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Where Red Wings’ Prospects Stand After Rookie Tourney



Elmer Soderblom, Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings’ yield of 20 goals-against in three games at the NHL Prospects Tournament isn’t nearly as concerning as the fact that prize prospect goalie Sebastian Cossa gave up 13 of those goals.

Obviously, the Red Wings aren’t losing faith in Cossa over three meaningless September games. But undoubtedly they expected better from Cossa, considering how well he performed last season for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. He didn’t perform in Traverse City like he did in Toledo.

“Maybe a little bit of lack of focus at times led to those goals against,” said Dan Watson, who coached him last season in Toledo and this week in Traverse City. “Again, that’s that part of trying to refocus. I’m sure he feels pressure and all that kind of stuff, but with that said, he’s matured in that area. Now again that next step is going to be the mental side of it. You let one in, you gotta forget about it, you gotta move on and be ready to stop the next puck, or stop the next play. I think that’s gonna be his focus here. We’re gonna help him along the way as much as we can.”

There’s no official plan for Cossa this season, but the logical next step is to play as the Grand Rapids Griffins’ goalie this season. GM Steve Yzerman will  want him to look sharper during the training camp.

“We saw the physical growth, we saw the technique growth, we saw his maturity growth all last year,” Watson said. “The next step and the hardest part is the mental side of the game. It truly is hard and that will be the next step in this process. ”

Elmer Soderblom (Drafted 159th in 2019)

With a goal in all three games in Traverse City, Elmer Soderblom showed the consistency that the Red Wings are hoping to see from him this season. Soderblom played particularly angry against the Dallas Stars. The Red Wings liked that.

He’s 6-foot-8 and when he’s playing at a high level, he is difficult to defend against. His combination of size and scoring touch makes him dangerous in front of the net.

Given all of the offseason acquisitions, the Red Wings theoretically don’t have much room for younger players. But training camp always brings injuries with it. Soderblom did show promise in his 20-game stint with Detroit last season. He’s probably near the front of the line to be “next up” on the Red Wings.

Cross Hanas (Drafted 55th overall in 2020)

The Red Wings liked how he played last season when Hanas, 21, went down with an injury. He was also impressive in Traverse City, leading Detroit with four goals. That tied him with Columbus player Jordan Dumais and Toronto’s Brandon Lisowski for the tournament lead.

Presumably, Detroit brass would like to see Hanas log more than the 30 AHL games he had last season. But if he shows a scoring touch again this season, he could earn a trip to Detroit. Let’s not forget the Red Wings want to increase offensive production this season.

“You want guys to get pucks to the net and obviously he knows where to put them,” Watson said. “I thought his game progressed as the tournament went on. I thought his compete level was high, he was making better plays and decisions with the puck. But for him to get a couple there, that’s big because that just grows confidence in players. And we want confident players in our locker room… He should be feeling good heading into main camp.”

Marco Kasper (Drafted 8th overall in 2022)

Kasper picked up two assists in Detroit’s final game, against Toronto, at the NHL Prospects Tournament. Those were his first points of the tournament.

But even if he hadn’t produced a point, the Red Wings would not be concerned. They expect his scoring will come. In the meantime, they have a hard-nosed center who pushes himself to be better every day.

It will probably be Watson’s job in Grand Rapids to help him find his scoring touch. But if Kasper plays well in training camp, he has a shot at making the Detroit roster.

“It’s making smart decisions with the puck,” Watson said. “Knowing when to make those high-risk plays. Knowing when to make sure it’s a low-risk play. That’s gonna be part of his development, too. Whether he’s with myself or Detroit, that’s to be determined. I think for him, it’s knowing when to do that. You can see the skill. He is smart, he can make those plays. Now it’s showing him the right times to do it. You could see this weekend, there were times he did it really well and there were times he had some turnovers. But that’s correctable and it’s coachable. He wants to be coached in those areas. He wants to watch video on that. Those are the players we’re excited about and we’re excited to coach.”

Nate Danielson (Drafted 9th overall in 2023)

Danielson put up five assists in two games until he suffered a minor injury in Detroit’s third game. He showed his hockey IQ in the tournament. Even when he isn’t noticeable, he still finds a way to be in the play.

But he’s young, and it doesn’t seem possible that the Red Wings would consider keeping him. That’s not Yzerman’s history. He respects the development process.

