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Brandsegg-Nygard Fills Need For Red Wings

Big Norwegian winger plays physical style



Michale Brandsegg-Nygard, Red Wings
The Red Wings sure can use a player like 2024 first-round pick Michael Brandsegg-Nygard.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard certainly fits the mold of the type of player Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman likes to select in the first round of the NHL entry draft.

He’s Scandinavian. Like Lucas Raymond, Simon Edvinsson and Marco Kasper before him, Brandsegg-Nygard plays professionally in Sweden.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Norwegian right-winger also fills a need for the Red Wings. Big forwards who can go win puck battles and take the disk to the net are in short supply in Hockeytown.

Assessing what he likes about Brandsegg-Nygard, Yzerman paused to take a breath.

“A lot,” he finally answered. “Big, strong young man. Physically developed. Can really shoot the puck. Thought he was a really good two-way player. Kind of a goal-scoring winger that obviously fills a void in our prospect pool.”

Big, powerful, punishing forwards wearing the winged wheel on their chest have proven to be as elusive as playoff games in these parts.

It wasn’t just his snarl that made the Red Wings decision to be sizing up Brandsegg-Nygard as the player they would want with the 15th overall pick of the draft.

“We want to have competitive hockey players that can think the game,” Red Wings assistant GM and director of amateur scouting Kris Draper said. “We think he brings a physical presence.

“Certainly doesn’t back down of getting in the corners, getting in on the forecheck, finishing checks, gets around the hard areas.”

But wait. It only figures to get bigger – and the Red Wings hope – better when it comes to Brandsegg-Norgard’s future development.

“There’s room to grow,” Draper said. “He’s 207, 208 (pounds) and you easily think he’s going to be able to play at 215-220 to be a big, strong kid.

“A lot of stuff to like.”

Brandsegg-Nygard Is Red Wings Third Norwegian

Already the first Norwegian to be selected in the first round of the NHL entry draft, it won’t take much of an NHL career for Brandsegg-Nygard to become Detroit’s most prolific performer from Norway.

Bjorn Skaare would play one game during the 1978-79 season. Anders Myrvold was with the Red Wings for just eight games in 2003-04, collecting one assist.

Myrvold was among those sending congratulatory messages to Brandsegg-Nygard following his selection by Detroit.

“Big congratulations to the ‘Little Taxi,'” Myrvold posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

This little taxi could be driving toward a big future with the Red Wings.

Numbers-wise, Brandsegg-Nygard grew stronger as the 2023-24 season continued. During the Swedish Allsvenskan (second division) playoffs with Mora IK he would tally 4-6-10 totals through 12 games. Playing for Norway at the IIHF World Championship, he was good for a 3-2-5 output in seven games while skating on the top line for the Norwegians.

Against NHL players, he could keep up,” Yzerman said. “He showed he was strong.”

He’ll play next season in the SHL with reigning champions Skelleftea. Brandsegg-Norgard’s teammates will include 2023 Red Wings first-round pick Axel Sandin Pellikka.