While the Detroit Red Wings continue their offseason, there must be some questions about the opening night roster. There have been plenty of moves this offseason, with free agency bringing in some new names and a hopeful trade in the works.
But before the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and after the 2021-22 season, there was speculation that Simon Edvinsson would be able to compete for an NHL roster spot for the 2022-23 season, especially after he signed his entry-level contract.
There is a bit of a catch to Edvinsson’s arrival to the NHL level. Initially, there was a lot to like about plugging in Edvinsson on the NHL roster during the 2022-23 season, expecting him to break camp with the team. Things may be different with the free agent signings this offseason and some positional clogging.
The early thought is that he will compete for a roster spot, but that would likely mean the Red Wings need to ditch a defender or two from the roster to make room. It’s certainly going to be a storyline to follow, seeing where Edvinsson winds up by the time the Red Wings kick off their 2022-23 season.
Detroit Red Wings are in a weird spot with defensemen Simon Edvinsson.
If you were to ask me a month ago if I thought Simon Edvinsson would be on the opening night roster, I would have said yes with a lot of certainty. But after free agency, I feel significantly less confident in that answer. The Red Wings went out and grabbed Ben Chiarot on a multi-year deal, adding another name into the defense core for the 2022-23 season.
They also piggy-backed that with a younger replacement for Marc Staal, bringing in Olli Määttä on a one-year contract. With other defensemen returning, these are a list of the defensemen that the Red Wings will likely bring into training camp with shots to make the team.
- Ben Chiarot
- Filip Hronek
- Olli Määttä
- Jordan Oesterle
- Moritz Seider
- Gustav Lindström
- Mark Pysyk
- Steven Kampfer
- Jake Walman
- Simon Edvinsson
- Donovan Sebrango
- Albert Johansson
Looking at the lengthy list, there are some early cuts or minor-league designations. Donovan Sebrango and Albert Johansson will surely be heading back to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Expecting the Red Wings to carry a plethora of extra defensemen seems like a tall ask.
Even if the Red Wings were to make a blockbuster trade and get rid of Filip Hronek, it still leaves a lot of names vying for spots on the NHL roster. While I would rather see Edvinsson take the ice than Mark Pysyk or Steven Kampfer, they may not go that route.
Regarding talent and ability, it feels like Edvinsson has a clear lane ahead of him to make a difference and work his way onto the team’s roster. The issue is the number of defensemen the Red Wings are carrying on their roster does not help the situation whatsoever.
It’s one of those situations that is hard to map out. But, the way Yzerman has operated recently if Edvinsson proves he is ready for the NHL and deserves to be on the roster, expect Yzerman to make it happen. He’s not going to mess around, and he will clear space for Edvinsson if needed.