William Wallinder (Drafted 32nd overall in 2020)

The Red Wings probably want to see Wallinder, 21, play a full season in Grand Rapids. Don’t forget that even Moritz Seider played a season in Grand Rapids.

You could tell by the way Watson used Wallinder that he believes he can be an impact player in Grand Rapids. Wallinder played in all situations, and logged plenty of minutes The Red Wings gave up too many goals in this tournament and the 6-foot-4 was only -1. He boasts strong offensive potential.

This is a player who will be a top four defenseman.

Antti Tuomisto (Drafted 35th overall in 2019)

Tuomisto has moved up in Detroit’s prospect rankings because of how well he performed in Finland in 2022-23. He’s big, and makes a strong first pass. Like Wallinder, he can kill penalties and play on the power play. Tuomisto and Wallinder fit well together.  Tuomisto is also a right shot, which makes him more valuable. His play in the Traverse City demonstrated his potential to be an effective North American pro player.

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The question on Danielson is whether he’d be better off playing in juniors for another year, or if he’d benefit more as the 14th forward.


Saw the game against Columbus/ the RW prospects were out hustled at both ends of the ice and Cossa looked like a pure rookie – good thing Stevie restocked the team with free agents


Not really, They outplayerd them 5 on 5. They got deflated from defending all the PP’s CBJ had. They won the game 5 on 5.

Mark W

The Wing’s prospects mostly played like prospects who’ll be needing to use their remaining eligibility elsewhere, or be sent to Toledo.

No new diamonds in the rough jumped out in those three games. Soderblom, Hanas, Mazur and Wallinder already had GR spots. Possibly Tuomisto can earn a spot. Maybe Kasper. Good luck to all.


I noted before Soderblom already played in NHL but ended up being sent down. So when looking at NHL ready he might be the top one. However, I also noted he could use a year in GR and it would not hurt his development since still growing into that frame. Because of his size though and the unique things he can bring he may end up on the Wings sooner than he should. Might just start on the Wings and not GR. We will see.

Other than that none of the prospects look ready for a full NHL season (Edvinsson not there and he might be the only one) and all of them could use more time in the minors so anyone wanting to rush these kids thinking it would be better for their development just confuses me.

This mentality I think goes back to the overripe idea from before and thinking the Wings hold NHL ready players back due to vets. Dominating the AHL (or SHL) and showing they are more than ready for a shot at having great rookie seasons is no longer reality at this time. Berggren maybe was close playing well enough in GR and being older, but even he was not overripe due to making sure the injury issues he had were behind him. This overripe idea is simply not valid in the current situation. There is not even one prospect who is overripe and would be for sure better off in the NHL. Not one.

In the past players like Zadina, Veleno, Ras, Cholowski, Lindstrom etc. could play in the NHL to see what they could do and no harm since the team was horrible. The time for that is past. Going for lottery picks instead of working on winning culture is no longer the mode. May not agree with it but if you can’t see that not sure what to say.

Mark W

Agree the Wings talent has improved markedly. Its going to be harder to advance from wherever a player is and also harder to keep his seat on the Wings bench.

Just like it is on a consistent winning team. That’s been the Yzer-plan right along. Build something great and make it sustainable. If a GMs going to go for it, why not go for a dynasty ? Looking good so far. GO WINGS !


That was the most boring prospects tourney ever. I almost fell asleep during every game. Thank goodness Solderblom was there to add some semblance of dynamic play. Don’t know if it was a lack of chemistry, or what, but that was some bland bland hockey, and a seriously disappointing tournament.

Mark W

Perhaps management advised players just to go out and have fun ? It’s possible DRW had player destinations set before T.C.

I think SY drafted this years prospects with the idea in mind that they’d spend time in the minors with maybe an exception or two. He did that to create a little space between draft classes so not everyone is ready all at once.

Consequently telling the kids to relax and go have a last fling before knuckle down time starts was a good idea.

Probably kept them from being more injured than they ended up. Of course some are just too motivated to just go have fun. Identifying those players was easy. A smart plan. Just my gut feeling. GO WINGS!


9 invitees and many draft picks did not play. Lombardi and Danielson looked good. Wally and Annti looked nice as well. Elmer already played at the NHl level and thus, good. Kasper tenacious.