The Detroit Red Wings went out and drafted centerman Marco Kasper with the eighth overall pick. The 18-year-old center is versatile and could possibly play all three forward positions for the Red Wings. Even though Shane Wright fell down the draft board, and some trades moved things around, the Red Wings grabbed Kasper.
He was likely on the Detroit Red Wings radar for some time now, but his selection at eight was a bit of an investment. Kasper is a left-handed shooting center from Austria who has been playing for Rögle BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).
The Red Wings felt he was the best option for them, and as a forward who is a two-way player, there hoping he could be a missing piece in the team's offense. While there was a lot of hope for players like Matthew Savoie, who went after the Red Wings pick, or Cutter Gauthier, who went before, Kasper looks like a well-rounded pick.
There's not going to be a lot of rumors that he will go out and score 40 goals, but there will be plenty of talk about his overall game and being a polished player from top to bottom. With the Red Wings' willingness to let players marinate overseas before bringing them into the NHL, it may be a long-term move.
Detroit Red Wings selecting Marco Kasper at eight is an investment.
Kasper stands 6-foot-2, 187-pounds, with the ability to grow his game out even more to be the two-way threat the Red Wings perceive him to be. The Red Wings' early predictions from Steve Yzerman in the post-draft interview was that he's going to be a complete player for the organization and be around for the long haul of the rebuild, starting next year or the year after.
While there's a lot to that, I think it speaks to Kasper being an investment piece for the team. After all, he's coming off a season where he logged 46 games in the SHL with just seven goals and four assists for 11 total points. While it's against Sweden's best professionals as a teenager, Kasper can show some improvement.
On the U20 team, he managed six goals and seven assists for 13 points over 12 games played. This leads me to believe the Detroit Red Wings felt he fits in as the play-making two-way forward. Rather than being the high-tier scorer who's going to be in the scoring hunt, he's going to be the complete player the Red Wings are hopeful for.
Kasper may take some time to get to Detroit. With the track record standing true with the last few years, expect him to stay overseas for a bit to continue polishing off his tools. There should be hope that selecting Kasper at eighth overall will bring a solid piece for the team's top-six moving forward.
He may not sign an entry-level deal until next spring, looking ahead to the 2023-24 season, but it seems like a well-rounded player to select. There's not a lot that jumps off the paper to me about Kasper in terms of his tools, but with continued development, he should be a two-way player with the ability to create offense when on the attack.
Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman has made some stellar draft picks in recent years; it's far too early to jump the gun and make any rash conclusions.