Steve Yzerman, Kris Draper recap Red Wings Round 1 Draft selection

The Red Wings went back to mining for Swedish defensive gold in the 2021 NHL Draft, selecting towering blue liner Simon Edvinsson with the 6th overall pick.

Of course, the Red Wings just so happen to have a rich history with Swedish players, particularly on the back end with the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall. He’s also drawn comparisons to another Swedish defenseman by the name of Victor Hedman – you know, the Norris Trophy winner whom Yzerman locked up to a massive extension during his time in Tampa Bay.

“I think it’s imperative to have a good defense to win championships ultimately,” Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said. “You’re not winning without a good goalie; you’re not winning without a good D corps. Once you are a solid defensive hockey team, you’re going to be competitive. You can win a lot of nights. Over time you can add to the offense.”

“He’s obviously a very smooth skater, his edge work and his deception with the puck is something that impressed all of us,” Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper said of Edvinsson. “Our expectations are probably the same as Simon’s, that he’s going to come in and he’s going to be a top-pair, top-four defenseman and play a lot of years in a Detroit Red Wing uniform.”

However, fans hoping to see Edvinsson in Detroit soon will have to wait at least another year.

“He’s a big, rangy D that can really skate,” Yzerman said. “He’s got good puck skills. We just see his potential to be a defenseman that can log a lot of minutes and be a solid defender that can add some offense as well.”

As for drafting Cossa, shoring up the crease was a priority for Yzerman and the Red Wings, hence their deal with the Stars in order to trade up in the Draft.

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“At 23 we didn’t feel Sebastian would be there,” Yzerman said. “You look at the teams in front of you and their future goaltending, their current goaltending and their prospect pool to see if they have an up-and-comer to try and guess who might take a goalie. We were a little bit worried that he would go and if he went or even Wallstedt went, the other would go right away.”

You may remember, selecting a towering goaltender is something that Yzerman is rather familiar with. You may have heard of a goaltender named Andrei Vasilevskiy (whom Yzerman and the Lightning acquired in the form of the draft pick that got the Red Wings a second tour of duty with Kyle Quincey). Not only one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, but also the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the Stanley Cup Playoffs most valuable player. Is there any comparison between him and Cossa?

“It would be unfair to him, and it would be irresponsible for me to say he has the potential of Andrei Vasilevskiy,” Yzerman said. “If he’s anything close to that we’d be thrilled.”

– – Quotes via MLive Link – –

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