The start of the Detroit Red Wings’ season is 59 days away and Marco Kasper knows the score.
He talked enough to Red Wings personnel and read enough Steve Yzerman quotes to understand what he needs to do to earn a roster spot on the Red Wings in October. He needs to show he belongs from the opening day of the NHL Prospect Tournament until the last day of preseason. Kasper needs to have the impact that Lucas Raymond had in his first preseason. It’s a daunting mission. But it’s not one that overwhelms Kasper. He embraces challenges.
Marco Kasper on ice with Rögle in anticipation of vying for NHL job.
”It’s going to require hard work, but that’s what I’ve been preparing for during the summer. Everything’s a little faster in the NHL, I think the hockey can fit me pretty well.”#LGRW https://t.co/tBaWuNa6A5
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) August 14, 2023
“I’m trying to focus on the day to day, focus on myself and not pressure from outside, the pressure comes from inside from me,” Kasper said this summer. “I’m trying to work as hard as I can, recover from injury and get stronger and be ready for camp.”
He played one NHL game in 2022-23 and suffered a kneecap injury early in the game. He never said a word about the pain. Kasper just kept playing.
His Skills Translate
This is a serious young man, someone who wants to educate himself on and off the ice. One of his accomplishments this summer was finishing up some assignments to graduate from high school. The Innsbruck, Austria native turned 19 four months ago. He speaks three languages: German, Swedish and English.
“I learned English in school growing up,” Kasper said. “Swedish I learned the past three years (playing in Sweden), going to school every day I learned pretty quickly.”
His language skill serves him well in a multi-national NHL dressing room.
“That’s very cool,” Kasper said.” I can speak German to some guys, Swedish to other guys and English to the rest of the guys. That’s pretty cool.”
When you move to another country to play hockey at 16, not many mountains look too high to climb. He’s realistic about his chances of making the Red Wings this season, but not intimidated by the challenge.
“It’s going to require hard work,” Kasper told Icehockey Gifs recently.”But that’s what I’ve been preparing for in the summer.”
Kasper understands that the odds of making the team are against him, but he comes across as someone who believes no challenge is ever hopeless. He showed in his one NHL game (against the Maple Leafs) that he plays a hard-nosed, gritty style. The NHL Network recently named him the league’s 25th best prospect.
If he doesn’t make the roster in October, he seems to be confident that he will do what is necessary to get there at some point.