Dom Lunardo | April 28th, 2020
Detroit, Michigan (aka Hockeytown U.S.A). After qualifying for the playoffs for an NHL-record 25 consecutive seasons, the Detroit Red Wings have fallen on some tough times recently. Long gone are the days of Steve Yzerman (as a player), Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and many others who have donned the white and red of Detroit. Right now, the state of the Red Wings franchise is in a full-out rebuild.
The 2019-20 version of the Detroit Red Wings sits in last place overall in the NHL standings with an abysmal 17-49-5 record. All eyes in Detroit are on Steve Yzerman, a hall-of-Famer during his playing days, as he attempts to steer the ship in the right direction. For starters, Yzerman is slated to have a top-5 selection at the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft. In addition, the Red Wings also have a fairly deep prospect pool with several players on the cusp of everyday NHL jobs. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at who these prospects are and what impact they can have at the NHL level.
Number 3: Jared McIsaac, Defenseman, Halifax Mooseheads/Moncton Wildcats (WMJHL)
Jared McIsaac starts us off at number three. What a talent the Red Wings have here! Drafted in the second round, 36th overall back at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, McIsaac has seen his game blossom over the past few seasons. During this past year’s IHF 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship, McIsaac showed posied, discipline, maturity, and an elite skillset helping his native country of Canada win the Gold Medal.
McIsaac is a smooth skater who loves to carry the puck. He also has a real good presence and active stick in his own end. The Truro, Nova Scotia product currently plays for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after being traded earlier in the year from the Halifax Mooseheads. McIsaac is a solid all-around defender who has a very bright future ahead of him. The Red Wings have themselves a real find with Jared McIsaac.
Number 2: Joe Veleno, Center, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Montreal native, Joe Veleno is next up on our list at number two. After posting one goal and five assists in seven games during this past year’s World Junior tournament, Joe Veleno is poised for stardom at the NHL level. Last season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, Veleno had a season for the ages posting 42 goals and 104 points in just 59 games.
When you look at Veleno as both a person and player, there is just so much to adore. He’s an excellent skater, cool with the puck on his stick, and is so unselfish. Veleno has all the makings of a fantastic athlete with a real keen eye for the ice. At just 2 years of age, Veleno plays a solid two-way game, and possess superb puck skills that he uses on each and every shift. The Red Wings have high hopes for the youngster, who they selected in the first round, 30th overall during the 2018 NHL Draft. Veleno should step right into the NHL next season and should help re0ignited the passionate fan base in Detroit Michigan.
Number 1: Moritz Seider, Defenseman, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Moritz Seider wins the top prize as the best prospect on the Detroit Red Wings. Blessed with a big, strong physique (6’4, 210 lbs), Seider is the crown jewel in the Red Wings organization on so many different levels. Seider is an elite skater with excellent agility and edgework (keep in mind he’s 6’4), who sees the ice extremely well. In his own end, Seider uses his size and wit to escape trouble and makes smooth transitions from defense to offense.
Seider was a stand out during the 2020 World Junior tournament as he captained his native country of Germany. Seider is reliable, a born leader, and makes few errors throughout the course of the game even at the tender age of 19. The Wings have been thrilled with his development, overall mobility, and his approach to each and every game. Detroit has its linchpins on defense with both Moritz Seider and Jared McIsaac. The future is looking bright in Mo-town.
Honorable Mentions: F Filip Zadina, F Elder Söderblom
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