Drafted with the first pick of the second round in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, William Wallinder was always labeled as a “project pick.” Now in his second full season in the SHL, Wallinder has begun to blossom and show his high upside.
The six-foot-four, 190-pound defenseman is a strong skater who sets himself apart from the pack with his play in transition, as he can break up a play and carry the puck into the offensive zone for possession. In 28 games playing for Rogle BK, Wallinder has scored four goals and 13 assists. Wallinder has yet to sign his entry-level contract with Detroit, but with the year the 20-year-old is having, he will likely make his way over to North America next season.
In the running for the best name in the Red Wings pipeline, Red Savage has had a solid sophomore campaign at Miami University (Ohio). In 16 games, Savage has four goals and six assists, which puts the 19-year-old on pace to beat his freshman-year totals. Drafted in the fourth round, 114th overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Savage was considered to be a value pick as the public consensus was that he’d be selected late in the second round or early in the third.
The Red Wings’ lone representative at the 2022 U20 World Junior Championships, wearing an “A,” Savage has scored one goal and two assists in three games with the United States. Savage will likely spend all four years at Miami before making the jump to the professional ranks, but for a fourth-rounder, Savage has shown NHL potential.
Drafted in the fourth round, 113th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, Lombardi has been a pleasant surprise relative to his selection slot, which earned him a three-year, entry-level contract last week.
The 19-year-old has been one of the most productive players in the OHL this season. In 32 games played with the Flint Firebirds, Lombardi has scored 21 goals and added 24 assists, ranking first in his club and fourth in the entire OHL. While Lombardi lacks NHL size at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, he makes up for that with his high-end skating and playmaking ability.
While it is unclear whether or not Lombardi will make the jump to the pro ranks next season, signing a fourth-round pick from this past season who is on pace for nearly 100 points is encouraging for Red Wings management.
After transferring from Boston University to Arizona State this past summer, many raised eyebrows on what prompted Robert Mastrosimone’s decision. But so far in his senior year, Mastrosimone’s bet has paid off.
In 19 games, Mastrosimone is having the best offensive season of his collegiate career, scoring six goals and 15 assists. Mastrosimone has been able to be the go-to guy for the Sun Devils and is playing both on the top line and powerplay. Drafted 54th overall in 2019, Mastrosimone is undersized at five-foot-10, 170 pounds but isn’t afraid to go to the hard areas of the ice to make plays. The Red Wings need to make a decision on Mastrosimone’s future before August 15th, as his rights will expire, leaving him available to sign anywhere.
In his first year of professional hockey, Cross Hanas has been a bright spot in an up-and-down season for Grand Rapids. Hanas has high-end playmaking ability and has showcased an ability to find the net early in his AHL career. After torching the WHL last season, scoring 26 goals and 86 points in 63 games, Hanas has adjusted nicely to the AHL game as in 17 games; the 20-year-old has seven goals and five assists.
While the Griffins have missed the likes of Jonatan Berggren and Austin Czarnik at points this season due to recalls, Hanas has benefited from a larger role offensively, especially on the power play. Hanas last played on November 25th due to an upper-body injury, which has led to a lack of scoring depth in Grand Rapids.