On Sunday afternoon, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they have signed Simon Edvinsson to a three-year, entry-level contract starting the 2022-23 season.
The 2021 sixth overall pick had a successful season playing for Frolunda in the SHL this season, scoring twice and adding 17 assists in 44 games and averaging 19:46 minutes a night, which ranked first amongst U19 players. He was also named one of the three finalists for the SHL Rookie of the Year earlier this week, alongside recent Red Wing signee Pontus Andreasson.
But the defensive side of the ice is where Edvinsson excels, as he is listed at 6’5 and uses his long reach to defend passes and drives towards the net. He can also create offense from his defense as he can quickly read plays from the opposition and make an aggressive play on the puck, either with his body or his stick, and transition that into offense for his team. That is a quality that Detroit’s defense lacks, aside from fellow sixth overall pick Moritz Seider.
There are still a few aspects of Edvinsson’s game that need to be ironed out in North America, as he often gets low in the offensive zone from a pinch, and sometimes that results in an odd-man rush the other way. While that will need to be fine-tuned, it shouldn’t be discouraged as the majority of times, Edvinsson can create a chance for either his team or himself.
It will be exciting for Red Wings fans to finally see the highly-touted defenseman finally play in Michigan, whether in Grand Rapids or Detroit. With Edvinsson’s progression this season and the likely overturn in the Red Wings’ defensive core, there’s a real opportunity that he finds himself in the opening night lineup.