The Detroit Red Wings used their first-round pick on Swedish forward Marco Kasper. They selected the centerman with the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He's still young and will be staying overseas in 2022-23. There's more to it for Kasper, with education playing a significant role for him and his personal values.
He signed an entry-level contract to join the Detroit Red Wings organization but will be spending this upcoming season back in Sweden. A recent article by Bob Duff from Detroit Hockey Now talks about how Kasper is electing to stay overseas so he can focus on his education in the classroom and on the ice.
What stood out to me is a quote Duff used about Kasper valuing education and wanting to continue his schooling anywhere. He states his education is important to him, which leads me to believe a few things about his path to the NHL and how the Red Wings may view it.
The Red Wings are investing in Kasper as part of their future plans, and with his comments about wanting to stay overseas and continue his education, the plans could change. Let's take a deeper look into what this could mean for the Red Wings moving forward.
Detroit Red Wings prospect Marco Kasper places a high value on education.
It's not to say that Kasper is in the wrong at all or that he's going to be stuck in Sweden for years and years. But he's going to spend some time there as he finishes out of high school to earn his diploma. It's an accomplishment that gives him at least some fallback plan beyond the game on the ice.
Kasper was going to spend the season with Rögle BK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) anyways. So the initial comments about him wanting to continue his education are not a huge deal. However, there's more to it. After the 2022-23 season, getting him to Detroit might mean he leaves his education behind with no collegiate career ahead of him.
After all, the Red Wings will want to get him into the organization with the Red Wings or Grand Rapids Griffins. But, the scene from Moneyball as the two New York Mets scouts talk to Billy Beane and his parents comes to mind. Here's a link to the clip, starting around the 2:20 mark.
As it goes, the scout says that Beane needs to accept baseball as life's first occupation rather than choosing his Stanford scholarship. For Kasper and the Red Wings, he will need to jump in with the organization. The Red Wings will want him to get going with the team, and he will forgo college.
Who knows, maybe he can work something out to do online courses at Detroit Mercy or Wayne State. Jokes aside, he values his education and was a first-round draft pick; the Red Wings are going to expect him to leave this in the past. As this road moves on, the Red Wings may have less of a need for Kasper.
What I mean is that his timeline to get to Detroit is going to be lengthy. It could leave General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman in a position to use Kasper as a trade chip. This might mean that he gets to stay in Sweden and focus on his education, as Yzerman uses him as a trade chip to upgrade a major need for the organization right now.
It will be interesting to see what kind of role Kasper is projected to have with the Detroit Red Wings moving forward.