here for a reason,” Edvinsson said. “I’m just gonna play my game, as I’ve been doing down there for the last couple of games. I will just try to do that.”
Edvinsson Developing Game With Griffins
Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said Edvinsson’s development in Grand Rapids is part of the process. Moritz Seider also played a season in Grand Rapids.
“(Edvinsson is) probably what you guys saw in camp, where there’s some games he looked NHL-ready and there’s other games where he has a long ways to go,” Lalonde said. “So I just think it’s part of the process. It sounds like a little more consistent of late, which is natural for young players. I personally think it’s a lot harder for a young D. So he’s progressing accordingly and these type of opportunities for him are extremely valuable in his overall development.”
Edvinsson will learn from the promotion, regardless of how long he’s here.
“It’s a little faster,” Lalonde said. “Even in those preseason games he’s have a tendency of wanting to hold onto it a little bit, which is natural, what he knows. You think you have a little more time and space. Structurally, we do some things differently than Grand Rapids, and just get familiar with some breakout habits. We run a 1-1-3 at times, neutral zone, some different retrieval spots. So I just think there’s some learning curve that he’s going through. It’s a different league; some nights it’s probably not as far of a difference than you think, other nights it is. I just think getting NHL reps.”
He will be paired with fellow Swede Robert Hagg. “We can talk our language but it doesn’t really matter,” Edvinsson said. “He’s a great hockey player. We’re just gonna go out there, have fun and make my best to make the team win. That’s what I want to do.”
Edvinsson said starting in the AHL was good for him.
“I feel like I wasn’t quite ready to start up here,” Edvinsson said. “I had a lot of things to improve. Grand Rapids is a good place to improve that stuff. I’ve been working myself up. It’s been good.
Moritz Seider will be the only right shot defenseman in Detroit’s lineup for Saturday’s game.
Czarnik is up because the Red Wings want to be careful with Robby Fabbri’s injury.