While 16 teams compete for the Stanley Cup, the Detroit Red Wings wait at home for the 2020-21 season to begin. But that’s not to say that Steve Yzerman isn’t busy. He recently re-signed Evgeny Svechnikov and has draft preparations to finalize. In addition, the Red Wings just loaned Gustav Lindstrom to a European club.
Let’s dive into the latest news and rumors surrounding the Red Wings.
Gustav Lindstrom Loaned to Almtuna
On Tuesday, the Red Wings announced that they were loaning Lindstrom to Almtuna of Sweden’s second-tier professional league.
This comes after the organization allowed Filip Zadina, Moritz Seider, and defensive prospect Kasper Kotkansalo to skate with European clubs before the 2020-21 NHL season kicks off. Lindstrom moving overseas gives the defenseman additional ice time so he can continue to improve his game. Almtuna is scheduled to play their first game Sept. 11.
Evgeny Svechnikov’s Future with the Red Wings
After a subpar 2019-20 season, Svechnikov signed a one-year extension with the Red Wings. According to CapFriendly, Svechnikov’s new deal will be worth $874,125, which is exactly what I pegged him at earlier in the offseason.
The 2020-21 season will be a huge one for the former first-round pick. Svechnikov can no longer be assigned to Grand Rapids without having to pass through waivers. Essentially, it’s a make-or-break year for the young winger, who has only produced only four points in 20 career NHL games.
The Athletic’s Max Bultman suggested that Svechnikov could potentially be loaned to a European team while the Red Wings wait for the 2020-21 season to start:
“He’s preparing for what will be a massive season in his career. He signed a one-year contract with the Red Wings over the weekend, and could be a natural candidate for a temporary loan if the right fit emerges.”
–Max Bultman (from ‘What the Red Wings are hoping to see from their prospects on loan in Europe’ – The Athletic – 8/12/20)
With others already loaned out and European leagues starting up, we should find out shortly if Svechnikov will in fact get some ice time with a team across the pond.
Red Wings Taking a Center at No. 4?
Now that we know the New York Rangers will draft first overall, mock drafts are starting to roll out. And at No. 4, the Red Wings are in a prime spot to draft a high-end forward.
Related: Red Wings Salary Cap Snapshot
The Draft Analyst Steve Kournianos has Detroit selecting center Marco Rossi from the Ottawa 67s. “Rossi’s vision and IQ are off the charts,” said Kournianos, “but he also owns a deadly shot and was one of the [OHL’s] better two-way centers.”
Rossi’s competitiveness and commitment to the game may give him an edge over other top prospects. According to most draft analysts, the center wants to be the best and it shows in his preparation, focus, and drive. Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby are the same way and they’re decent enough NHLers.
The Athletic’s Corey Pronman predicts the Red Wings will take a center as well, though not Rossi. Instead, he has Cole Perfetti going fourth-overall to Detroit.
“I’ve heard Lucas Raymond mentioned with the Red Wings, but a fair amount of sources seem to think the team likes Cole Perfetti a lot,” said Pronman. “His elite skill and hockey IQ with average feet and size has a lot of resemblance to Brayden Point, who Detroit GM Steve Yzerman picked during his tenure in Tampa Bay.” (from ‘Pronman’s Mock Draft: Projecting the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft’ – The Athletic – 8/10/20)
In The Hockey Writers’ latest mock draft, I chose Rossi with the fourth-overall selection. Adam Kimelman and Guillaume Lepage of NHL.com also took the Austrian-born center in their most recent mock draft.
Either Rossi or Perfetti would be huge additions for the Red Wings. Both could potentially be part of Detroit’s lineup as soon as next season.