The Detroit Red Wings have seven prospects whose rights will expire next summer. If these players do not sign an entry-level contract, that player will either re-enter the draft if they are eligible (under 20 by December 31st, 2023) or become free agents.
Every summer, NHL teams stockpile prospects from the NHL Entry Draft, hoping that some will become NHL regulars. Draftees’ rights have a timeline determined by where they are playing or where they plan on playing after the draft.
Canadian Junior Players’ rights are held by the NHL team that drafts them for two years. If the player is not signed by June 1st, two years after being drafted, they either go back into the draft or become free agents.
NCAA Players’ rights are held until 30 days after they graduate from college. Typically this is June 1st, four years after they are drafted.
Europeans Players’ rights are held for four years unless the player is from a country that does not have an agreement with the NHL. For example, Russia has no agreement with the NHL, so NHL teams hold onto Russian players’ rights indefinitely.
Here is a look at the seven players whose rights are owned by the Red Wings and whose timeline runs out next summer.
Draft: 2021, Round 6, #166 Overall
Current Team: Niagara (OHL)
Pasquale Zito is currently one of the highest-scoring prospects in the Detroit Red Wings system. Zito did not play during his draft year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, Zito played for Windsor (OHL). In 49 regular season games, Zito scored 22 goals, 20 assists, and 42 points. In 16 playoff games, Zito scored two goals, five assists, and seven points.
When Zito finishes his OHL season this year, he has a strong chance to sign an entry-level contract with Detroit. The Red Wings have until June 1st before they must sign him to his entry-level contract. If he remains unsigned, the Red Wings will relinquish his rights on June 1st, 2023.
Prediction: Zito will sign an entry-level contract with Detroit and start his professional career in Grand Rapids (AHL) in 2023.
Draft: 2019, Round 2, #54 Overall
Current Team: Arizona State University (NCAA)
Robert Mastrosimone is currently leading Arizona State University in scoring. During his draft year, Mastrosimone played for Chicago (USHL). He scored 31 goals and 60 points in 54 games with a +5 rating. He played for Boston University (NCAA) for the last three years. In 83 games played for the Terriers, Mastrosimone scored 21 goals, 29 assists, and 50 points and had a +3 rating.
When Mastrosimone finishes his NCAA eligibility this year, he will likely sign a three-year entry-level deal with the Red Wings. If he remains unsigned, the Red Wings will relinquish his rights on June 1st, 2023.
Prediction: Mastrosimone will sign an entry-level contract with Detroit and start his professional career in Grand Rapids (AHL) in 2023.
Draft: 2019, Round 3, #66 Overall
Current Team: Mora IK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
Albin Grewe has had a tumultuous career since being drafted into the NHL. During his draft year, Grewe played for Djurgardens IF in the J20 SuperElit. He scored 13 goals and 34 points in 25 games with a +12 rating. In 2020-2021, Grewe picked up two assists in 11 games while playing for Grand Rapids (AHL). Last year, Grewe started the season playing for Ilves (Liiga). After four games, he transferred to Mora IK (HockeyAllsvenskan). In 32 games, Grewe scored four goals and 17 points.
When Grewe finishes his season with Mora IK this year, he will likely not be signed by Detroit and will become a free agent.
Prediction: Grewe will become a free agent on June 1st, 2023.
Draft: 2019, Round 6, #177 Overall
Current Team: Karlskrona HK (HockeyEttan)
Gustav Berglund is currently playing in the third-highest level of hockey in Sweden. It is equivalent to the ECHL in North America. During his draft year, Berglund played at three different levels in the Frolunda organization. In 37 total games, he scored 13 goals, 16 assists, and 29 points and had a +10 rating. Last year, Berglund played for three different organizations at four different levels. In 22 games, he scored two goals, two assists, and four points and had a -6 rating.
When Berglund finishes his season with Karlskrona HK this year, he will likely not be signed by Detroit and will become a free agent.
Prediction: Berglund will become a free agent on June 1st, 2023.
Draft: 2019, Round 4, #97 Overall
Current Team: Boston University (NCAA)
Ethan Phillips has had a difficult time adjusting to life in the NCAA. Phillips is currently playing in his fourth and final season at BU. In 67 games, Phillips has only scored nine goals and 30 points for the Terriers. During his draft year, Phillips played for Sioux Falls (USHL). In 50 regular season games, he scored 16 goals and 43 points.
When Phillips completes his NCAA eligibility this year, he will likely become a free agent.
Prediction: Phillips will become a free agent on June 1st, 2023.
Draft: 2017, Round 6, #162 Overall
Current Team: University of Notre Dame (NCAA)
John Adams is currently the oldest prospect in the Red Wings system. During his draft year, Adams played for Fargo (USHL). In 56 regular season games, Adams scored 37 goals and 60 points. Last year, Adams transferred from Providence to Notre Dame. In 38 games, he scored six goals and 16 points.
This year, when Adams completes his NCAA eligibility, he will likely become a free agent.
Prediction: Adams will become a free agent on June 1st, 2023.
Draft: 2021, Round 5, #155 Overall
Current Team: Drummondville (QMJHL)
Oscar Plandowski is probably the best skater in the Red Wings stable of prospects. During his draft year, Plandowski played for Charlottetown in the QMJHL. During the off-season, Plandowski was recently traded to Drummondville. During his junior career in the QMJHL, Plandowski has played 177 regular season games and has scored ten goals, 38 assists, 48 points, and a +12 rating.
This year, when Plandowski completes his junior eligibility, he will likely become a free agent.
Prediction: Plandowski will become a free agent on June 1st, 2023.