Detroit Red Wings Unsigned Prospect Watch: Defensemen

The Detroit Red Wings have an enormous number of prospects who remain unsigned. This is the second in a series exploring the Red Wings’ unsigned prospects. Here is a look at the ten defensemen who have yet to sign a contract with the Red Wings.

William Wallinder, LD

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2024

William Wallinder was drafted in round 2, #32 overall by Detroit in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Wallinder played 47 regular games for Rogle BK (SHL), scoring four goals, 15 assists, 19 points, and a +5 rating. He won several awards, including being a Champions Hockey League Champion and Swedish Junior Hockey League Player of the Year. He had the most points by any junior (19) in the SHL. Recently, Wallinder represented Sweden at the WJC-20, where he helped Sweden win the Bronze Medal. Wallinder will return to play full-time for Rogle BK (SHL) this year.

Antti Tuomisto, RD

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2024

Antti Tuomisto was drafted in round 2, #35 overall, by Detroit in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Tuomisto helped the University of Denver (NCAA) win the National Championship. In 35 games, he scored one goal, eight assists, nine points, and had a +20 rating. Tuomisto has decided to forego the last two years of his NCAA career to turn professional. He recently signed a two-year deal to play for TPS (Liiga).

Shai Buium, LD

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2025

Shai Buium was drafted in round 2, #36 overall by Detroit in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Buium also helped the University of Denver (NCAA) win the National Championship. In 39 games, he scored three goals, 15 assists, 18 points, and had a +20 rating. Buium will return to play his sophomore season with Denver this year.

Anton Johansson, RD

Anton Johansson with the goal

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2026

Anton Johansson was drafted in round 4, #105 overall, by Detroit in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Johansson played most of the year with Leksands IF in the J20 Nationell. In 22 regular season games, Johansson scored six goals, four assists, 10 points, and had a +2 rating. Johansson is expected to play full-time for Leksands IF in the J20 Nationell this year.

Gustav Berglund, RD

Gustav Berglund, Karlskrona HK (HockeyEttan)

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2023

Gustav Berglund was drafted in round 6, #177 overall by Detroit in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Berglund played for three organizations at four different levels in Sweden. In four regular-season games playing for Karlskrona HK (HockeyEttan), Berglund chipped in with one assist and had a +1 rating. Berglund is expected to play for Karlskrona HK in the HockeyEttan again this year.

Oscar Plandowski, RD

Oscar Plandowski, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2023

Oscar Plandowski was drafted in round 5, #155 overall by Detroit in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Plandowski played 64 regular season games for Charlottetown (QMJHL). He scored four goals, 13 assists, 17 points, and had a +12 rating. During the off-season, Plandowski was traded to Drummondville (QMJHL), where he will play his final year of junior eligibility.

Tnias Mathurin, LD

Tnias Mathurin, North Bay (OHL)

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2024

Tnias Mathurin was drafted in round 5, #137 overall by Detroit in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Mathurin played 44 regular games for North Bay (OHL) last season. He scored three goals, 12 assists, 15 points, and had a +17 rating. Mathurin will return for his second season with North Bay (OHL) this year.

Cooper Moore, LD

Cooper Moore, Connecticut (NCAA)

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2024

Cooper Moore was drafted in round 5, #128 overall by Detroit in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Moore was a sophomore at the University of North Dakota (NCAA), where he played 38 games and scored two goals, seven assists, nine points, and had a +2 rating. This season, Moore will return for his junior year at North Dakota (NCAA).

Kyle Aucoin, LD

Kyle Aucoin, Harvard (NCAA)

Detroit Red Wings Rights: June 2025

Kyle Aucoin was drafted in round 6, #156 overall by Detroit in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, Aucoin was a freshman at Harvard University (NCAA), where he played 30 games, picked up two assists, and had a -1 rating. Aucoin will return for his sophomore year at Harvard (NCAA) this season.

Kasper Kotkansalo

Kasper Kotkansalo, HIFK (Liiga)

Kasper Kotkansalo was drafted in round 3, #71 overall, by Detroit in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. After three seasons at Boston University (NCAA), Kotkansalo decided to leave school and return to Finland. He cited the Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason for his move. Last season, Kotkansalo played 52 regular season games for HIFK (Liiga), where he scored four goals, 12 assists, 16 points, and had a +2 rating. Kotkansalo will return to play for HIFK (Liiga) again this year.

Final Thoughts

Detroit owns the rights of these ten unsigned defensemen until at least June 2023. A decision must be made on Berglund and Plandowski by next June. A decision must also be made on several of the other players the following year. It will be interesting to see what defensemen are signed by Detroit as there are far more players than contracts spots available in the Red Wings organization.

To start, the guys wrap up the Prospect Tournament and discuss some notable players and what their seasons could look like. Next, we break down Yzerman and Lalonde's media availabilities and the start of training camp. To finish, we look at potential spots for grabs in the lineup and who could fill them.
  1. Edvinsszn
  2. Prospect Tournament Preview and Questions Heading into Next Season
  3. Zadina and Make-or-Break Players
  4. Red Wings at the WJC
  5. Red Wings' Defensive Outlook

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