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31 in 31

Top prospects for Detroit Red Wings

Zadina, Hirose expected to contribute in NHL this season

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the top five prospects for the Detroit Red Wings, according to


[Red Wings 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Fantasy breakdown | Behind the Numbers]


1. Filip Zadina, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Detroit: 9 GP, 1-2-3; Grand Rapids (AHL) 59 GP, 16-19-35

The Red Wings have high hopes for Zadina (6-foot, 195 pounds), a skilled shooter with the potential to be a prolific goal-scorer in the NHL. The 19-year-old likely will start with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League for a second straight season.

Zadina, whose ice time at Red Wings development camp in June was limited because of a sore hamstring sustained during offseason training, had 82 points (44 goals, 38 assists) in 57 games for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2017-18. But he had to learn the details of playing a two-way game as a pro and spent most of last season with Grand Rapids, where he was minus-17. He played nine late-season games for Detroit and was minus-5.

"Obviously lots of new experiences during the season, ups and downs," Zadina said. "Obviously I enjoyed the time here in Detroit. I think I'll take it. I'll take it as it was and I think it was a good season for me. I got to learn something and I hope and I believe that next season will be way better."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: DET@COL: Zadina blasts home first NHL goal 


2. Joseph Veleno, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 30 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Drummondville (QMJHL): 59 GP, 42-62-104

After putting up big numbers last season, Veleno (6-1, 193) is expected to take another step in his development as a two-way center.

Playing for Canada in the World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, the 19-year-old skated on a line with Kirby Dach, chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and Alexis Lafreniere, who could be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

"He played very well on both ends of the ice," Canada coach Dale Hunter said of Veleno. "As a coach everybody always talks about the offense. I worry about the defense. He played very well at both ends."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season


3. Moritz Seider, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2019 NHL Draft

Last season: Mannheim (GER): 29 GP, 2-4-6

Detroit shocked a lot of people when it chose Seider (6-4, 183) with its first pick under general manager Steve Yzerman. That included the 18-year-old, whose reaction in the stands was caught on camera. But the Red Wings did it for a reason.

"He has excellent hockey sense, he's obviously a big kid … and we thought he was one of the best defensemen in the draft," Yzerman said. "We were picking at No. 6 and No. 35, and we didn't think he would be there at No. 35. We're excited to have him."

Seider's experience last season included 29 games, and 14 in the postseason, for Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey League, Germany's top league. He also scored two goals in five games for Germany in the 2019 IIHF World Championship. Where he will play this season likely will be determined after training camp.

Projected NHL arrival: 2021-22

Video: 31 in 31: Detroit Red Wings 2019-20 season preview


4. Jonatan Berggren, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 33 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Skelleftea (SWE): 16 GP, 0-3-3

Berggren (5-11, 183) missed the second half of last season with a back injury, but he returned for Red Wings development camp in June and played for Sweden at the World Junior Summer Showcase.

The 19-year-old is expected to play for Sweden in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. That and a full season playing against men in the Swedish Hockey League would help his development. He has skill and creativity but is working on his shot and overall game.

Projected NHL arrival: 2021-22


5. Taro Hirose, F

How acquired: Signed as free agent, March 12

Last season: Detroit: 10 GP, 1-6-7; Michigan State (NCAA): 36 GP, 15-35-50

Pencil the 23-year-old onto the opening NHL roster. After tying for the NCAA Division I scoring lead with Michigan State last season, he signed with the Red Wings and made a strong impression.

Hirose (5-10, 160) has been skating with center Dylan Larkin this offseason. When Larkin spoke about the excitement generated by the Red Wings' young players and prospects, Hirose was the first one he mentioned.

"You see a guy out here like Taro Hirose and how much skill he has and how dynamic he is," Larkin said.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

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